Beanie Baby Comeback

About 15 years ago, I was using a heavy eye roll towards my mom for keeping a tub full of Beanie Babies. I, like most kids, got the TY animals for every holiday for years until I had a zoo in my bedroom.  I can remember rolling through McDonalds in a van full of my cousins to get the mini versions one summer. Even our parents had to get Kid’s Meals so that we got the extra Beanies!


5 SLP Uses for Beanies From

Fast forward 20 years, and I’m in love with the Beanies! I have raided the family stash and run to Goodwill for other characters I don’t have yet as I need them. The stuffed animals are only 20 cents at my local Goodwill.  Here are 5 ways I have used the Beanies.

5 SLP Uses for Beanies From


I use the beanies to play catch. Grab velcro mitts and the mini beanie babies. You can toss and catch them just the way you do with the velcro balls. You can target a TON of language goals (directions, requesting, sentences, pronouns, etc.) and I also use this as a reward at the end of drill days full of articulation.


5 SLP Uses for Beanies From


Beanies are perfect for storytelling. I use them for several books including the Kissing Hand, Polar Bear Polar Bear, and Rosie’s Walk.



I have used the Turtle and Cheetah as easy representations to help fluency clients. When they are working on other tasks I can hand them the turtle into their lap. It’s a nice reminder to slow down and use their strategies.

5 SLP Uses for Beanies From


Hide and Seek Beanie Babies is an easy game to play in your speech room. Have the student describe where they found the animals (under the book, on top of the computer, above Ms. Rayburn’s Keurig, etc.) to target position concepts.

5 SLP Uses for Beanies From

You can also play Zoo Keeper! Zoo Keepers have to sort the animals into the correct area of the zoo by category. Keep the pets, birds, wild animals, and farm animals separate! Then take care of all the animals and gather tons of language data while you play!

One bonus idea is a Reading Comprehension strategy is another easy way to use them! Several teaching websites show you bulletin boards that features different beanies (i.e.: Stretch the words: Snake, Chunking with the monkey, etc.). It’s a cool idea to help kids remember their reading strategies.


How else do you use the Beanie Babies in your closet? I can’t wait to hear!


Lovely comments

  1. 1

    Kathy S. says

    I am the crazy Mom who drove my Trooper ( no minvan for me) through Mickey D’s to get those teeny beanies. We also have a stickpile of them! This past year I used the sloth( Slowpoke) the toucan and Cheeks( who we call Rafiki, from Lion King) to decorate my 3D “I can “cans” bulletin board. Friends have also used them to teach vowel sounds ( bat=short a) or beginning consonant sounds. And yes, I did get a purple porpoise last week! ( a friend’s daughter is working at McD’s; had to bother her at the take-out window!). Kathy S.

  2. 3

    Judy Hale says

    I have a big tub of them, too, that belonged to my kids. Love that you included the flamingo in your post–I use flamingo ones to decorate my speech room! (just part of my flamingo collection). I used them to act out the ‘slippery fish’ song this summer, and I’ve used them with books like “Goodnight Gorilla”. Love some of your other uses, though, and will give them a try!

  3. 4

    Kristie Flowers says

    I have an aunt who collected them for me, and I am so glad she did! I use them with stories I read with my students. I also love when I can search through and find just the right one to go with an activity I have planned, like the mini frog that went with the frog toss game I found on TPT last year!

  4. 5

    Dawn Moriarty says

    I loved your post brought up some found memories of the days I was a Happy Meal Junky in order to get my Beanie Babies.

    I’muse mine for story telling and category activities


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