Today I’ve asked Liz from SpeechLadyLiz to share with you! She’s working in a clinic so social skills for the preschool crowd is part of her every day! I’ve been asked many times, “How do you work on pragmatics with preschoolers?” It’s hard because you can’t be as direct as you can be with older children. I work in a preschool and almost every single one of the children I work with has a pragmatic goal. Along with that pragmatic goal there are always play goals. So in my opinion, how do you work on pragmatics with preschoolers….play, play, play. I recently had a conversation with another SLP who works in the schools. She said the last thing I have time for is working on play. Everyone around us was totally bored with our conversation or otherwise I might have flipped the table over and said “What???” Play with preschoolers is probably the most important thing you can do. What can you get from play you might ask? Narration, conversational turn-taking, following directions, commenting, initiating, asking questions, awareness, inhibition, attention and the list goes on and on. I have the luxury of getting to see my kids for 4+ hours a week and 2 hours at a time, so I’m able to really bombard them with language related to our theme. I figured I’d give you all a rundown on how I work on play and pragmatics with a specific theme.
During circle time I like to go over the vocabulary and have each child repeat the vocabulary we are targeting that week. Preschoolers=visuals, so I have this visual(freebie!) below to talk about all the things we can do with the targeted toy. I also bring the toy into circle time and show them how to play with the toy properly.
Once we’ve practiced how to play with the toy in a more structured, facilitated environment, then we go to free play with the toy. I have seen a lot of carryover of the skills taught into these play sessions. The first time a child has a successful interaction with a peer and they see the importance of these interactions it’s amazing! During the free play time I like it to be more controlled by me (I’m an SLP after all) and I do that by having a focused activity.
Some additional activities that are fun to do are painting with baby bottles.
Find those directions here.
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