We are so excited to welcome Multilingual Speech Language Pathologist and Apraxia Specialist Naomi from @achievespeech to talk about Teaching Speech and Language through play!  


I’m a busy mom, with an even busier toddler. As a multilingual speech-language pathologist, clinical owner, clinician supervisor and toddler mom, I am always on the hunt to find the most functional open-ended toys and activities for my son Evan and my students. When I came across Waytoplay roads, I was astonished at the endless opportunities to build confidence in speech and language development.

What are Waytoplay roads and why does a speech-language pathologist recommend it?

Waytoplay roads are flexible roads which allow your child to play in endless variations in open-ended ways. There are no “rules” to follow aside from allowing your child to explore all the possibilities of creativity. You can use these roads both indoors and outdoors, as they are weatherproof! Use them in the bathtub, at the beach, in the living room, in the classroom and in therapy sessions. 

Open-ended play is imperative as it allows children the opportunity to use their talents and imaginations as well as communication with their play partners (peers, family members or therapists). 

Early intervention Speech and Language Development

Early intervention is the BEST prevention when it comes to speech-language delays. One question I get asked often is “What is the best YouTube show I can put on so my child learns to speak.” My answer is a hard and solid “None”. In order to provide language opportunities for your little one, you need to be present, you need to follow their lead of interest and you need to provide verbal/visual models of the language during interactive play. 

For instance, my 15-month-old son and I were working on the words “up, down, go” last week. We created a little city with our Waytoplay roads, created a “ramp” by lining up roads on top of a foam climber and used our own wooden trees and houses to complete the city.

I held up the car by my mouth (VERY important for visual modeling) and produced “up” and then took the car and drove it up the ramp with Evan. I did the same for “down”, first modeling the word with the car by my mouth and the driving it down the ramp. We practice a loud and “ready, set GO” as the car came crashing down into the city, causing giggles and laughter. 


 Building Language

Assembling and cleaning up toys are a wonderful way to work on building language, especially when you have variations of how a toy can be used. With our Waytoplay roads we worked on the following language words/phrases while assembling out roads:

  • I want more (requests)
  • Put it down (demands)
  • Put it on/off (prepositions)
  • On the right/left (locations)
  • One/two/three please (quantities)
  • Not that (negations)
  • Help (assistance)

The opportunities are endless…have fun and let your child lead the way!


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