A few months ago, in my post A Great Toy for Language Development, I listed a few concepts that could be taught using the classic toy, Mr. Potato Head, and detailed ways to use it for teaching children to make requests. Here are a few more ideas for ways to use Mr. Potato Head to enhance language development, either in the natural routine of everyday play or in speech and language therapy.
Once Mr. (or Mrs.) Potato Head is put together, use it to teach verbs. Mr. Potato Head can easily spin, flip, fall, stand, walk, and jump. To target these words receptively, you could give a command for the child to carry out, such as, “Make Mr. Potato Head jump.” If the goal is expressive use of verbs, the adult would manipulate Mr.Potato Head and ask the child, “What is Mr. Potato Head doing?”
Using extra pieces or other small toys, Mr. Potato head can also perform some of these actions in combination with a location concept. Some examples are:
- walking around the glasses
- standing next to the shoes
- jumping over the hat
- jumping into a box
- falling off of a chair
Have you thought of any other ways to use Mr. Potato Head for language development? Leave a comment here to tell us about it!