High practice articulation activity using kinetic sand

Do you feel pressure to always be buying the latest toys to keep therapy interesting for the children you work with? What if I told you there are so many things you can do with simple toys you probably already have in your cupboard?  I love to share my tips and tricks on keeping therapy activities engaging enough for kids to be motivated, but not so fun that they can’t focus on the high-trial practice I need them to do. 

 Hiding marbles in kinetic sand is a simple way to do this.  I love this activity for finding that sweet spot of high trials while keeping the child engaged, and children love the sensory feeling of the sand.  These kinds of activities can also be used, no matter what approach you are taking in your therapy – phonological approaches such as cycles, complexity, minimal pairs or even articulation therapy.    

If you have been following me for a while, you may know I love to use “set up” time to practice.  What I like to do is get the child to say two or three trials and then I gentle push a marble about halfway into the sand.  Once all the marbles are pushed in, the child gets to make sure all the marbles are completely covered.  Then we do a few more trials, and the child gets to have a chance to dig a marble out.  A way I like to keep turns moving is to use the end of a paint brush or pencil to dig into the sand and swirl around – can we see a marble? 

 Variations you could use include using a phrase or sentence that has meaningful targets related to your therapy (eg: if you are targeting /s/ you could model and practice “Can we see a marble?”); you can incorporate a sibling or parent by letting them have a turn or you could use mini objects instead of marbles.  

You can watch me use this here. 


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