Michelle Pentz, MS, CCC-SLP, speech therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, is always on the lookout for new games that incorporate speech and language skills, but she goes back to a classic time after time: LEGOS¬Æ! She thinks this classic toy makes the perfect holiday gift!
Michelle uses Legos in a variety of ways to teach speech and language skills, even with older kids. She even uses the actual directions from the box as well as the additional ones available on the Lego website that allows you to print extra things for the ‚ÄúClassic Block Sets‚Äù. Some sample activities are:
- Describing the piece(s) needed (this can teach number concepts, size, color, shape‚Ä¶describing in general).
- Matching pieces by using words (this can teach discrimination such as that is clear, this one has 2 dots on top, etc.)
- Placing pieces in certain positions (this can teach ‚Äúwhere‚Äù and prepositions)
- Sequencing steps (this can teach order and storytelling, such as first, then, next, last, etc.)
Michelle thinks Legos are the most versatile toy for play in therapy and at home.
Recently, we learned about the Lego Foundation Six Bricks program which introduces learning through play. Through fun and short activities with sets of LEGO¬Æ DUPLO¬Æ bricks in six bright colors, children can practice different skills. Kids practice:
- Language such as describing in rich detail, giving clear instructions, explaining your reasons, and telling stories, which helps you to communicate with others and express your ideas.
- Problem solving including to stay focused, and remember a task or a challenge, set goals and make plans, come up with creative ideas, and reflect on what you do and how you do it.
- Collaboration as in working together in pairs or teams, share turns and the materials you work with, learn from your peers and their ideas, and give each other roles and responsibilities.
Our team of 9 speech therapists provide home carryover suggestions, as part of every treatment plan.
We are in-network with many insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC, Cigna, Medcost, North Carolina Medicaid, Primary Physician Care and United Health Care. Our clients also may pay privately and access out-of-network benefits.
Read about more therapist approved toys here.