Let’s face it: if you find the speech therapy session boring, then your student is probably bored as well. That means that the child is not performing at his/her best. So what is a dedicated speech therapist to do? Make it fun! You were a kid once and what you wanted was to have a good time. Why not do the same for that young child sitting in front of you?
There have been many studies that have shown that decreasing physical activity and play for school-age children is the cause of numerous problems as the children grow and develop. Couple that with the natural barriers that some children throw up during the speech therapy session and you have a recipe for misery!
So, why not kill two birds with one stone? Bring physical activity and movement into the speech therapy session. Sound like a radical approach? Perhaps it is, but if you are interested in results, it is undoubtedly worth a try. Need some ideas? Well here a few to begin with, and once you start, you are guaranteed to come up with even more!
Incorporate Physical Movement into the Speech Therapy
Even if you are too old to move, your student isn’t. Children love physical movement, especially once they begin school and are always hearing the big people tell them to “sit still”. Consider putting a standing desk in your office so that you can move around as you deliver the speech therapy. The mere fact that you aren’t sitting may make the child more at ease to move about as well.
You will see that the more that you can integrate fun movement into your speech therapy sessions, the child will work harder because he/she will be enjoying it more. Also, it has been said that if the kid’s body is in motion at the same time that the new skill is being learned, the new skill is more likely to be retained because more parts of the brain are being activated.
Holding yoga poses while working on speech and language skills can bring an element of fun to your speech therapy sessions. For example, if the child is working to learn a new sound, the child can practice while holding a yoga pose. Aside from being more fun, the child often sticks to the task longer while holding the yoga pose.
2. Take the Session Outside
Bring your speech therapy sessions to the great outdoors. Try lying in the grass and gazing up at the clouds moving across the sky as the child practices new sounds. Play hopscotch or just jump in place while working on a new skill. That smile on the child’s face will translate into more success.
3. Play Ball!
Why not incorporate some ball playing into the session? Get a basketball and shoot some hoops. Let the child practice a new skill or sound and reward the effort with shooting a basket. The association with the pleasure of playing in tandem with working at improvement will pay high dividends moving forward.
So stop being a “stick in the mud.” Incorporate physical movement into the session to help your student to get moving! Besides, guess who else might enjoy the change of venue?