The game above is the Fisher Price Ball Popper…I of course purchased at www.amazon.com with the one click shopping. This game is really fun and motivating for infants, toddlers and for preschoolers (ages 9 months and up). After all of the balls are in the game…your little one has to push down on the yellow mushroom head…the balls pop out of the toy while playing music. Definitely a fun game for the little ones…and great for some gross motor movement as the balls literally pop all over the place….so your little one now needs to get the balls and place them back in the toy.
For speech and language skills….I like to shut the toy off….and see then if the little one I am working with makes a verbal or non-verbal request to turn the toy back on. It is at this point that I may work on words such as: more, go, me…being sure to give the tactile stimulation…as needed for the M sound and the G sound (you can find more information about these cues under my articulation page).
I also vary the game at times…and hold all of the balls…and have the child request the balls before she can put them inside of the toy. Some of the requests are non-verbal…meaning she just taps on her shirt with her hand to say: Give me. Using non-verbal language is important for the little ones who do not have verbal language just yet. So let’s teach her that she can make some requests…non-verbally…this decreases frustration on both ends.
For the little ones who are beginning to imitate sounds and words…and are starting to understand that you want them to use verbal language…you may need to prompt her to say the word: ME in order to obtain the ball. So be sure to use the tactile cues to give additional input for the M sound (if that is the sound you are targeting). Be a good language role model….letting her hear the correct production of sounds and words.
Remember….the goal is for your little one to understand that verbally or non-verbally we want her to use language in order to make her needs known. Once she begins to understand that words WORK to get her what she wants…this will help her to add more words to her vocabulary.
For children who may need more motivation to sit and attend during therapy…I find this toy to be perfect.
Also…..great for following directions such as: give me and put in. Color identification…counting of the balls to begin to understand quantity concepts as your child gets older and is ready for this concept. Great for taking turns…first and second.
Overall this is just a fun game….new to me….I just added to my therapy bag!