My latest therapy passion is all things mini. Things are so much more fun in miniature. Yes, there is frequent knocking over of the little things by stubby little fingers but the engagement and play is the reward.
My first foray was with Peppa Pig’s mini worlds, purchased from my local supermarket. I used them with a client while working on bilabials. Peppa Pig was in the bath, after a muddy day, before hopping into bed. The opportunities for p b and m words was endless. The next day I used the same set to work on prepositions and later that day we worked on pronouns and svo structures. One toy so many uses.
Then I discovered these great ‘gift in a tin’ toys from Apples to Pears. They have a lot of different tins, some for craft – making and doing and some with wooden pieces to create little mini worlds. I purchased the zoo and the farm and have had great fun playing. Initially I used them with a child who had articulation difficulties. We practiced one word per piece, built our scene and then had a little play, practicing our words in sentences. Later in the day I used the zoo while working on following instructions. I was able to incorporate heaps of concepts with our little play scene. These sets are incredibly cute with their wooden pieces and felt play base, but could be easily put together with some little plastic animals and some felt from Lincraft or you favourite craft store.
My final mini toys which I love for therapy are Party Animals – these might be a little hard to find but if you do they should be cheap. They were the girl craze before Shopkins (haven’t figured out what to do with these yet). Party Animals are little bears who get dressed up to go to a party. I have used these in sessions to target articulation. I name the bears with the articulation target in them. I also use the target to describe how they get dressed – pop your feet in, kick your feet down, legs in etc. Such fun and not just for the girls, but boys as well. The boogie bit at the ‘party’ is a great way to finish.
So, check out your resource rooms, keep your eyes open while out shopping and go miniature.