Playground Pragmatics

Joanne Hanson, MS, CCC-SLP


Reading facial expressions, staying on the subject, joining in, developing ideas, and taking turns are as important for communication as articulation and vocabulary. Children who have not mastered these "pragmatics of language" find the playground to be a sensory nightmare, a social challenge, and a psychologically bewildering experience. Pragmatic language delays also impact most academic skills. Build these skills for youngsters age three to twelve with the activities below.


Good games for improving pragmatic language are Kids on Stage, Pizza Topple, Show and Tell Game, and Guess Who, as well as old standbys like Red Rover, blocks, guessing games, and sports.

Children who learn good pragmatic language and practice it in safe, structured, and enjoyable activities at home or in therapy, are often able to generalize their new skills to other situations. School and playground then become the sources of excitement and pleasure they are meant to be.

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume 7, Number 1 - Fall, 2001]

All material in this web site is given for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for advice from your health care provider.

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Page last modified: February 23, 2009
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