#302 Early Art Activities
In this week’s show, we’re finishing up our series on selecting therapy activities for toddlers and preschoolers with our final category of :
Early Art Activities for Toddlers in Speech Therapy
These activities tie language with preschool readiness skills, but I use early art activities ONLY after a child masters other kinds of play. I introduce this kind of play sparingly and look for signs that tell me a child is developmentally ready. During the show we discussed those kinds of indicators and I shared my best tried and true ideas for what I’ve seen work with a wide variety of children. We also talked about the stages of pre-writing skills we see in toddlers and tied those in to our activity choices and what’s going on with a child developmentally when we don’t see these skills emerging. Listen here:
Early Art Activity WINNERS for Toddlers and Preschoolers
During the show I shared ideas for how I introduce play-doh, popular play-doh activities for toddlers, and what to do if a child isn’t that interested. Introduce tools and sets to make it more fun! Begin with things you already have on hand in the kitchen- cookie cutters, rolling pins, plastic knives. If you’d like commercial sets, here are my favorites:
Play-doh Fun Tub
You’ll find lots of options for playing with cookie cutters, tools and play-doh in one set.
Already have play-doh, but need some cool accessories? Try this set!
Play-doh Fun Factory
Classic option, all-in-one set!
Barber Shop Play-Doh
This is one of my all-time favorite toys for kids who like to pretend and who have pretty good fine motor control. I’ve also “tricked” kids who initially refused play-doh with this set because it’s so fun!
Toy & Activity Ideas for Pre-Writing
My favorite idea for this time of year is to draw a Christmas tree (or find a template to print from the internet), and let the child add dots for ornaments/balls to decorate the tree. Since this is a new experience for young kids, they will want to experiment, so you may not even need to add a “picture” or structured activity to complete. Tape a piece of paper to the table or floor and let a kid go at it! For speech-language practice, pick a language use, such as requesting, or a target word like “ball” and focus on mass practice with this activity. (For discussion of why this works, listen to the show! (Provide close supervision for this activity! Don’t let kids mouth the ink!! Sadly, these markers are not washable so be careful with clothes and furniture!)
I love glue sticks because I can get great verbal routines going! Listen to the show for ideas!
Practice fine motor skills for pre-writing with these sets. The cute pieces provide lots of opportunities for language and pretending!
If kids aren’t interested in drawing or copying shapes on paper, a magna doodle may do the trick! Lots of families have this toy already and it’s a good one!
I’ve painted a chalkboard wall in my office so I can use sidewalk chalk anytime! It’s a winner – kids love it!
I paint at a table on paper I’ve taped to prevent moving (and mess!) or in my office, with an easel for my friends who are ready. You can finger paint, but I like using brushes and other tools if we’re thinking about pre-writing. Get WASHABLE paint to save yourself lots of clean-up time (and heartache!) I love this easel because it’s multi-purpose for paint (there’s a clip at the top for paper), markers or crayons, chalk, and magnets.
Listen to the show for ideas. One of my favorite things to do is to take a book a child likes then make our own “book” or do a single activity depicted in the books. This time of year, I make a card like the one in this fantastic Maisy book.
Hope these ideas inspire you to include early art in your speech therapy sessions if you’re an SLP, or if you’re a mom, to try some of these ideas at home with your own late talker as you work on language!
Did you miss any of the previous shows? Here’s a recap:
Until next time –