In the coming weeks, Sol will spotlight a few of our favorite games/toys to promote speech and language.
We’re thinking this may be especially useful while most families are stuck at home due to COVID-19.
These are meant to stimulate speech and/or language in a fun and engaging way.
Some will be more geared toward children, and others might be more appropriate for adolescents and adults.
We’ve also made sure they can be easily found and bought, and highlight ways in which you can use each item we spotlight.
The Learning Piggy Bank
This piggy bank may look like an ordinary toddler toy, but after a second look, it’s easy to see that it’s so much more!
The Learning Piggy Bank plays music, counts, has a set of colored coins inside, a door that opens and closes, and has a fun, pushable nose.
Our early intervention kiddos, primarily ages 1-4 years, absolutely LOVE this toy and if given a choice, will choose to play with this pig time and time again.
Learning While You Play!
Whether at home or in the clinic here’s how you can use this fun toy to promote language:
1. Early Language/Receptive Language
The piggy bank is great for developing early language skills, specifically cause and effect, and understanding basic concepts.
Skill: Cause and Effect, or understanding the connection between an action and a consequence, is the foundation for communicating intentionally. One way we support children in developing an understanding of cause and effect is by introducing them to toys or activities that they can operate by using an external switch or button.
How to use: Have your client or toddler push the piggy’s nose to hear him “oink”, sneeze, or sing songs. If they have trouble grasping the concept initially, provide hand over hand assistance to help them push the button, and then gradually decrease that assistance until they’re pushing the piggy’s nose independently.
Skill: Following one- and two- step directions
How to use: Have your kiddo listen and then follow directions such as “put coin in”, “give me the coin”, “push the nose”, “first, close the door, then push the nose”.
Skill: Understanding of basic concepts. The Learning Piggy Bank’s coins are different colors and each has an animal printed on them. Promote an understanding of basic concepts by having him/her identify the appropriate color or animal.
How to use: If you’re just starting out with color or animal concepts, present two coins at a time to make it a bit easier. Place two coins in front of them and say “give me the red coin” or “find the dog”. As he/she gets better at identifying these concepts, you can present more coins at once, or you can move to naming the color or animal, which is a more advanced skill.
2. Expressive Language
If your child or client has a developmental or language delay, with weaknesses in oral expression, you can use this piggy bank for a variety of expressive language tasks. Here are some helpful examples:
Before getting what he/she wants, have him/her make verbal requests throughout play with the piggy, including “open”, “more”, “push please”, “green coin”, and “all done.”
Work on naming basic concepts by having him/her name animals and colors with the prompt “what’s this?”
You can also work on production of animal sounds by showing your kiddo the animal and asking them to produce the corresponding sound.
The list really is endless with what you can target when it comes to the piggy bank toy.
Highly recommend to all my fellow speech and language pathologists and/or caregivers at home! Sol will continue to highlight our favorite toys/games/activities in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
If you live in the Austin area and have concerns about your child’s speech and/or language and would like to seek additional help beyond what your school based speech language pathologist may be able to provide, click here for more information on our speech and language evaluation and/or therapy services for children of all ages.
If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out today for a free phone consultation.Sol Speech & Language Therapy
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy is located in sunny Austin, Texas and offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.