An Arts and Crafts Activity to Improve Speech and Language

A Fun Arts and Crafts Activity to Encourage Speech and Language


Paper plates

Spray water bottle (fill bottle about a ¼ full)


Non-toxic Washable markers (put in a zip lock bag)

Cookie tray (to put under paper plate)


Present items one by one in an enthusiastic manner. Slowly name each item. Give yourself a paper plate (“Here’s my plate!”)– see what they do. They’ll probably want a plate too. Wait expectantly for them to say something and/or to indicate that they want something. Immediately reward and praise any verbal attempt. When you’re giving a plate, say what you’re doing (“Here’s your plate, Jenny.”) Repetitions paired with visual cues are very important.

Now, onto the markers. Depending on your child’s fine motor skills, he or she may or may not be able to open the zip lock bag. Give them the opportunity to try. Give them the bag unopened (May sound mean, but it’s not!). If they’re having difficulty, encourage them to say “help” or “open”.

Once they open the bag, take out two markers and give them a choice (“Do you want the green marker or the blue marker?”). Once again, wait expectantly, and repeat the words. Praise any verbal attempts. Once they have a marker, they can color the paper plate. The parent/therapist/teacher should also color. Talk about what you’re coloring using simple, yet grammatically correct speech (“I’m coloring the plate”. “I’m drawing a star”.) Continue this until the plate is very colorful.

Finally, comes the REALLY fun part! Have your child spray the plate with water and watch the colors run! Children find this part awesome. Use the same manner to elicit speech and language as noted above. Playfully withhold desired items, manipulate the environment, model simple yet grammatically correct speech, praise any attempts, but most importantly HAVE FUN!

Here are some words to target during this activity:

One Word Two Words Three Words
Spray Spray more Spray more here
Water More water More water please
Bottle Bottle please The bottle please
Marker Green marker, blue marker, etc. Green marker please, blue marker please
Look! Look here! Look here mom! Look here dad!
Wet It’s wet The plate’s wet

 Can you think of any other words to target? Please comment below!

Kimberly Scanlon, M.A. CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist, an author, and a mother. As the owner of Scanlon Speech Therapy, LLC, a unique boutique practice in Bergen County, Kimberly embraces individuality and treats the whole person. Her goal is to spread compassion, hope, and some speech, language and literacy tips one moment, one person at a time.  Her first book, My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development and her second book, Learning to Read is a Ball are available for purchase at online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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