Thursday, January 26, 2017

Therapy Tip: Fun with Magnets!

Welcome to Therapy Thursday! This is the day that I share a tip based upon my experience as a mother of a child with special needs and a pediatric speech-language pathologist.

Today's tip is:

Fun with Magnets

One of the things I strive for in my therapy practice is to do activities that parents can replicate at home if they desire, which is why today's tip was created.

All you need for today's tip is a cookie sheet and magnets. Now, you have a way to work on vocabulary or articulation. I use a cookie sheet because I am traveling from home to home. You can use any magnetized surface if you are doing this at your home or office.

Possible language targets:
-Naming: Simply have the child tell you what the magnets are. Sometimes, I will find magnet sets that are all food or vehicles and use these to teach words in a category. I usually hold all of the magnets and give the child one magnet at a time to allow them to focus on the one important word.

-Identification: Hold up 2 magnets and tell your child to get 1 specific one. They get to put that magnet on the cookie sheet.

-Phrases: Have the child say a phrase or sentence to obtain another magnet to place on the cookie sheet.

Possible articulation targets:
-Imitating sounds like isolation: Have the child repeat consonant sounds using letter magnets  For example: Give them the letter /s/ and model for them "ssss"

-Multi-syllable practice: Choose magnet pictures that have 2 or more syllables. The picture below shows examples of this: elephant, panda, monkey, rhino, turtle, pony, butterfly, octopus, apple.

-Specific sound work: If your child is working on a specific sound like /b/, look through your magnets to see if any of them contain the sound your child is working on. The picture below shows magnets for /b/: bug, bunny, bear, boat, ball, baby, bee, and bird.

Where to find magnets:
Letter magnets are found pretty much anywhere. I have purchased some magnets at Dollar Stores. Some of the magnets I use are from magnetized books or activity boards that have fallen apart. I kept the magnets and ditched the boards that were no longer in good shape.

I recently purchased a set of 60 object foam magnets from Super Duper.
This set has a magnet for every alphabet sound, which was a great addition to the ones that I already have. I have been happy with this set so far. But, you don't have to spend a bunch of money on magnets to do an activity like this.

One caution.....When doing this with small children, always supervise them. Do not allow them to chew or mouth the magnets. If a child does start mouthing them, I discontinue the activity.

Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.

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