Toca Hair Salon Goes Social

by Karen S Head, MS, CCC-SLP

So last week in group with three 4 year-olds who are very ego-centric, we started off working on “bumping words” and ended up working on perspective-taking. Ah… perspective-taking…such a critical social skill and yet SO difficult to teach, especially to our youngest Social Adventurers.

But as I was saying, we started off our group by focusing on the concept of “bumping words” using a fantastic app, Toca Hair Salon. One of the group leaders, Meghan, told the kids that they could be the bosses and tell her what to do to the character receiving a hair treatment. As expected, the kids all started shouting ideas at the same time and Meghan tried to do all of the ideas at once with exaggerated looks of confusion and frustration. The drama caught the kid’s attention and the notion of “bumping words” was made a bit more clear.

So we were thrilled that this great little app was so helpful. Then we went to the gym and suggested that the kids might like to pretend to be different stations in a “Hair Salon.” These kids do not typically enjoy pretend/dramatic play (they are hiders and seekers), but they readily agreed and began taking turns being customers and then buzzers, blowers, colorers and growers of each other’s hair.
That’s when we realized that no matter what the “customer” asked for, the kids were doing their own ideas. In fact, one of the kids was quite clever, saying, “sorry, I’m out of orange” or “my blow dryer doesn’t blow hair up, only down.”

Then it hit us…this app provides a great activity for teaching perspective-taking. We explained that when you are the customer, you get what you want. When you are the hair stylist, you do what the customer says, not what you want. We went back to the iPad and practiced each of the roles and made a little bit of “head” way with this very tricky goal (pun intended )

Thank you Toca Boca

by Karen S Head, MS, CCC-SLP

If you found the ideas in this blog helpful, you will definitely appreciate the activity ideas in the Social Adventures app available on the Social Adventures - all4mychild 

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