Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?
Winter here in the Midwest generally means snow. Although, this year the snow has been a rarity. Still, I like to use holidays and seasons to target different vocabulary words and mix up activities in my therapy sessions.
Today, I'll show you how I used an Olaf craft to work on several different language skills for toddlers.
First, you'll need to download the pattern for Olaf. Click here for the link to Olaf. Not a Frozen fan? There are plenty of other snowmen patterns that you can find on-line.
Next, I like to do all the cutting prior to the sessions. Scissors and toddlers are a scary combination for me, so I like to have the cutting done beforehand. This way so we can just focus on the craft and language targets.
After you gather the glue sticks and construction paper to use as a base for all the parts, you are ready to begin.
There are a few different language skills that can be addressed as you put the snowman together. These include:
-Body Parts: Eyes, nose, mouth, feet, and arms can all be targeted in this activity. Generally, I use the Olaf as a tool to talk about our own eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Once the craft is made, parents can continue to review these parts with their child for the next few days.
-Following Directions: Depending on where the child is functioning, you can give 1 or 2 step directions as you put this together. "Get the glue and choose a part." "Put glue on the back, and then flip it over."
-Task Completion: Ever have a child who just won't finish an activity or loses interest after a minute? I love crafts like this because there is a beginning and an end that we want to get to. If the child is losing interest, I try to assist to make it go a little faster. Make sure you praise the child for completing it.
-Action Words: As you work with the child, you can model actions words as they are performed. I generally say "rub" as the child rubs the glue stick on the paper or "squeeze" if you are using liquid glue. After gluing, I model "pat" as we pat the parts onto the construction paper.
-Saying Own Name: Sometimes, it is difficult to get the child to say their own name, which is a skill that is tested on some language tests at age 2. I have used crafts as a way to work on this skill. When the craft is completed, I write out the child's name on the paper saying each letter as I write it. Then I say the child's name. Next, I cue them with, "What's your name?" Sometimes, I will give the child the pencil and let them imitate me trying to write out their name. Over time, this has been a successful strategy for me in sessions.
Enjoy building your snow man as you build your child's language!
Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.