5 Important Language Skills to Target When Playing Mr. Potato Head With Your Child

Mr. Potato Head is a classic children’s toy that does not get dated or go out of style.  It is also a great toy to work on increasing your child’s language abilities. Here are 5 ways you can use this toy when working with your child.

  1.  Vocabulary- Ask your child to point to all of the pieces of Mr. Potato (i.e. nose, eyes, ears).  Your child can also point to these body parts on himself or herself.  Then ask your child to label each part.
  2. Increasing sentence length- Stay in control of all the pieces.  Have your child request for each piece they want.  Help them to expand their sentences when requesting.  If your child is using single words (i.e. “ears”, “nose”), model a 2-word utterance (i.e. “want nose”, “want ear”).  If your child is working on short sentences, then model a longer phrase, such as “I want hat” or “I want the nose”.
  3. Increasing eye contact- When your child is requesting for each piece, remind him or her to look up at you.  You can hold each piece by your face so your child is prompted to look up.
  4. Following directions-  Have your child follow directions in order to complete Mr. Potato Head.  If your child is able to follow single directions such as “put on the eyes”, then try working on 2-step directions (i.e. “Put on the shoes, then the hat”). You can also practice this when cleaning up (i.e. “Take off the mouth”).
  5. Present progressive  (verb + -ing) – Make Mr. Potato do different actions.  Mr. Potato can jumpsleep, walk, or even wave bye.  Have your child talk about what Mr. Potato is doing (i.e. “He is jumping” or “He is sleeping”).  Be creative!

To purchase a Mr. Potato Head click here.

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