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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!