Mar 8, 2021 Many speech therapists incorporate the use of toys into their speech therapy. One of their favorites is using Mr. Potato Head during their therapy sessions. Want to know why? It’s simple. Not only do kids love it, but it can be a great method to use for improving a child’s communication and social skills.
In this blog, you see how speech therapists use this classic toy for speech practice.
In This Article
These toys can be great in helping kids learn how to follow directions. For example, many SLPs put the Mr. Potato Head pieces in front of a child and ask them to put them together. (“Put the eyes first . . . now put a hat on his head.”).
These toys can also help a child learn to ask for stuff. For instance, they put the pieces together, you can hold on to a piece and wait for them to ask for it. You can also ask them to make the request. (“Do you want the nose? Can you say ‘nose,’ please?”)
It is totally possible to expand a child’s vocabulary while playing with this toy. SLPs will often motivate or prompt kids to describe the clothes or accessories Mr. Potato Head has on to build their vocabulary while also getting them to make full sentences. (“What is Mr. Potato Head wearing? What color are his shoes?”)
Also, this toy can be used to compare and contrast. If you have different Mr. Potato Head characters from the Mr. Potato Head families, you can encourage your children to find the similarities and differences between the potato heads (“Do they have the same ears? Who has the biggest eyes?”).
Prepositions and verbs
“What is Mr. Potato Head doing? He is hopping!!”
Playing with this toy can also be a creative tool for a toddler to learn about action words. Whether you choose to have Mr. Potato Head walk, sit, or eat, modeling these actions along with the toy not only keeps your child engaged, but it can also allow your kid to be more familiar with action verbs.
“Where is Mr. Potato Head? Is he under the table?”
Guess what? You can work on prepositions as well. “Is Mr. Potato Head sitting between the chairs? Is he under the table?” Doing so will allow them to have a better understanding of the meaning of the prepositions they use.
Using Mr. Potato Head to identify and learn about the different body parts can be both educational and entertaining. As you go over them, ask your toddler to point at Mr. Potato Head’s eyes, mouth, or nose. While doing so, you can also ask them to repeat the words you are going over (“Can you say ears? Show me your ears . . . .”)
If a child has difficulty with a specific sound or word, for instance, if they struggle with the R sound, you can ask silly questions in relation to these target sounds. (“Is Mr. Potato a rabbit? Is he a rooster? Can you say rabbit . . . ?”)
You can also create short stories that focus on a child’s target sounds. Let’s say your child struggles with the /C/ sound, this is a good opportunity to make up a short story containing a lot of C words. (“Once upon a time, Mr. Potato Head went on a farm and saw 3 cats and 2 chickens and one big cow . . .”)
Indeed, not only do toddlers enjoy playing with learning toys like Mr. Potato Head, but he can be great to use when it comes to a child’s speech and language development and communication skills. Next time you play with your little one using Mr. Potato Head, don’t be afraid to work on their articulation skills or vocabulary. Just remember to be creative and have fun!
Reach out when you have questions on how to use Speech Blubs to improve speech at home!