Experienced speech pathologist Brenna Donovan explains why it is so important for children to have fun when they go to speech therapy.
As a speech pathologist, it is my job to figure out how a child best learns a new skill, whether it is how to say a certain sound or using new words to talk about their environment. The more fun they are having, the easier it will be to teach them.
Every child is different in what motivates them. Finding the right tools or games to motivate your child is key to the success of their speech therapy.
Children do their best work when they are having fun. Many studies have shown that engaging children in the learning process shows better results. Here are 5 reasons your child’s speech therapy lessons should be fun!
…they try harder
Children will work harder when they are having fun. Children are very determined to learn something when it involves a fun activity!
…they learn faster
Using motivating games or rewards can help children learn faster. I often use reward charts in therapy and children are very motivated to move quickly through the reward chart. The faster they learn their skill, the faster the reward comes!
…they retain the information or skill longer
Using learning tools that are engaging and entertaining allow for children to think critically about speech and language. Thinking critically about information helps the child make connections about their world. This helps them retain information longer.
…they pay attention for longer
Studies have shown that when a child is interested in a task, they can attend to a task for a much longer time period than if they were not interested. As a speech pathologist, I always try to make sure I am using fun and engaging materials for my clients so that I always have their attention. When they pay attention, they learn!
…they want to come back to speech therapy again and again
Learning a new speech and language skill takes practise and the guidance of a qualified speech pathologist to ensure your child is learning their new skill the right way. We want our kids to be happy to come back to learn and practise their new skills. You shouldn’t have to drag your child to speech therapy. Hopefully, they will be asking when they get to come back!
There are lots of tricks for making speech therapy fun! Movement activities can make therapy enjoyable. In a speech therapy session, you might find your child doing star jumps, playing hide and seek or playing tug-of-war. Favourite board games are another way that speech therapy can be fun. Some of my favourites are Guess Who?, Snakes and Ladders and Bingo! Bubbles, play dough and legos are also some kids favourites that I often use for therapy!
So if your child needs speech therapy and you’re afraid they’ll think it’s boring, make sure you find a speech therapist who’s not just an expert in their field, but also a person who is creative and will take the time to get to know what your child enjoys.
It’s worth finding the right person… because that’s the way you’ll get the best (and fastest) results.
The speech pathology team at Kids First in Brookvale are innovative, fun-loving professionals who help children to improve their speech, language and literacy.
Find out more about what we do here, or call (02) 9938 5419 to chat with us about your child’s needs.