As a school-based SLP, I often turn to puzzles when working with the preschool population. Puzzles offer many opportunities for the child to request, label, and take turns. When using puzzles for speech therapy, I often keep a hold of all the pieces. I have the child request for their desired piece or provide the child with two options to choose from (either verbally or by pointing). You can also practice turn-taking skills while completing the puzzle. Go back and forth with the child taking turns putting in pieces of the puzzle. With so many puzzles to choose from, I hope this list of the 5 best puzzles for speech therapy help you to narrow down your choices.
1. Hide and Seek Farm Puzzle
A fantastic hide and seek puzzle that offers many opportunities to request and label. Have your child request to open the doors and then pull out the animals. Talk about what sounds the animals make. Then have your child request to put each animal back in their spot.
2. SHAPE PUZZLE
An excellent puzzle to work on requesting as well as colors and shapes.
3. MAGNETIC FISHING PUZZLE
This unique puzzle will be a lot of fun for your child! Each fish contains a small magnet that allows it to be caught by the fishing pole. This is a great puzzle for expanding utterances (Ex. “I caught a fish.” “I caught a blue fish”). You can also practice following directions with your child (Ex. Catch the octopus. First catch the octopus, then catch the whale.)
4. DRESS UP PUZZLE
Another unique puzzle that allows your child to dress up the mama, papa, and baby bear. This puzzle is great for following directions (Ex. Put the red pants on the baby bear.). The puzzle can also be used to practice pronouns (Ex. What is SHE wearing? What is HE wearing?).
5. HIDE AND SEEK PUZZLE
This is one of my favorite puzzles to use for speech therapy. I even wrote an entire post on it (found here)! The puzzle offers many opportunities for your child to request to “open” the doors. It is also great for working on simple WH questions (Ex. What color is the car? Where does a bird fly?).
Comment below to let me know which puzzle is your favorite!