How PUZZLES help toddlers TALK – Tips from a Speech Therapist
September 16, 2019
Remember that time when you watched your toddler put puzzle pieces in and out and in out for a long time and you thought you were just going to die of boredom? Well, I have some ideas for you that will help your toddler to learn how to talk more and expand their language skills by using a puzzle that you probably already have doesn’t have to be this puzzle just use any puzzle that you have at home tip number one: next time you pull out a puzzle, I want you to be in charge of all the puzzle pieces so instead of just dumping them all out and letting your child zone in and focus, I want YOU to be the person that they have to communicate with to get the puzzle pieces. Here’s what I mean: You have all the puzzle pieces in your lap and then you can give them a choice between two. When they’re just playing with the puzzle pieces on their own you’re probably not necessarily labeling them like pig and horse each time they reach for one so here’s what you can do so they can learn the names of these so You could say: Do you want the pig or the horse? and then when they pick one you could say, “Horse! Oh you want the horse here’s the horse, put it in do you want the cow or the goat and then you can give them another choice also you can give them a choice between two and you can tell them which one to get you can say, “Look pig and cow get the cow they can pick it out so you can see if they are understanding what you’re asking them and then they can follow through and follow the direction so you can say get the cow if they start reaching for the pig, what I want you to do is just put the cow a little bit in front okay so that they’re more able to be successful and you’re reinforcing what they’re looking at is called cow and then when you give it to them like cattle that’s right count cow says moo this cow has spots look at these spots and you can say spot spot spot spot or you can say dot dot dot dot and I bet your child will start going faster after you do that in this puzzle there’s a lot of animals that have little dots on them as a design feature so you can say dot dot dot dot then you can look for all the dots on animals you can also say where’s the eyes and you can point to them where’s the tail and you can point to the tail where the feet and then you can put to the feet you can increase the difficulty of this activity given them the choice of three or four or five to pick from and you can say hmmm let’s find the barn and then you can look all around and say barn there’s the barn so you can help them and point to where you’re trying to direct them to look at the barn so that’s a great activity to do because they’re hearing the word because you’re labeling it for them and then they’re also being reinforced because you’re giving it to them when they say it or when they point to it because pointing is communicating so if they point to it if they’re not able to say it yet and I point then you can give it to them so you’re reinforcing that word cow and move tip number two you can also work on body parts too so you could say take the cow and put it on your head and you could show it to them and then give it to them and say you do it or if they’re at the stage where they already know their body parts you can send to take the cow and put it on your head and then they’ll do it and listen to you you can do body parts like shoulder you can put it on your nose put it on your wrist some uncommon body parts like wrist and ankle and eyebrow and earlobe you can do uncommon body parts as your child re because the eyes ears nose knees toes all of that so that’s working on following directions and listening and then also we can expand the complexity of following directions by having them do one or two step directions so you could say get the chicken and put it under the table and then you could wait for them to take the chicken if they aren’t getting it correct you can just kind of put the chicken in front and let them take it and can they put it under the table and if they put it on top of the table you can fit all this on top let’s go under the table so they’re learning top under you can teach all kinds of prepositions put it on the couch put it in your shoe put it in your pocket put it behind mommy so this is an important skill that you can start developing now that will carry on into following directions in school and in life and in their jobs in their careers in the future so following directions is really important to think about when they’re in school their teacher is going to say all right get your blue marker out put your name and eight in the top right corner and then draw a picture of your family and make sure that you have the sunshine out in the green grass that’s a long multi-step direction so you’re helping them right now by giving them a two-step direction get the cow and put it under the table tip number three you can work on new commands and new directions to follow things that they’re not used to doing get the duck and put it in mommy’s shoe very learning Oh shoe they see the shoes that they have to pick your shoe and they have to remember which one’s big and little and they’re learning possessive nouns mommy’s shoe put it in brothers to put it in your shoe those are all possessive words and then of course when you’re done with all that you can put them in and out you can say get the duck and put it in the water there’s the water splash splash splash so you can talk about the features of the puzzle that you’re working on so there’s the Sun in the sky and there’s clouds and there’s a barn and the cow and say let’s a cow eat some grass you can go the couch eating eat and there’s butterflies you can look for the butterflies there’s all kinds of things that you can do is puzzles besides putting them in and out I think it’s a great skill for wrist rotation and matching and coordinating and thinking about categories so putting them in and out of a puzzle is a great skill to have to but I just wanted to share with you some other ways you can think outside of the box and use the puzzle pieces to do activities and expand on their language skills expand on the following directions skills and really help their cognition and their learning and ability to use and carry over these skills into their daily life now and beyond it to their school years now that you have some ideas to try out you need my milestones checklists for toddlers so I have a checklist of all the developmental skills that your toddler needs to be on track and hitting their milestones what they’re talking that way you can simply check off the skills that they have and you’ll know exactly what skills you can start working on in the future if you’re inspired by this video go ahead and subscribe so you’ll get notified when I make more videos also please give me an encouraging thumbs up on this video it helps more people like you to see my video have a ton of ideas for more videos in my head but I want to know if you want to see more so if you could leave an encouraging comment with your favorite emoji in the comments below then I’ll know that you’d like to see more and i’ll go ahead and make another video if I get enough requests share this video with a best friend and if you do this activity tag me in a picture on social media at learn with Adrian I love to see pictures of people trying out ideas and it really makes my day remember plenty of how kids learn it doesn’t matter what you play with it just matters how you as the adult interact with them have fun and laugh together when they’re having fun that they’re engaged in their learning and your time and attention is the best gift that you can give them they don’t always need a fancy toys that talk to them they just need you to teach them how to talk so take one thing that you learned from this video and try it out today I know you can do it yes you communicate to connect now help them remember which one but which one do you want remember I’m juggling a pig a barn and a horse…I don’t think I’ve ever said that sentence before. 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