Next up in my ’10 ways to play’ series is the super fun wind up toy. I have a handy dandy box of wind up toys that are worth their weight in gold.
Wind up toys are some of my favorite toys for preschool. I just love them! I find them super useful for our youngest communicators because they are very entertaining but need an adult to activate (usually!)
1. Joint attention. Using wind up toys to target joint attention is where I start. The wind up toy stops working and you need that little one to look at you and the toy to get it going again. Joint attention is a foundational skills and this is an easy way to target it!
2. Switch activated single words. I have several kiddos working at learning to activate a single switch. Wind up toys are the perfect motivator. This week I used the carrier phrase, ‘Ready, Set..’ and my little ones hit the big mack with a programmed, ‘Go’. Some of my little bits sat for five minutes! They loved it!
3. Positional Concepts: We let our wind up toys go in a variety of places and see where they end up. Describe the location using a positional concept. Over, Under, Behind, Next to, etc.
4. Articulation. I love this idea from Speech Time Fun for wind up toy articulation. I used the top of a copy paper box. I put two phono worksheets in the bottom. The client drops her wind up toy into the box and says the words the bunny runs over. On the card it ends up on we practice three sentences! So simple and so fun!
5. Verb + ING. I swear every kid on my caseload has these goals. Grab two different toys and compare what they are doing. Jumping bunnies and running bugs can chase the rolling cars!
6. Noun +Verb. The other goal EVERY kid I am seeing has is using two word utterances. Everybody is naming nouns but we’re working on combining nouns and verbs.
7. Apraxia Simple Syllables. These toys are perfect for ‘CV’ practice. Put the toy on the floor and practice, ‘go go go go go’. Put him on the edge of a table and practice ‘woah woah woah woah!’. Face him toward your student and practice ‘me me me me’ and then turn it towards yourself and practice ‘you you you you’. Lots of practice on simple structures.
8. Multisyllabic words. I happen to have a lot of multisyllablic wind up toys. I make the kiddos say the word for each crank of the toy. So if we wind if 5 times we might say ‘caterpillar’ five times before letting the caterpillar go!
9. Early signs. Get those clients signing, HELP, STOP, GO, MORE, PLEASE.
10. Sabotage for Requests. Sometimes setting up sabotage is a great way to get increased language. Start with your wind up toys in a tight container so that they need to be opened. Then if your wind up toys are like mine they will be finicky half the time and your little one will need extra help. Create as many opportunities for your student to ask for help as you can!
Those are 10 ways I use wind up toys. Do you use them? How? Leave me a comment!
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