Building Speech and Language Skills One Brick at a Time
When coming up with activities to use with children, sometimes it is fun to bring along toys. While some may think that they will be a distraction, the reality is that they usually perk a child’s interest and make them more willing to actively engage in the therapy session. Lego blocks are a popular item for children of all ages. A bunch of these and a good imagination allow for a different type of session with children working of multiple areas.
Brick Rewarding Fun
After working on a skill for a while, it can become a tedious activity for some children. Whether working on being more fluent in conversation, homing in on articulation, or something more specific – you need to have fun activities that hide the fact that they are working. Bring in a box of Lego bricks: Duplo for younger children and regular size for older children. Tell the kids that you are going to work on the desired skill. Each time that they say a word correctly, repeat a sentence, or use proper grammar allow them to pick out a block. These blocks should be placed in a “Lego Creation” bucket so they are not a distraction. Once you are finished, the kids will have a collection of Lego bricks to make something unique. Continue the conversation and encourage them to explain what they are making as they go along. You may even save the creations to color and chat about another time.
“How to” Construction Time
Create a Lego structure using blocks that you have duplicates of for them to recreate. Make this item on a small Lego platform and give the child the identical bricks that they will need. This activity will work on their ability to recreate a model, follow steps, and confidence giving detailed directions. Focus on attention to details, use of adjectives, articulation, and sequencing. If you are working on answering “Wh” questions be sure to ask them items while doing the construction.
I Spy Lego Edition
Gather about a dozen Lego mini figures together. These are now available to purchase in small individual packages at stores. Place the mini figures in a row and play a game of I Spy Lego style game. Begin by modeling the activity. Select a mini figure in your mind and start by saying, “I Spy with my little eye a Lego person that is ____.” Now the child repeat as a statement, “The Lego figure is _____.” Next, have them take away figures that may not fall into the category that was listed. Continue doing this until they have narrowed it down to the last mini figure available. Switch rolls and practice the opposite part of the activity.
Connecting with those at home is key. Ask families if they have Lego items to practice items. If they do not look at Pinterest for Lego inspired sheets that you can print off. Children can design their own mini-figure and explain to parents how they did this. They can also have a collection to do their own I Spy game. Be sure to send home instructions in friendly ways so multilingual households will be able to enjoy these activities together.