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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Where do you buy your wind up toys?
Lots of places. At the holidays I like to get the ones in the dollar bins at Walmart or Target. You can order in bulk from oriental trader too.
Lisa Erwin says
Hey Jenna, I’m doing a PD in August for Early Childhood Teachers and SLPs. I’d like to reference this blog post. Credit and a link will be added to my ppt presentation. I wanted to get your ok on it first. Thanks.
Michaels usually has a stash at the front registers
Dollar Tree always has the seasonal wind up toys (chicks, bunnies, bugs, reindeer). I picked up a fluffy chick and a fuzzy bunny wind up toy last Spring.
Angie Cole says
Try here: http://www.tintoyarcade.com/windup-toys My sister got one for her daughter there
I bought mine at Mastermind. Right now it is buy one get one free. They are good quality and you can get a variety of different ones. I have a young student that I am trying to keep hearing aids on so when the toys come out the aids go in. We have worked up to 15 minutes now!! I love these toys!
Thanks for sharing. I love the Wind-Up Toy Articulation Box.
I love all these ideas and I love wind up toys! I’m going to use the apraxia idea with a kiddo next week!
I have used wind-ups for years with children of all ages. Many of the ones in my collection came free in kids’ meals, others from Dollar Tree and Walmart. I love wind-ups!
Such great ideas, I can’t thank you enough!
I love wind up toys! I use it with my preschool students and with all my students with Autism! I have individual pics of each toy and students using Pecs can request using pics. I use it to request and combine words to form sentences… Endless possibilities! 🙂
I love windups! We play a game with windups and a small container and the kids guess what’s inside based on a description. Officr playground.com has a wide variety available as well!
Ms. A says
I have always loved wind up toys, but now you have very cleverly taught me how to use them in therapy. I’ve already checked in Amazon and they even have a set of electrical appliances that I could use when that theme week comes up. Besides the ones you talked, they have some crawling babies. I don’t know why but my students always say “walk” or “cry!” That will soon change!!!
Thank you and keep up the great work!
Good ideas! You can also use windup toys to practice “I” as in, “I want car” or “I want more.” Thanks for the fun ideas.
I keep my broken wind up toys too so I can target words like “broken” and “stuck”. Good practice for my kids who don’t understand why sometimes “help” doesn’t work. Good life lesson.
Collette Tovee says
I love love love my windup toys! They are such good and natural communication temptations. There used to be a toy store where I live that used to have a whole huge collection of them but that has slowly dwindled down to almost nothing. Now I pick them up whenever I find them.
I use them for working on yes/no questions too. I used boardmaker pictures to encourage a yes/no response. If the child always uses ‘yes’ I offer the non preferred item before the wind up toy and over repeated trials the child will often learn to say ‘no’ to the non-preferred. If the child uses ‘no’ a lot offer the wind up first. Thanks for all the great ideas – can’t wait to try them!
Becky Ross says
I like to use them to predict WHICH of two will flip more, run faster, go farther. We describe our choice between two toys, we count who predicted and guessed what, we measure the results, and have even charted. We also get tools involved..”How can we measure how far the snails will crawl?” ( ruler, tape measure..) I also have the kids use specific procedural action words to tell me How to make the toy move. ( press it, slide it, twist it, spin it) I use sabotage if their description isn’t as clear as I think they can make it. ( ex. push the toy over if they tell me to push it, spin the whole toy instead of just the knob) I get future tense verbs by asking them to predict what a wind up toy will do. ( It will dance.) And I have teachers ask what the toy did ( they were conveniently out of the room and come back in and ask what they missed.) I have the toys race to a boy or girl figure to work on gender based pronouns. We also use them to practice self control. ( Only a teacher can touch it.) turn taking, requesting. ( ex. Can you ask Mrs. Jones to bring the cars back to the start for me?) Sometimes I model innapropriate ways to request by mumbling, or being rude, or grabbing the toy. The kids love etc toys so much, i can really stretch it out!
Mrs. E says
What great ideas! I like using a clear plastic jar with the lid on *really* tight to get an extra request for help. It’s also given me the perfect opportunity to use a printed language board to model “want”, “help”, “open”, “more”, “play”, etc. as we talk about the activity.