Monday, April 4, 2016

April Showers! Why You Should Include Water Play in Speech and Language Therapy

Water Play in Speech Therapy

I am delighted to be linking up with the Frenzied SLPs for an April Showers post because I LOVE using water in my therapy.  Why should you include water activities in speech and language therapy? Glad you asked!

April Showers! Water Play in Speech and Language Therapy by Speech Sprouts

Water play and preschoolers are a natural combination.

What preschooler can pass a puddle, or keep their hands out of a running faucet or bucket of water? I haven’t met a little guy yet who can resist, and we know children learn language best through play. 

So grab a bucket, add a few floating objects, a couple of cups for pouring water and I guarantee, you’ve got their attention! 
You’ll find all kinds of natural language opportunities and you can easily engineer articulation practice into water play too.

Here’s what we did last week in my preschool speech therapy program. 

April Showers! Water Play in Speech and Language Therapy by Speech Sprouts

Last week's focus was final “sh’, so of course the topic was fish.

What goes with fish?  A bucket of water of course.

After reading some of my favorite fish stories, like Rainbow Fish and A Fish Out of Water, we discussed fish. Where do they live, how do they move, how many kinds can you think of?

We work on lots of wh questions during story-book reading, 

but also include describing, categories, prepositions, basic concepts and sentence formulation too. 

How? Just start off with an “I wonder” statement. “I wonder where fish live?” Hmmm, this is a goldfish. I wonder what other kinds there are? I wonder if all fish are small like this one.” Children love to have a conversation with you, and you will encourage more than the usual one-word answer that a direct what? or who? or where? question will generate. You are discovering things together!

April Showers! Water Play in Speech and Language Therapy by Speech Sprouts

 Several of my smart little guys even knew that sharks were fish! 

 Time to break out the bucket and wash a fish. 

Not having any cute goldfish at my disposal, we used the sharks. Add a washcloth, sponge and a toothbrush, and those sharks were in for a scrubbing! (Articulation targets included wash, fish, and toothbrush)

Lots of great language happened while we were elbow deep in suds and water!

We talked about verbs and synonyms: wash, clean, scrub, brush, rinse. There were plenty of descriptive words to discuss too: wet, dry, soapy, bubbly, shiny. So much fun!

Ready to "dive in" and bring in some water play?

I would love to hear about your favorite activities that make a splash!

Check out more great water activities here and link up your water play posts! Thanks for stopping  by.


  1. Sounds like you are having lots of fun! Hands on activities for preschoolers is so important for learning!

  2. Makes me want to grab a few preschoolers! So fun! Love the suggestion to start with "I wonder..."!

  3. I miss PK!!! "Wonder"-ful ideas, truly!

  4. I love this book. What a fun way to incorporate water play. It's on my to-do list!

  5. I always love your prek therapy ideas, Lisette!! Such fun ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Aw, thanks Kari! Got to love Pre-K- they are so much fun!

  6. That's it. I'm putting away the sand "box" this week and bringing in the soap and water! (If I could figure out a way to get them to streak-free clean the windows, that would have been my first choice ;) Kim

  7. I love your hands-on ideas! Very fun and functional!
    All Y’all Need