I love legos, you love legos, and guess what? Pediatric clients LOVE legos. So why not make legos your tool for building better grammar and better sentences? Here’s an easy way to effectively bring a favorite activity into your next therapy session for kiddos working on sentence structure.
Getting Ready (subject + verb + adjective + object sentence): Before you begin your session, choose 4 colors to function as your “parts of speech” categories. You will need at least one basic-size duplo lego (these are the big legos like the yellow one below, not the itty bitty ones) in each color with a velcro piece on the side + one of the large, flat ground/foundation pieces that generally serves at the base of any lego project (like the green one below):
Each color of your regular-size duplos will represent one of the parts of speech: (i.e. green = subject, black = verb, yellow = adjective, and red = object). You could certainly add more colors for additional categories if you want more complexity. Bring a selection of words on small cards (with a velcro piece on the back) that fit into each of these categories. You might have 5 for each part of speech when you first start out:
- Subjects: She, He, Johnny, Doggie, Mom
- Verbs: eats, drinks, makes, finds, wants
- Adjectives: hot, little, fuzzy, shiny, bubbly
- Objects: soup, juice, slippers, toys, cookies
GO: The game involves asking your kiddo to velcro the appropriate part-of-speech-card to its corresponding colored lego, and then to build a grammatically correct sentence with those legos. You can begin to add in articles, additional descriptors, and even punctuation as they improve in their sentence-building skills! The more complex the sentence, the more your client gets to build! Maybe you could even work up to a multi-sentence tower/castle/etc. as they improve and you get more creative!
If you’re not ready to work on sentences, use this idea with an easier linguistic level: put one letter on each duplo to build a word, or even use this technique within a minimal pairs activity! No matter what you end up targeting, your kiddo is sure to love the chance to “build” their skills with legos 🙂