Speech and Language Learning with Collages
Using arts and crafts with young learners is a great way to tackle some skills. Children typically love to use scissors, glue sticks, and get creative. Collages are a wonderful tool to work on multiple areas of speech and language development with children.
Crafts will require having some supplies on hand. Be sure to have the following:
- Construction paper
- Crayons or markers
- Child safety scissors
- Magazine that are appropriate for children
- Ads from the newspaper
Ask friends, family, and even businesses if they have magazines, newspaper ads, or travel brochures to donate. Ads from the Sunday paper are a great and easy to collect. They include foods, characters, books, and every day items that kids will be familiar with. Unlike some magazines, they are usually very kid appropriate. Travel magazines will include photos of beaches, boats, amusement parks, and other items that may not be within the ads.
The beauty of collages is you can utilize them with any age level. You can personalize the activity to what you are working on and it actively engages the child. Collages can also be pages in a book. For younger children to expand their vocabulary, you could have them cut out items that are certain colors. Then they group them by color and write the words that go along with them. Older kids could search for words that begin with a letter sound. An even larger challenge could be to search for items that rhyme.
While working on all of these, take time to have the child talk to you about what steps they are taking. This will work on their sequencing, correct word use, and conversational skills. Another connection to home would be to label items with the child’s other language used at home. This will help them to connect vocabulary, recall the words, and assist in interactions at home.
Connecting with the Classroom
If you are working with a cooperating classroom teacher, be sure to check in and see what the classroom is studying. This activity could be used throughout the year to connect what is being done with letter sounds, word families, or shape recognition. For older children, more specific items in social studies, science, or another academic area would also work well. The flexibility of this and ability to alter it at a moment’s notice is what makes it a wonderful teaching tool.
When collages are finished, they can be used as learning reinforcement to bring home, or keep within a child’s classroom. Since the child helped to make this, they are more likely to want to use it to practice their skills, words, vocabulary, or other item that is the focus within the collage. How have you used collages in your therapy sessions?