My easiest speech activity: faking ignorance.

I love to fake ignorance with my children and students in an effort to make them use their words. When they want something in particular and start crying, whining, using non-specific language, I just shrug and say “What? What do you want?” Sometimes I’ll add in “I don’t understand….”

I use this activity for helping kids be more descriptive. My students can earn “ice cream parties”. But even after they have earned the party, I make them work. I bring out the ingredients, tell them they are not allowed to touch or demonstrate, and then ask them to teach me how to make an ice cream sundae. They usually begin by saying “Put the ice cream in the bowl.” So I pick up the entire carton of ice cream and stick in the bowl. They laugh and say, “No, no, no!” And from there I make them think through all the steps and details, starting with taking the lid off of the ice cream container.

Faking ignorance comes naturally to me now, although it has taken me years of practice to bite my tongue and wait out the child.

But speaking for him/her is not helpful in building their speech and language skills. If the child is capable of expressing themselves in words, sign, and/or AAC then give them incentive and make them “use their words”!

Happy Talking!

CC is a Speech-Language Pathologist and mother of 2. You can find many more speech ideas at her personal blog: If Only I Had Super Powers

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