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While Playing Together With Puppets, Action Figures and/or Dolls


  1. Label the characters you're playing with, ex. Lion, bear, booy, nurse, etc.
  2. Have your child create names for the puppets/toys. 
  3. Make animals and people walk. Tap, tap, tap . . . waddle waddle waddle.
  4. Pretend to feed the figures and dolls, making smacking sounds!
  5. Care for a baby doll, feeding, changing, cuddling, covering with a blanket and kissing night-night.
  6. Follow your child's lead as you play together creating a scenario.  Attempt to change the scenario by interjecting another action or person. 
  7. Describe actions the figures do.  Ex. "Sam's eating cake."
  8. Create a problem for the characters to overcome.  Ex. Uh–oh. There's an elephant knocking at the door. What should we do?
  9. Develop a story together.  You may wish to write it down or record it on a tape player and later transcribe it onto a computer.  Print out the story and have your child draw pictures.
  10. Match or find different colors on the figures.  Find matching colors in the immediate environment.
  11. Find different body parts on the figures (ex. eyes, nose, mouth, etc.). 
  12. Describe the uses for the body parts or reasons why the figures have the parts.  Match the parts to the child's own body parts.
  13. Count different body parts.
  14. Change the character's physical appearance – add a paper moustache.
  15. Describe similarities and differences between figures.
  16. Discuss why certain characters might be important in your town or city.  Ex. Discuss where the person works.  Discuss others who may work with the person (ex. a fire fighter may work closely with the police).
  17. Place the figure into a particular position and have your child imitate the posture.
  18. Ask your child to follow simple 2– and 3– step directions with the figures.  Ex.  "Make Sam jump, turn around 3 times, then sit down." (3–step command)
  19. Talk about people or animals you know that might be similar to the characters you play with.
  20. Place the characters into a hospital, dollhouse, restaurant, garage, airport, village, etc.  Create the dialogue for the appropriate location.

© Kate Ross, MS, CCC-SLP  (2011)

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