Using Craft Activities in Speech Therapy
Craft and art making is a form of expressive language. Children who have speech and language difficulties may find it easier to express themselves through creating things. Communication has a lot in common with arts and crafts. Both are forms of expression and offers people a way to think and express ideas they may not have considered before. Just like language, there are many kinds of art or craft activities you can incorporate into therapy. Craft activities in speech therapy can support many types of speech-language difficulties, especially receptive and expressive speech problems.
Learning through Play
Craft activities are another means of learning through play. Finding the child’s creative interests and create activities that enable creative communication. Depending on the desired achievement, crafts can address multiple skills with a single activity. At any point, a craft can focus on descriptive, receptive, expressive, recall, or sequencing skills allowing more objectives to be mastered.
A Naturalistic Approach to Therapy
Speech therapy can often become too structured and focused on goal setting. Practicing language skills through worksheets and drills may yield results, yet they don’t always include an element of fun. Keeping children engaged in therapy can mean thinking outside of the standard curriculum and creating a bit of fun that takes the pressure off reaching goals and milestones.
Art and craft activities can be added into therapy sessions, classroom time, and even at home. There are thousands of online resources for crafts that support speech-language therapy in an interactive way. When you decide to add art and craft activities into speech-language practice, remember three things:
- You don’t need to have artistic talent.
- The projects should be fun yet focused.
- Keep art and craft activities simple.
Crafts as Skill Builders
Incorporating crafts into therapy sessions offers a fun way or children to build their skills. Since the finished result of the craft is usually the goal, it’s a great opportunity to build and practice some of the language skills they may struggle with.
- Speech Sounds
- Pragmatics or Social language skills
Crafts also build self-esteem. A child who has just completed a painting or drawing is generally excited to show off their completed work. This time can be used to ask questions about the craft in a relaxed and fun environment.
Many SLPs find that including crafts into therapy sessions gives them an opportunity to learn more and connect with their clients on a fun and imaginative level. Make sure not to focus heavily on the result of the craft and balance learning with play so both you and your students have a gratifying experience.