Playdough: Modelling Language

Children learn through listening and interacting with others. Modelling language during play creates a rich environment in which a child’s communication skills can build. We model through demonstrating ourselves the language we would like the child to develop, rather than correcting or instructing them to say certain words or sentences. Playdough is a simple, affordable and motivating activity that provides many opportunities to model a range of words and sentences. Here are some of our top tips for modelling language using playdough: 

Use a variety of core words 

Core words are words we can use across a variety of contexts and situations which makes them highly useful in supporting communication. These include words such as open, close, help, stop, want, mine, yours, more, like, see etc.  

Talk about what you’re doing 

Verbs help us to combine words into sentences. Talk about the actions both you and your child are doing such as rolling, squashing, mashing, pushing, pressing, cutting or tearing the playdough. We can also model prepositions such as on, off, in, and out.  

Talk about what you’re making 

There are many opportunities to model different sizes, shapes, quantities and colours and objects i.e. a big green snake. You can also talk about what the playdough feels like such as squishy, soft, dry or cold to further model describing words.  

Image from: https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/playdough-recipe/

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