Have you heard of Smart Felt Toys or My Little Farm? My Little Farm is an interactive felt playset from Smart Felt Toys that I was fortunate enough to try out. Smart Felt Toys provided me with a My Little Farm set to review; however, the opinions in this post are all mine.
I have to admit that I love the storage for this playset! It comes in a thin box with a handle and the entire pop up felt farm folds up to neatly put away! Why do I mention this? Well, storage of materials is something I always consider as I hate when I go to pull something out and I am missing parts. Also if the packaging is big and bulky it may be difficult to move around if you are a Speech-Language Pathologist that works at multiple sites.
This playset is also created by a Speech-Language Pathologist, Yvonne Johansen, who has worked with kids in schools, clinics, in their homes, and in Head Start Programs. Therefore, this product is already aligned with so many goals that we target with our littler clients, comes with a guide providing suggestions on ways that the playset can be used, and has a short story about the farm. I especially appreciated the short story. The short story is written so that a child is able to follow along with the story while engaging in following spatial directions by placing the felt pieces in the appropriate locations.
The Little Farm playset includes 32 soft stick felt pieces and a pop up four-panel barn that is reversible. The outside of the barn resembles a typical red barn; however, the reverse side of the barn includes two panels with outlines for the felt pieces and two panels to allow for imaginative play. I appreciate the duality of this product since it allows kids to target a variety of goals.
WHAT SPEECH-LANGUAGE GOALS CAN BE TARGETED?
- Receptive Identification by name and/or Semantic Features
- Vocal Play (Farm animal sounds)
- Expressive Vocabulary Building and Labeling
- Expressive Description Building Skills
- Sentence Expansion and Grammar
- Asking and Answering Wh-Questions
- Narrative Building Skills
- Reduction in Phonological Processing Errors (target velars, final consonant deletion, stops, consonant clusters, etc..)
- Build Social Skills (requesting, turn-taking)
WHY DO I LOVE THIS PRODUCT?
As a Speech-Language Pathologist that has been in the field for a while, I appreciate that it is so easy to take it from one place to another and that I can use it to target so many goals for receptive language, expressive language, pragmatic language, and phonology! I also appreciate that the creator of this product provided a guide and a story. I think that extra touch is so helpful for a new Speech-Language Pathologist in the field as well as parents that may want to purchase this product to help build speech and language skills through play with their children at home.
WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO I HAVE FOR IMPROVEMENT?
I had to think about this since there is so much GOOD happening with this product. The first suggestion is that it would be helpful in expanding on its use if it came with a few additional full panel backgrounds that can be laid over the originals. By having those additional background scenes, the imaginative play and narrative skill-building opportunities could be increased. It would also be helpful if some of the felt pieces were duplicated but were in different sizes. By having these additional pieces, you could fit more felt pieces onto the panel scene, work on spatial concepts such as near and far, and target sizes such as big and little.
I really love this resource! My 9-year-old daughter also enjoyed playing with it. The suggested age for My Little Farm is 3+ years which makes it perfect for preschool; however, I can see some of my early elementary students benefiting greatly from this product and those like it. My Little Farm retails for $39.99 at SmartFelt Toys. They also currently have a My Little House and are planning to expand to include other products such as My Little Neighborhood, My Little Zoo, My Little Hospital, and more! I will definitely be looking into My Little House and the additional lines as they continue to grow!
How do you think you would use this product? Tell me in the comments below if you have a My Little Farm or a My Little House and how you use it for speech therapy.