Using Dramatic Play to Inspire Talk Time
It is human nature for children to be dramatic. Even the more shy kids will typically get into an activity where they get to act items out. Drama may mean being in motion, but it also works on speech pragmatics, conversation, and grammar. For shier children who are afraid to write and read for their practice, this is a great way to get them involved and key into areas that need work.
Acting about their Life
Dramatic play is very versatile. With younger children, you could make flash cards from cartoons, movies, books, or activities that they can act out. Looking back at summer memories would be a fantastic starting point. They could reenact going to the park, time at the pool, drawing with chalk on the sidewalk, or anything else. Of course, you could also them imagine a perfect autumn activity or adventure. There are even more possibilities when used with a small group to create a play. These new skills may then be shared with their peers or families. Simply acting out and talking about the steps in the process will activity engage them in the session and beyond.
Imaginative Role Playing
Once you know the child well enough, you may be able to suggest more specific items that work well. Perhaps you want to work on how to respond to a question and work with a conversation. Take their favorite book and read it. Afterwards, take one two of the characters from the story. Pretend to act out a scene from the book, or make up an extended segment. Your imagination and the child you are working with are the only limits.
Games and sports play can also be used. If they like a specific sport you can act out a pretend game between two teams, what the players may be saying after they win a special game, or beyond. Video games and mobile apps have changed the way children learn. Think about making a game they adore come to life in front of their eyes. Yes, you could even enact a conversation between the birds and pigs from Angry Birds.
Dramatize Academic Areas
When older children are involved, be sure to see what areas they are studying in school. You could act out vocabulary words and their meanings using flash cards like charades. Even with younger children, they can work on word families by making a mini sketch. To help tie into home, ask them to give you some of the words in the language they use at home. This will help them to gain confidence going back and forth and show them that you want to learn more about them. Acting out the steps in a scientific process will help children to practice sequencing, sharing what they have learned, and their development of new language and vocabulary.
Remember to think outside of the box with kids during sessions as you progress. This helps to keep everyone engaged and energized. When you get them up and moving during a speech session, it will motivate them to show their increased confidence and want to share it at home and beyond. What are some of the most interesting scenarios you’ve used in therapy?