Mr. Potato head is a versatile toy that can be used to target many speech and language skills.
The following are concepts that can be targeted while playing with your child:
- Identifying body parts: Ask your child to find Mr. Potato Head’s eyes or his nose. If they have trouble doing this you can narrow down their options by giving them a choice of two. You can then ask them to find their own eyes, nose, etc.
- Requesting more: Before handing your child another piece, have them request “more” at their current level (i.e. eye contact, pointing, signing, or verbally.)
- Following directions: Practice following directions by asking your child to hand you Mr. Potato’s hat, hands, etc. Make sure that they know which part you are referring to so that they do not have increased difficulty following the direction. You can also have them perform an action before receiving a new piece. For example, ask your child to clap their hands and reward them by giving them a new piece.
- Teaching Action words: Teach action words through Mr. Potato Head such as running, jumping, sleeping, eating, waving, etc. You can model and label the action for your child and then have them practice.
- Pretend play: Perform routines with Mr. Potato Head such as eating breakfast, taking a bath, or getting ready for bed.
- Early location concepts: You can hide pieces around the room and ask your child to find the piece on the table, in the shoe, or under the chair. If they are not at this level yet you can model for them (i.e. “look! His nose is on the chair”.)
Katie Dabkowski M.S., CF-SLP