Smyths have some great 2 for €20 offers at the moment. I recently picked up a play tent and tunnel (toddler size), perfect for some outdoor or indoor play. As a Speech and Language Therapist, I’m always on the lookout for toys and activities that are both fun, educational and can incorporate lots of language skills. Here are a few ideas on how you can stimulate language development with the tent and tunnel pictured above:
Pop up Play Tunnel
Let your child have fun crawling in and out of the tunnel. As they do, you can model the concepts appropriate to their actions. If your child is having particular difficulty with a concept, spend some time focusing on that particular one.
- Verbs: kneeling/ crawling/ shuffling
- Prepositions: in the tunnel/ out of the tunnel / through the tunnel
- Concepts: fast/ slow. long/short, start/end, stop/go.
Some other ideas:
- Roll balls through the tunnel
- Drive cars through the tunnel
- Put some teddies in the tunnel, take a side each and shake until they reach they end
- Place a desired item at one end of the tunnel that they have to crawl through to get (good motivator!)
- Let your child stand up in the tunnel and play peekaboo.
Pop up Play Tent
Get as creative as you like with the play tent. Have a tea party in the tent or bring in some dolls/teddies etc. Just the change of scenery alone will motivate your child to play and engage with you.
Some other ideas:
- Play hide and seek!
- Build on imitation skills: knocking on the door/window
- Practise some social words: peekaboo/ hi mom/ bye dad
- Prepositions: behind the door/window, in the tent
- Concepts: open/close the door or window
- Listening to ‘Wh’ questions: Where is __________?
- Read some books together in the tent.
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