The Many Faces of Mr. Potato Head {Guest Post}

Today we have Miss Speechy, a fellow SLP, sharing with us the many way she uses Mr. Potato Head in therapy and shares some great online visuals she has used in her sessions! Enjoy! ~Katie
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Using Mr. Potato Head in Speech Therapy
Do you use this classic toy?  This fun toy can be used in so many ways!  I work with students that are nonverbal or with limited language over the summer.  I am frequently grabbing this toy off my shelf since it can be used to target so many goals!
  • Basic requesting: By holding all the pieces back from your child/student, you can get so much language!  You can model the words you want them to say: “gimme” “more” “I want ___”, or “help me.”
  • Following directions:  Whether it is one-step (“put on”) or multi-step (“clap hands then put eyes on”) students are naturally reinforced by then getting to play with this toy.
  • Spatial concepts: You can model during play activities with “on” and “off.”  You can also use pieces to teach “under,” “next to,” “over,” and “in.”  Again, students are naturally reinforced!
  •  Turn-taking: it can be between a group of students or between you and the student.  Students can take turns picking pieces and then take turns putting pieces on Mr. Potato Head.
  • Expanding vocabulary: you can use the clothing and body parts pieces to build vocabulary.  Students can label pieces before given them to play.
  • Building receptive vocabulary: students must take named piece when given all or just a select few.
  • Expanding utterance length: You can model the longer utterances and/or provide visual cues with sentence strips using Boardmaker or writing on paper/dry erase board.  Such utterances could include: “I want more ___,” “give me _____,” “Potato Head is ______,” or “Potato Head needs _____.”
  • Pretend play: once Mr. Potato Head has all his pieces, you can have him act out actions!  Model for your students him running, sleeping, crying, jumping, and more!
As you can tell, there are TONS you can do with this toy!!  You can take one toy and use with all your clients for the day!  Have nonverbal students?  There are tons of visuals/PECs symbols available on file sharing websites.  Here are some to view that I have found and used myself.
http://www.boardmakershare.com/Activity/1554044/mr-potato-head-game-communication
I have printed, laminated them, and put in a ziplock bag I keep in the box with the toy.
Miss Speechie is a licensed speech-language pathologist that works in an elementary school.  She is the author of the blog Speech Time Fun.  She enjoys sharing creative ideas to her fellow SLPs.  Visit her website to learn more about her and find tons of freebies and ideas!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.

About Katie

Katie is a licensed, credentialed and certified pediatric speech-language pathologist and mom to three (5, 3 and 9 months). Her passion about educating, inspiring and empowering parents of children with all abilities led her to start her blog Playing With Words 365 where she shares information about speech and language development, therapy ideas and tips, intervention strategies and a little about her family life too. Katie has been working in the field of speech pathology for 9 years and is certified in The Hanen Centre’s It Takes Two to Talk ® and Target Word ® programs and holds a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In addition to blogging and being a mommy, Katie works part time in her small private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Great ideas! I have been using Mr. Potato Head for years. Also good for verbal students. They can tell you or other students what pieces to use and where to put them. Thanks for you post!

  2. I love posts like this! I’m always looking for new ways to use a classic toy to teach language in a natural way.

  3. Really enjoyed your post. Love using toys like Mr. Potato Head to stimulate language skills. And having kids act out actions really gets their higher level thinking and inferential language going. I’ve always wondered what Mr. Potato Head was thinking(not actually). :)
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  1. […] about the importance of playing with Potato Head, visit Katie’s Speech Therapy blog at Playing With Words 365 and Dana’s Occupational Therapy blog at Embrace Your Chaos. Thanks for […]

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