I have always found that shopping "on a dime" has helped me find some great deals on "Toys to Talk About". Now, this has become an interesting topic at home with my kids (who happen to also serve as my own personal guinea pigs). I have lots of fun engaging with them to see just how many words and phrases ONE toy can elicit, it's like a game to them and me!
The first toy I found this summer was on my "wish list" and was inspired by one of the SLPs that I supervised this year during her Clinical Fellowship Year, Katie Ruffin. I observed Katie as she provided therapy to students in middle school and high school. We spent a lot of time brainstorming and developing ideas for many students who had minimal verbal skills and we spent a lot of time focusing on developing "Core Vocabulary" (future post on this important topic is yet to come). It was during an observation of her working with a student that I came across her using the Hoberman Expanding Sphere Toy and I knew that I immediately needed to get my hands on one myself! (I have to admit, I didn't know the exact name of this toy until I researched it for this post, but now I can give credit where it is due!) Here are a few pictures of the toy that I am talking about:
|Expanded sphere and Retracted Sphere|
So, let's talk about how this toy became a "Toy to Talk About". Some of the words and phrases that I observed it used for in a speech therapy session included:
- BALL (of course)
- MY TURN
- YOUR TURN
- I THROW
- YOU THROW
- I CATCH
- YOU CATCH
- I WANT
Here are some photographs of how this ball was used in a therapy session that I observed:
|"The bird is IN" the ball."|
"Put the bird IN."
|"The bird is OUT of the ball."|
"Take the bird OUT."
Boy, wouldn't this be fun!?! The language opportunities would be endless! I envision using it to teach and learn positional words and many other vocabulary words, and this would be great fun for turn taking and building social communication skills too! Guess I'll have to add the "kid size" version to my wish list now!
I hope you find this toy will create "something to talk about" in your classroom! I'd love to hear how you might use this toy with your students! How many more words and phrases can you think of to teach to your students using this toy?
Looking forward to Saturday morning Yard Sales!