Puppets are excellent speech therapy tools for use in working with children. Why? For at least five reasons: 1) it is easier to establish contact with a child, 2) you can show how to properly arrange the speech organs, 3) children are more likely to mimic the puppet, 4) it encourages the child to act spontaneously and thereby 5) speech therapy exercises turn into fun.
1) It’s easier to establish contact with a child
A child’s first contact with a speech therapist may be difficult. The child may feel constrained by the presence of an unknown adult. It also may be difficult for him/her to understand what he/she is expected to do. For this reason it is a good idea to present a puppet as a speech therapy assistant at the beginning of the class and thus to reduce the child’s anxiety. With the help of a friendly and sympathetic puppet, in a relaxed atmosphere, you can explain to the child how the therapy will look like. As a result, it will be easier to establish a trusting relationship and encourage further therapy.
2) You can show how to properly arrange the speech organs
The hand puppet with a mouth and a tongue is ideally suited to demonstrate articulation exercises to the child, as well as to show how he/she should arrange her/his speech organs to pronounce a given sound. At the next stage, you can swap roles. The child may explain how to practice to the puppet. In this way the child – by engaging in the entertaining exercises – acquires the necessary knowledge which translates into better results in speech therapy.
3) Children are more likely to mimic the puppet
The child will identify himself/herself much more easily with a puppet, which is plush, colourful and cheerful, than with an adult. All the puppet does is pique the child’s interest. Therefore the puppet helps not only in the exercise of articulation and triggering sounds, but also at the stage of their fixation in syllables, words and sentences. Additionally, it effectively encourages the child to follow and repeat exercises.
4) The puppet encourages the child to act spontaneously
No other speech therapy tools encourage a child to act spontaneously and thus promote the development of vocabulary and improvement of his/her talking capabilities as effectively as puppets. When “speaking through the puppet” the child may feel more comfortable and at ease. Supporting such spontaneous activity is particularly important in working with children with delayed speech development and in speech disfluencies therapy.
5) Speech therapy exercises turn into fun
The involvement of the child in speech therapy exercises is the key to effective therapy. The hand puppet as a cheerful, colourful and sympathetic speech therapist assistant will help you achieve this effect. Let’s not limit your imagination!
Add Moowi speech therapy puppets to your early intervention bag at our store.