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December 6, 2012

One Idea from Pinterest Turned into Multi-purpose Fun!

A couple of weeks ago I pinned this cute  What's in the Stocking activity from Pinterest:

It comes from a blog called Little Wonders Days and is such a great idea that I just had to try it!

Of course, everything I make or plan depends on the needs of my current caseload, so this one started as an activity to do with my s-blend kids.

I found 22 different objects whose names started with an s-blend and put them in a Christmas stocking. The kids removed them one at a time and used the carrier phrase, "I found the _______ in my stocking," giving them the opportunity to say two s-blend words in one sentence.

The kids enjoyed this activity, and I could have just left it at that, but I had to change it up a little.  I put all 22 objects in a mayo jar and filled the jar with rice.  I made a list of everything in the jar and gave it to the child with the instructions to find each item on the list by rolling, turning and shaking the jar.  The one firm rule was that they could NOT remove the lid.

This has been quite the hit, I have to tell you!  EVERY kid on my caseload is completely enthralled with it, and it's use has expanded way beyond /s/ blend articulation!  Yesterday I used it for the following purposes:

        *  /r/ sound carryover:  "I'm looking for ....", "It's right there.", "Here is the ....."

        *  Categorization:  How many things are Christmas Things, Winter Things or Other?

        *  A distraction activity for a girl with tongue thrust to practice her resting posture for 5 minute

        *  Improving processing time/speed of task completion:  I have a couple of kids on the spectrum who take a lot of time to execute the steps necessary to complete a task.  We used a stopwatch and raced to see how many objects we could find in 3 minute segments.

        *  Following steps of a process:  I used the list worksheet and added category boxes.  We found an  item on the list, crossed it off, and then recorded it in the category box.  Sounds easy, right?  It wasn't for this particular second grader.  He needed to be reminded to complete the last step in almost half of the opportunities.

        *  My littles liked it too.  We worked on action words like shake, roll, and tip.  We just named things that we saw.

These are the worksheets that I made to go with the jar.  The first one is the list...

...and the second one is the list with the category boxes.  I'd share them with you, but your list will be different then mine.

These activities were actually very easy to put together.  Finding all the objects was the hardest part!  I hope you'll try it.  If  you do, please share with me how you used it.



  1. I've wanted to do things like this for a long time but can't find the little objects!! Where/how did you do it?

    1. I just searched through my toy boxes. I have several boxes of random toys...happy meal things, pieces of sets that are no longer together, stuff I've collected over the years. I buy little things when I see them at toy stores or Target. Many of them were things that belonged to my sons. You'll be surprised at what you find when you start looking! I also buy little bags of holiday themed erasers from Michaels for a couple dollars. Another trick is to make objects "fit" your theme. For example, I had some silver ribbon that I named "sparkly string" and an astronaut I called "spaceman" to hit those /s/blends. Let me know what you find :-)

  2. I've got a set like this I made, except I used the small-size soda and water bottles. I tried using rice, but there was so much dust from the rice sticking to the side of the bottles that we couldn't see in. I ended up changing over to pellets I got from the craft store - ones used for stuffing and weighting stuffed animals that are meant for display instead of play.