Have you ever used magnetic tiles at home with your kids? They are one of my absolute favorite toys for long-time use and now my boys love them too. They are great because they can easily be used for ages one and up and are super versatile. I want to share ten different ways that you can use them in speech therapy with young children to to work on speech and language goals and keep students engaged.
Magnetic Tiles in Speech Therapy
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If you don’t own any magnetic tiles in your home or therapy room, you are absolutely missing out! Now, I will warn you-they can be a bit pricey but totally worth it. These would be great to add on a Christmas or birthday list for your child or to ask for using a grant or wish list as a clinician for your therapy room.
Here are my 2 favorite basic sets from Amazon to start with. (You can absolutely mix and match):
Favorite Magnetic Tile Add-Ons to Try:
- These cute little stairs make building houses a lot more fun!
- Artic Animal Set: These animals are my boy’s favorite for sure. The little polar bear actually sits on his mama’s back!
- These cute hex bugs are fun, they wiggle like real bugs and you can make them trails to run through with magnetic tiles!
- Check out these awesome cranes that you can build with magnetic tiles!
- These add-in roads are a blast to pair with the cranes.
- Finally, grab these adorable magnetic cars with play people to use on the roads.
- PRO TIP: Grab a cookie sheet from Dollar Tree to use magnetic tiles on carpet-they stick easily and it makes it a lot easier for play!
10 Ways to Use Magnetic Tiles in Speech Therapy
Here are 10 ideas of different skills to work on while using magnetic tiles in speech therapy:
1. Social Cooperative Work
Magnetic tiles serve as an incredible tool to foster social interaction among students during speech therapy sessions. Encouraging back-and-forth communication becomes second nature as students collaborate to create designs or structures using the tiles.
It’s an opportunity to instigate conversations, plan out their designs together, assign roles and work cooperatively. This activity not only enhances their speech but also nurtures vital social skills, teaching them teamwork and effective communication.
Magnetic tiles are a goldmine for teaching prepositions in an interactive way. Through these hands-on magnetic tiles, students can grasp concepts like ‘on,’ ‘under,’ ‘beside,’ and ‘between’ by arranging tiles in various positions relative to each other. This helps to reinforce these abstract concepts, allowing students to physically manipulate the tiles, gaining a better understanding of spatial relationships while also having a lot of fun.
3. Sorting by Shape/Color
Utilizing magnetic tiles for sorting by shape or color provides an engaging way for students to categorize and differentiate between various attributes. By prompting them to group specific shapes or colors together, this activity not only enhances their speech as they describe their categorization but also sharpens their cognitive skills by identifying similarities and differences. After sorting and identifying the actual tiles you can also have your students build a few “boxes” with magnetic tiles and then use them as a sorting bin!
Incorporating targeted speech sounds into magnetic tile activities makes speech therapy sessions both fun and productive. For instance, selecting a target sound like ‘K’ and having students create structures that include words like ‘castle,’ ‘cage,’ ‘car,’ or ‘park’ helps them practice the articulation sound in a functional context. As they construct these structures, they repeatedly pronounce words with the target sound! It’s a win-win!
5. Irregular Verbs
Magnetic tiles also present an awesome opportunity to work on irregular verbs. Students can narrate stories or sequences using tiles, incorporating verbs like ‘built,’ ‘fell,’ or ‘hit.’
Building scenes or scenarios with the tiles and verbalizing the actions associated with irregular verbs allows for meaningful practice while still having lots of fun.
6. Executive Functioning Practice
Tasks involving magnetic tiles allow students to hone their executive functioning skills by planning and executing their designs. Setting parameters like time limits challenges their planning abilities, requiring them to strategize efficiently within the constraints provided.
This helps foster organization, time management and problem-solving skills while enhancing their speech during the planning and execution phases.
7. Regular Plurals
Engaging students in creating patterns or structures using various magnetic tile shapes like squares, triangles, or blocks facilitates practice with regular plurals. Encouraging them to discuss what they are building and the quantity of each shape used promotes speech development as they articulate their ideas and observations in a playful learning environment.
8. WH Questions
Magnetic tiles also serve as a catalyst for practicing WH questions such as ‘where,’ ‘who,’ and ‘when.’ Encouraging students to discuss the placement of tiles (‘Where does it go?’), the individuals involved (‘Who put it up?’), or predicting outcomes (‘When will it fall?’) prompts speech while enhancing their comprehension and expressive language skills as well.
9. The Pronoun “I”
Integrating the pronoun “I” into magnetic tile activities helps students practice using it within sentences. Asking students to name the shape and location for each tile they add, such as “I have a red tile for the top,” reinforces the usage of the pronoun within a context, aiding in their speech development while making learning enjoyable.
10. AAC Core Words
Magnetic tiles can also support the reinforcement of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) core words. By incorporating words like ‘more,’ ‘on,’ ‘that,’ ‘this,’ ‘help,’ ‘up,’ and ‘down’ during these activities, students get practical exposure to these core words in actual meaningful contexts.
NEED MORE AAC CORE WORD IDEAS? CHECK THESE OUT:
- AAC Classroom Carryover: 3 Practical Ideas
- What are CORE Words & How Do I Implement Them?
- Implementation of AAC in the Classroom
- FREE AAC Core Word Door Hangers
- Giant CORE Boards for AAC in the Classroom
MORE PLAY IDEAS FOR SPEECH THERAPY:
- Puzzles for Speech Therapy: 10 Ways to Play Wooden Dress-Up Puzzle
- Community Helpers and Pretend Play in Speech Therapy
- 10 Ways to Play with Dolls to Elicit Speech and Language
- 10 SLP Ways to Play with Cars
- Play-based Goldilocks and the Three Bears Speech Therapy
- Is There a Correlation Between Language Development & Levels of Play?
Will You Try Using Magnetic Tiles in Speech Therapy?
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