Dramatic Play to Encourage Language

I am working with my toddler on developing speech. After speaking with other moms and my toddlers doctor I decided to switch up how we play in the afternoons, to see if it would improve her speech.

One of the activities we do in the afternoon is dramatic play. My toddler really enjoys pretending, so I decided we would communicate more during this time and I would introduce other activities related to the dramatic play theme for that day.

We chose a day at the grocery store.

Dramatic Play to Encourage Language
Reading and discussing picture books related to Grocery Play
Dramatic Play to Encourage Language
Looking at pictures in a cookbook

I like to start out by reading books that are related to our play time activities. In this case because we were playing grocery store we read a picture book about food and we looked and talked about the pictures in a cookbook. Other good reading activities would be coupons flyers, a food magazine, or a menu with pictures of food.

Then we pretended to go shopping at the grocery store. I used boxes from foods that she enjoyed or foods that she recognized. we talked about the food that she was buying and she pretended she was a cashier and played on the cash register.

Dramatic Play to Encourage Language
Pretend play with shopping cart and grocery.
Dramatic Play to Encourage Language
Grocery Day Pretend Play with Cash Register and Groceries.

Finally she was able to cook her food on her play stove. I asked her about the items of food she was cooking, we talked about the food color, we talked about the taste of the food, and we used words like hot, cold, smooth, bumpy, big, and small.

Dramatic Play to Encourage Language
Dramatic Play for Grocery Day. Pretend play cooking.

We ended our dramatic play time by pretending to have lunch with all the foods she bought from the store or cooked on the stove. I let her set the table making sure to point and name all of the dishes she chose to play with.

Dramatic Play to Encourage Language
Setting the table using the food from our dramatic play – grocery day.

We had a fun afternoon.

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