Using pictures to support Speech & Language Development

Using pictures to support Speech and Language Development


Stuck inside on a rainy day? Take out a blank page and some crayons and have some fun drawing! This simple activity can target lots of skills. Read more below! 


1. Use drawing activities to build on your child’s listening and attention skills. Attention and listening are some of the prerequisite skills required for speech and language development. Children need to be focused and attending to a task in order to learn. My experience from speech and language sessions is that most kids love drawing and will sit and attend while you draw! They love the anticipation of what you’re going to draw next so this is a great way of developing their listening and attention skills.


2. Offer your child a choice of colours e.g. ‘What colour will we use for the flower, red or yellow?’ By giving your child a choice, you are giving them a sense of independence and the opportunity for them to point/label what they want.


3. Talk about what you see in the picture and encourage word or phrase production depending on your child’s level:

  • Nouns: boy, girl, grass, flower, trees, sky, sun, swing
  • Verbs: kick, swing, run, grow, fly
  • Adjectives: long, short, hot ,cold, pretty & colours
  • Phrases & Sentences:
    • The boy is kicking the ball
    • The girl is swinging
    • The birds are flying in the sky
    • It is raining
    • I see the sky
    • The boy has an umbrella
    • The boy has short hair
    • The girl has long hair
    • I see a pretty flower
    • The flower is pink and blue
    • The sun is in the sky


4. Use pictures to practise answering ‘wh’ questions;

  • Who questions
    • Who is this?
  • What questions
    • What’s this?
    • What is happening in the picture?
  • Where questions
    • Where is the girl?
  • When questions
    • When do we go to park, during the day or at night?


5. Build on your child’s inferencing and reasoning skills by asking ‘why’ questions;

  • Why does the boy have an umbrella?
  • Why is the girl happy?


6. Use the picture to help develop your child’s understanding of language e.g. ‘Show me the umbrella’, ‘Show me someone with long hair’.


7. Use the picture to help your child follow directions;

  • Colour the flower pink
  • Colour the sun yellow
  • Put long hair on the girl
  • Colour the grass green and the girl’s dress blue


8. Build on your child’s ability to predict e.g. ‘What do you think will happen next?’, ‘What else do we need in the picture?’


9. Use the picture to practise re-telling the story. Let your child know that you will tell the story first and then it will be their turn. Prompt your child as necessary.




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