Speech Therapy Activities & Games for Preschool

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Toddler years are a critical period when it comes to speech and language. Let's look at some fun games and activities you can use to help young children keep their language skills in shape.

Language Development and Toddlers

Since toddlers are constantly learning and absorbing new information and skills, once a child has been diagnosed with a speech and language delay or disorder, it is critical to get early intervention started right away. As a speech-language pathologist, your interaction with a child is vital, but also limited to scheduled speech therapy sessions. It will be important for you to involve the child's parents and teachers as much as possible.

Because having consistent and ongoing conversations with toddlers gives them opportunities to correct speech, one of the best ways that you, parents, and teachers can work on speaking and language skills is by modeling. Encourage parents and teachers to be the language model for the child so he/she can absorb as much as possible. With the support of parents and teachers, you'll have the opportunity to work with toddlers on a variety of important language related skills such as:

  • Naming objects
  • Answering who, what, where, and when related questions from a story
  • Following one and two step directions
  • Recalling information
  • Communicating using two or more words

These skills can be targeted through a combination of games and activities to keep young children engaged and entertained. Let's take a look at some activities that you can incorporate in your sessions or offer to parents and teachers.

Answering Questions

  • During free play, get the child talking by asking questions about what they are doing. For example, 'What are you playing with?' 'What color is that Lego?' 'Why is the bad guy in jail?'. This will give the child opportunities to use their vocabulary to describe something they are interested in, and give you the opportunity to help them articulate their words.
  • Tell the child a short story with which they are familiar such as 'Little Red Riding Hood' or 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'. Ask them who, what, where, when, and why questions to assess their understanding of the story. For example, 'Who goes into the bears house?' 'What does she see sitting on the table?', or 'Where do the bears find Goldilocks?'.
  • Read to them! Most children love to snuggle up and listen to a story. Children are often more excited and willing to participate if they choose some of the books themselves, or if it is a story on a subject they are interested in. Be sure to talk about the story and pictures as you go, asking questions to assess the child's receptive and expressive language skills.

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