I don’t know about you, but I HATE sitting all day. My students hate it too. That is why I am always on the hunt for fun games and activities to keep my students active during our speech therapy sessions.
Do your students love to move as much as mine do? Yes???
If you and your students are like me and my students, these gross motor activities are going to be a huge hit in your speech room!
My son is in occupational therapy. If you are familiar with OT, you are probably aware that they do a lot of obstacle course activities. As I was watching my son doing one of these obstacle courses, I was amazed at how engaged he was and that he didn’t seem to realize how hard he was working. This was a lightbulb for me. I knew I had to figure out how to make an obstacle course movement activity for my speech therapy students.
Before we jump into the how let’s talk about the why.
Why do obstacle courses make a great movement activity for speech therapy?
- It keeps kids active! When they are moving, they aren’t bored. When they aren’t bored, they aren’t realizing how many repetitions of their target sound I can sneak in.
- It keeps ME active!! When my body is active, my brain is active. When my brain is active, I am a more engaged and attentive therapist.
- All of the pieces I used to make my obstacle course have been used in countless other movement activities. They are extremely versatile.
Here is how I set up my obstacle course movement activity:
I had five stations. At each station, students had to say their target word/sound 5x, complete the obstacle, then they were allowed to move to the next station. Here were the 5 stations.
- Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. All thoughts and recommendations are my own.
- #1: Scooter Board
- #2: Balance Steps
- #3: Basketball Hoop
- #5: Bear Crawl to the End
As you can see, each run through of the course gives your students 25 trials. If you can make it through the course 4 times, that is 100 trials! It took my students around 1 and a half minutes to get through the course, but the record for the day was about 40 seconds!
Speaking of course times… Another fun twist is to have your students race to complete the course the fastest (while still saying good sounds of course!). If you see kiddos in a group, they can compete with each other. If you see students individually, just write the best time down and tell your students that is the time to beat!
How can I modify this for language students?
So far, this post has been about how you can use this obstacle course for articulation therapy, but it is also super easy to adapt for language students! Instead of having students say their target sound, you could have students answer a question to make it to the next station. Off the top of my head, I could see this being easily adapted for “wh” questions, categories, idioms, or vocabulary. I am sure that with a little creativity it could be adapted for a variety of goals.
Ok friends! I hope you enjoyed reading about how I snuck a little extra movement into my speech therapy activities this week! If you are looking for more unique and engaging speech activities, be sure and check out my YouTube Sequencing activities or this set of preschool activities!