Using Pretend Play to Encourage Language

There are times when a parent asks me why we play during a speech therapy session. Play is crucial for a child to encourage social communication as well as facilitate language skills. Oftentimes children with language delays struggle with pretend play as well. Teaching play schemes can help a child learn turn-taking, which later transfers to conversational turn taking. Pretend play also encourages imagination, which can lead to problem solving and understanding others’ perspectives. Observing your child, getting into the play scheme and keeping it simple are just some of the ways that you can make play more meaningful with your child. Check out this great article by the Hanen Center that describes the stages of play and some great ideas for encouraging play and language with your child!

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