LEGOs in Speech Therapy
I LOVE using LEGOs in Speech Therapy. All too often I have fallen back on the same old – earn a pile of bricks for 5 minutes of building at the end of our session. To have more purpose in my therapy sessions, I wanted to compile all the goals I could be targeting with them! All kids love building with them – they are invaluable for building fine motor skills, creativity, problem solving, spatial awareness and more! Here are my best ideas for ways you can use them in your speech therapy sessions. This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.
I recently asked my friends on Instagram how they use LEGOs in therapy- I love getting new ideas from other SLPs. I wasn't surprised to read we are all using them to target certain goals, but I did get some great ideas for ways I hadn't considered!
Research supports using building bricks.
In one recent experiment, researchers instructed mothers to use relevant spatial language as they played with their 5-year-old children. The effort made a difference: Kids exposed to this spatial talk were more likely to use spatial language themselves (Boriello and Liben 2018). In another study, kids in the control group assigned to play with blocks scored higher on parent-reported tests of vocabulary, grammar, and verbal comprehension.
BASIC CONCEPTS: You can use LEGOs to work on color, size, shape.
PREPOSITIONS & POSITIONAL CONCEPTS: in, on, between, behind, in front of, below, near, far and so many more! This works especially well using a small shelf or box!
DESCRIBING: I love letting students use this CLASSIC SET with a few 100 or so basic pieces or this CLASSIC SET construct a simple object. They come with some quick set ideas that take only a few minutes to build. Students can build the object then use the EET method to describe the item they built! This works great on the minifigure grab bags I see at Target or the small sets in the check out aisle!
LISTENING COMPREHENSION & FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS: Most sets come with visual directions. I love using partners for this! One student verbally tells the directions and another constructs the item. Kids have to use SEQUENCING words also!
SYLLABLES: Pick out bricks to represent 1, 2, 3, and 4 syllables. Call out a word and have the student point to the correct number on the brick!
REQUESTING: Keep all the bricks needed to build an item. The student must verbally request using the attributes! This is great for EXPANDING UTTERANCES also!
COMPARE/CONTRAST: Grab any 2 bricks and target compound sentence structure! “This brick is red with 4 studs, but this brick is yellow and cone shaped.”
VOCABULARY: construct, slope, tile, inventory, assemble, base, connector, axel, accessory and more!
BARRIER GAMES: Put up a small barrier between you and the student or between 2 partner students and have one tell the other the instructions on what to build and see if it turns out correctly! Challenge them to pay close attention to the instructions given using sequencing terminology!
Task Card LEGO companion!
I created a fun resource to use with LEGOs in Speech! You can check it out in my TpT store here: BUILDING SPEECH AND LANGUAGE
This resource is designed to work with ANY building set – I have found them in the Target Dollar Spot, Dollar Tree, and I love the LEGO brand sets! Basic bricks are best to use and small individual sets that only take a few minutes. Activities included target syllables, attributes, positional words, vocabulary, following directions and so much more. They are EDITABLE! You can enter your own words or instructions!
Check it out HERE.
I also found this great book: Building Language Using LEGO Bricks on Amazon. It's helpful in understanding how to adapt your sessions using LEGOs – especially for kids on the Autism spectrum.
I hope this has given you a few ideas! Check out my other Hands-On Therapy ideas.
I'd love to hear how you use LEGOs! Comment below and share!