Updated: Apr 3
If you haven’t yet pulled a balancing something on a spoon activity into your therapy room, it is definitely a must! Kids love this activity! And why not?
They get to move! We all know that children love to move... they run, they jump, they spin, they swing. It's almost impossible to stop them from moving! While it may seem like all fun and games (which it is to them), being active has tremendous benefits on not only physical, but mental well-being. All this wiggling-about actually helps kiddos calm down (eventually). Research shows that kids that move have improved cognitive skills, reduced behavior problems, and increased memory and attention. Good news for the speech therapists that work with them. Using physical activity in therapy actually allows for greater speech and language gains!
Since boys and girls are so motivated by physical activities, you can use this as a reinforcer for any speech and language targets. I will often ask for ten repetitions of a target, and then the child is allowed to gather one item on their spoon (eggs at Easter, bloodshot eyeballs at Halloween, etc.). Then, they have to carry it back (one-handed) without dropping it! If you have ten balls, eyes, or eggs, you get 100 repetitions of the target sound, word, phrase just like that!
I realized that when kids tackle this activity, they move slowly, often tense up, and sometimes forget to breathe. In a couple recent therapy sessions, I used this as a parallel to stuttering. It’s a really easy way to teach how tension feels in the neck, shoulders, torso, and arms. It’s a great way to reinforce lessons you’ve taught on how to relieve tension and breathe for fluent speech, and to reinforce the idea that slow movement is like slow speaking... both lead to success! The rules were to roll a die. The number rolled was the number of times they had to rotate around my desk. Once they chose a spoon, they then had to find the coordinating (color) egg hide-n-seek style, pick it up with only the spoon, and begin their journey. All the while the kids were having fun challenging themselves!
I’m using easter-themed spoons & eggs in this video, but I also have a number of theme-based spoon balancing activities (we SLPs love a theme!). You can find this same activity for many themes at Amazon on the cheap. I’ll leave a link. You can also just grab any old spoon & ball to recreate this on the fly!
There are so many reasons to love this simple, fun activity! All of my kiddos love it and it’s a no-brainer for planning! Have an egg-cellent time!
Check out my Easter-based activities at my TPT store, Speak Up with Miss Jill