Thursday, April 21, 2016

Therapy Tip: Speech & Language with Potato Head

Welcome to Therapy Tip Thursday!  This is the day that I share a tip based upon my experience as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and a mother of a child with special needs.

Today's tip is:

3 Ways to Use Potato Head for Speech & Language Treatment

I love using the classic toy, Mr. Potato Head, in sessions. In early intervention, this toy is quite useful in speech therapy in different ways. Plus, this toy is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Here's just 3 ways to use this toy for therapy.

1. Body Parts: This is the most obvious way to use the potato head. Going over body parts as you place his parts in is a simple way to reinforce the parts. I like to pause before handing the child a new part from potato head and have them show me where their nose/ear/eye is before giving them the part.

2. Spatial Concepts: It is easy to reinforce simple spatial concepts such as in/out and on/off while putting the potato head together and apart. 

3. Articulation Cues:  When I have a child who is struggling with how to make a sound, I like to use the lips, teeth, tongue, and mouth pieces of a full potato head set to provide a visual cue. So, if I am trying to have a child say a /p/ sound, I might hold up the lips as a cue while I say, "Use your lips." I don't have the actual potato part around--just the piece the cues for the sound placement. These same parts can be used to introduce a sound to the child as you explain to them how to make it.

Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.

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