What is the Nugget?
If you have children and are on social media you have likely seen the Nugget. According to their website the Nugget is defined as “the infinitely configurable play couch made up of four foam pieces: base, cushion, and two triangle pillows”. They are made locally here in North Carolina and supply cannot keep up with demand so there has become a cult following for the item. But the good news?! They move into a massive new warehouse this fall to give them the capability to offer even more Nuggets to those who want one (or multiple…yes it’s a thing!)
Once you get your hands on one it will live in your playroom or living room forever. Ours is used literally every day for at least an hour. B BEGS for it. So, if you are going to have this borderline piece of furniture you may as well figure out how to use it to promote your child’s development!
How to Practice Articulation
If your child is young, start with any of the beginning sounds as long as they CAN use them already. For example, B often substitutes /m/ for /b/ (instead of bake she’s say make). BUT she can say and does say the /b/ sound often still. So I might choose to look at the /b/ list and focus on those words only during play.
If your child is in Speech, practice the sound they are working on, or even has just mastered in the therapy room (look at their speech homework, ask your child, or even look at progress reports if you are unsure). If your child doesn’t have the sound at all yet- skip it. Practicing the incorrect version helps no one and only causes more frustration!
How to Practice Receptive (Understanding) Language
My two favorite ways for practicing following directions are to see how many creations you can make using the Nugget Sequencing Cards and playing Simon Says with the Nugget in an obstacle course design. For sequencing, I created cards that range from 2-piece designs all the way up to the 4-piece designs. It’s fun to challenge a child on how many they can make! Afterwards, see if they can use that first, next, then, last vocabulary to share HOW the followed the steps.
How to Practice Expressive Language
Hide items in and around the Nugget for your child to find. Better yet- have them bring items from one side of the Nugget to the other while naming to get and taking it to sort into a category on the other side!
Don’t waste that precious building time- use it for language development! Narrate or have them describe what you are building. Take turns making Nugget creations while one person is the architect (telling how the pieces should be arranged) and the other is the builder (following the directions of the talker).
How to Target Executive Function Skills
Between the ages of 3 years and 5 years research has shown there is a huge opportunity for executive function growth. So let’s target it while we are playing! Give them a “Nugget Challenge” but have them pause a moment before beginning and come up with a plan. During this you are the facilitator, not the partner.
When the child has completed the challenge, use the review sheet to show task completion, monitor time management, and reflect on emotional regulation. If they got frustrated, did they respond well or were there other regulation strategies that they can practice?
....And so much more!
- 2, 3, & 4-Step Visual Directions for the child to create all kinds of Nugget designs. (5 2-step, 5 3-step, 20 4-step)
- Plan & Review Sheets to promote Executive Function development during the crucial early years
- Nugget Challenges: Children are given an adjective or imaginative play scenario and asked to get designing! Build together to practice social skills or have them do alone and practice describing and retelling afterwards.
- Nugget Suggestions for Language:
- By developmental age and milestones
- By specific skill being targeted
- Words by Sound easily used with the Nugget
- “Add a Word” Strategy explained with list of verbs, prepositions, feelings, and adjectives that are easily used with the Nugget
Just want the suggestions based on general developmental milestones birth to 5 years? Get it FREE here: