Education / Inspiration / Speech Therapy
by Kelci Santiago
Hip Hip Hooray for the month of October!
and…. pumpkins, scarecrows, hay rides, candy corn, apple picking, the changing of leaves, bats, witches, and ghosts! BOO!
While preparing for speech therapy during the month of October, I stumbled upon an amazing resource, totschooling.net.Totschool is an online website providing free printables for toddlers and young children. So big thank you Totschool for providing such creative enrichment, I now have wonderful Fall themed play-dough mats to laminate and use to target early developmental skills!
Play-dough mats offer children an imaginative avenue to learn and discover language. Click the Link to access 10 printable Fall themed play-dough mats. See below to read all the wonderful learning opportunities play-play-dough mats can offer during play.
Grab some play-dough, different random small objects (i.e., pasta noodles/spaghetti/food spices), and choose a play-dough mat to work on. Create a list of words that can be used to describe the different textures you have. As you play with the play-dough, encourage your child to feel as you introduce different vocabulary to describe what he is feeling.
Following Directions/Listening Skills
Play a game with your play-dough mat that requires listening and following directions. I particularly like the monster mat and it is a huge hit with the kids! I usually set out different play-dough colors and then make up directions. For example,
“Put a nose on the blue monster.”
“Put two small eyes on the yellow monster.”
Pragmatic (Social) Skills
What better way to have fun and practice expected social skills then with a play-dough mat! Encourage turn-taking and requesting (“May I have a the blue please?” or “My turn”). Model the expected behavior for your child and praise him for using good talking and asking nicely.
Fine Motor Skills
Children have so many tiny muscles and tendons in their hand. Have your child squeeze the play-dough while he plays with it, allowing him to secretly build muscle strength and have fun at the same time!
Descriptive Words Development
Point out the shapes, colors and different sizes you make and encourage your child to use the words to describe his play-dough creation.
Now go and have fun some fun with your new fall themed mats!