Updated: Oct 19
Yesterday I had some great speech therapy sessions where the client completely changed the activities I brought for us and made them their own. I was reminded of how cool it is to see kids be creative and explore for themselves. I also tell my grad students and speech assistants that the activity in speech therapy sessions does not matter as much as the goal of the activity. I brought my kerplunk game to one of my sessions, and then child played it with me and mom once, but then he wanted to spin the marbles in his umbrella and fling them around the kitchen so we could chase them. Our goal was to work on l sounds and f sound in his speech, so we practiced words like four, find, look, floor, fly, fling, and lose and chased marbles all over the kitchen. He had a great time, and I was happy we were practicing our speech sounds. Letting him play the game the way he wanted to, moving and running around, let him be way more successful and made our session more memorable. This is so important to help kids generalize their speech as well as stay motivated for our older kids who have been in speech therapy for multiple years.
Later in the day, I had another new client who decided she wanted to build a castle with my block containers. I usually use these containers to hide mini objects and play with them that way, but I was game to build and we acted out a story with the blocks and some mud emojis. It was great to have her open up and tell me a story. We were able to work on expanding our story and both mom and I were able to add ideas to the story. Letting this client explore the toy how she wanted to, really made for a positive experience and helped me to get a language sample from her. Following the child's lead is something I always coach parents on and it was neat to see with older school age clients how they enjoy being able to create and explore in play as well. It was a fun day in speech therapy and most of my activities went differently than I expected! If you are in need a speech therapy for your child, send me a message and let's talk about how play can help teach your child new speech and language skills.