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Unleashing Language Magic with Play-Doh and Self Talk


colorful stack of un-canned play doh lined up on a flat surface

Play-Doh, the squishy and vibrant medium of creativity, has captured the hearts of children and parents alike. As a pediatric speech and language pathologist, I'm here to let you in on a little secret: Play-Doh can be a powerful tool for language development! In this blog post, we'll explore the magic of self-talk and how it can encourage language growth in children. So, grab your aprons, roll up your sleeves, and let's dive into the world of Play-Doh and self-talk!

Self- Talk: The Superpower of Language Development:


As a speech and language pathologist, I often employ the strategy of self- talk to enhance language skills in children. Self-talk is simply the act of narrating our own actions and thoughts. When we pair self- talk with Play-Doh play, the results can be truly remarkable.

Here's why:

  1. Tying Words with Actions: Self-Talk is the Superpower of Language Development

  2. Connecting Words with Actions: Use short and concise language to describe your actions as you mold, shape, and squish the Play-Doh. For example, say "Rolling ball" or "Cutting star."

  3. Keep It Simple: Use clear and straightforward language during Play-Doh play. Stick to simple words and phrases like "Red ball," "Big snake," or "Squishy fun!"

  4. Embrace the Mess: Acknowledge the Play-Doh mess with playful comments such as "Oops, it's everywhere!" or "Messy hands!”

  5. Foster Language Understanding: By narrating your actions in simple sentences, you help children understand the relationship between language and their own activities.



little girl with pigtails playing with playdoh on a shaped mat with shape cutters

Language Development Made Simple:


Try to remember when playing with your child to do the following things:

  1. Keeping our language short and concise during Play-Doh play is key. By using simple words and phrases, we make it easier for children to understand and imitate the language they hear.

  2. As we narrate our Play-Doh adventures, focus on using clear and straightforward language. For instance, we might say, "Red ball," "Big snake," or "Squishy, squishy!" This simplicity helps children absorb new words and concepts effortlessly.


Play-Doh and self-talk make an incredible duo in promoting language development and creativity in children. As parents, we can tap into the power of self-talk by narrating our Play-Doh adventures with simple and concise language. By connecting words with actions, we provide a strong foundation for language understanding and expression. So, next time you're faced with the colorful Play-Doh challenge, remember to embrace the mess, dive into the world of self talk, and watch as your child's language skills bloom in the most delightful and squishy way possible.


And always remember: Little steps forward are the building blocks of progress!




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