What you did this weekend, the best movie you ever saw and the story of The Three Little Pigs. What do these three things have in common? They are all narratives. They are stories you might tell a friend, as a child to tell you or share with a child. Stories are an important part of speech and language. Children need to develop the ability to logically and accurately recall details and the timely of events in addition to meaningful descriptions of what occurred. Children working on articulation need to move from saying sounds at the syllable level to within a short sentence and eventually, in connected speech. Storytelling is an important area to target in speech therapy and there are some great new tools to do it. Using the iPad, some great storytelling apps help children develop and engage with their narrative while providing multisensory feedback. They are engaging, easy to save and share and return to later for editing or expanding.
Imagination is a key part to childhood. That’s why advertisements, like McDonalds, with kid’s playing pretend in boxes might make us smile. Maybe you can remember a time when you dressed up like a pirate, made an elaborate fort from pillows or created an elaborate tale of a princess in a castle. All of these are important parts of childhood because the involved: peer play, creativity, story telling and most of all, elaborate language. Imaginative play in speech therapy can be an integral part of fostering language, here’s how: