I taped tongue depressors to the back of a couple paper plates, blew up a balloon and quickly thought up several ways to play. I used this activity ALL DAY LONG with kids as young as 2 and as old as 13! Talk about multi-purpose fun!
I'm dying to share my ideas with you!
Let's start with my littlest ones. I've got several little guys working on producing bilabials and CVC words. I simply gave them a paddle and tossed the balloon gently to them after they said a word like "bop" or "pop" or "boom". We chased the balloon down, and did it again (and again and again!). After awhile, we ditched the paddle and went on to "kick" and "bump". Lots of laughter and giggles for sure.
Here's what I did with my preschoolers. Do you remember the Christmas gift activity that I made using sets of cards from LessonPix? I made a balloon version that looks like this:
I made a set of 12 balloons (click the link...it's a freebie!) with cute graphics from a cute freebie by Kelly Leatherman and cut them apart. I slid several Picture Card sheets that I made on LessonPix into a sheet protector and taped the balloons over the top. By the way, did you know that you can make custom picture sets in minutes on LessonPix? It's so easy! And then, you just put the ones you need for the day inside the page protector and they're all lined up, ready for a quick change between kids! Such a time saver!
Next, I hid a little picture of a balloon popping under one of the balloons. The child then tried to find the hidden balloon by looking under one balloon at a time, saying each word 3 times before looking under another one. When the hidden balloon was found, we both grabbed a paddle and moved to an open space. I set the timer for one minute, and then we bopped the balloon back and forth. We either said the target word under the hidden balloon for the entire time, or we counted how many times we hit the balloon back and forth before it hit the ground, and then had to say that number of targets the next round before bopping the balloon again. The kids wanted to play this ALL DAY! I cannot believe how many reps I got in this activity alone.
Now here's what I did with my older kids. I made these cards to use with decks of picture cards that I already have.
Here's how to play:
1. Print 2 copies of each page. Cut and laminate cards.
2. Mix the Action Cards with the Number Cards and place them face down in a pile.
3. Choose a set of target cards; Place them face down in a pile next to the Action and Number Cards pile.
4. Players take turns turning over a card from each pile. If the card is a Number Card, the player says the target word/phrase/sentence that number of times.
5. If the card is an Action Card, the player must bop the balloon with a partner using the body part indicated by the arrow while saying the target for one minute. To make it even MORE challenging, the players must bop the balloon using a paddle and the selected body part!
6. Play continues as long as you’d like :-)
Isn't that fun? I'm using it for articulation targets, language targets/concepts and resting posture activities. Who knew you could get so much mileage out of a balloon???
You can download this super fun game here. Be sure to leave feedback!