News

What if I don’t have the games at home that we use with our Speech Pathologist?

September 28, 2020
What if I don’t have the games at home that we use with our Speech Pathologist?

Speech Pathologist Bridgette Mulhern answers this question in our Ask A Speechie series.

Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists often bring new and exciting games into therapy each session, and of course continue to bring in clients’ personal favourites.   

At times it can be challenging for families to think about how they can continue to practice their therapy at home with their own resources which may feel old or less engaging. This is where the power of our imagination comes in to play! At home, speech pathology can be practised with just about anything, from the trusty laundry basket (as discussed by one of our senior Speech Pathologists, Kate Down, in our August issue this year) to Tupperware containers, cans of beans or a piece of string. Creativity is key! 

Using everyday items not only reduces the financial burden but helps to promote children’s imaginative skills and flexibility in play too. It also helps children build their problem-solving skills. 

Here is a list of a few great examples of how you can create resources that will promote speech, language and play skills: 

  • Musical instruments can be replaced by common household items such as: 
  • wooden spoons and pots and pans for the drums, 
  • dried rice in an empty bottle to replicate a shakin’ maraca  
  • or even an elastic band over an empty tissue box for the guitar 

  • A sandbox could be made putting dry cereal (if your child puts things in their mouth) or dry rice, pasta or beans (if not) into a large container. Dry rice ‘sandboxes’ are particularly popular in my therapy sessions for digging for treasure! 

  • A cardboard box could be used to create a plethora of things, including a pirate ship, a ramp for a toy car, or even a robot costume! Try to let your children take the lead and encourage them to think “outside the box”. 


Not only are these great skills to practice at home, they also help support children to be flexible thinkers and to use their imagination in the playground at school when engaging with friends. Children who engage in creative play develop their confidence, language and thinking skills, while building emotional understanding (Raising Children Network, 2019). 

If you have any questions about how you recreate toys from your sessions using everyday items at home be sure to check in with your Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist or Psychologist at your next session.   

References: 

Raising Children Network. (2019). Preschooler creative learning and development: what to expect. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/development/creative-development/preschooler-creative-development   

Irvine, S. (2019). Tips for building a child’s imagination. Retrieved from https://www.firstfiveyears.org.au/early-learning/tips-for-building-a-childs-imagination