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Friday, July 22, 2022

3 Ways I Use My Movement Dice in Speech Therapy

I LOVE a good Dollar Tree haul. I found these foam dry erase dice and immediately thought of the endless possibilities for my preschool and elementary students. I needed an activity that would engage all my students, and could be adapted to target several different goals. I also wanted a go-to activity that could be adapted and repeated throughout the year. In this post I am going to share with you 3 different ways I use my movement dice in speech therapy.

What I came up with, was the idea of creating movement dice. The first thing I needed to do was create the 6 exercises to attach to each side of the die. My favorite resource for picture symbols with a vast library of content is Smarty Symbols. Under the category of "exercises" and "actions" I found "squat, clap, marching (I renamed knee lifts), hop, jumping jacks," and "arm circles." Each dry erase spot measured 2-1/2 inches in diameter. I printed the circles on cardstock, laminated them and glued them to the die. 

One of our favorite ways to use the movement die is with phonemic awareness activities. I include phonemic awareness activities such as rhyming, segmenting, blending, and identifying syllables in all my thematic units. So, whether we are learning about pumpkins, snowmen, penguins, insects, or recycling, there are always opportunities to build in phonemic awareness skills. For example, if a student rolls "clapping" then we clap out syllables in target vocabulary (scarecrow, pumpkin, acorn). If the student rolls hopping, then we hop out rhyming words (snow, glow, go, blow). If a student rolls "knee lifts" then we lift our knees and blend onset-rime (b-ug, j-ump, gr-ass). 

Another fun way to use movement dice is for a modified version of Simon Says. Students take turns rolling a die and then tell the students exactly what to do with specific language. For example, if a student rolls jumping jacks, he could tell the other students to do 5 jumping jacks facing the door. If he rolls squats, then he could tell the students to do 3 squats with their arms out in front.  This is a great activity to target articulation, fluency, oral language, and social communication skills. Everyone's goals can be addressed in this one activity. You can tie this activity into thematic lessons by pretending to "squat down on a snowball" or do knee high movements like you're marching through the tall grass.

Lastly, we all just need a break sometimes. Brain Breaks are a great way to build in transition between activities as well as take a break, from new learning activities. When my students walk down to my speech room, they have often been sitting for a while and may need to move a little before they start a new activity with me. I have found that allowing children to choose their own brain break is the most effective sensory regulation strategy you can implement into your therapy.

If you're looking to add some movement into your therapy this coming school year, try making movement dice. Customize the images to meet your student's age and physical abilities. Smarty Symbols has a huge library of images to choose from. If you do not have a subscription yet, use promo code ERWIN10 for 10% off your purchase.

How do you incorporate movement into your sessions? Leave a comment below. 

Lisa, SLP

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