I know the pressures of planning therapy. There are so many components to planning an effective session. You want it to be goal related, have meaningful trials, practical application to the real world, opportunities for data, and for the kids to have fun will they are learning. Plus, you want your students to be engaged with the content.
You would think planning lessons with all these elements would be easy. But, at times it can be really hard. I think we have so many balls in the air (aka paperwork, therapy, IEPs, medicaid, communication with the team) at one time that coming up with ways to make our sessions engaging while working on the same goal each session can feel overwhelming. Today, I wanted to share lots of ways to increase engagement with magnetic wands in speech therapy.
Where You Can Find A Magnetic Wand In Speech
I have found that simple tricks and materials can bring an activity to life. Do you notice that too with therapy? There are certain materials that have become staples in my room. My magnetic wand and chips are one of those. They can be used across a lot of grades and goals.
I got my magnetic wand and chips on amazon. You might have a magnetic wand in some of your Super Duper resources that you can use as well! Where else have you found magnetic wands and chips? I would love to know in the comments.
Game Ideas Using Magnetic Wands In Speech
Magnetic wands can be used in simple, yet FUN games. When kids are having fun, they are more likely to remember the information/skills they are working on in speech. This first game can be used with any card deck to make your Memory game fresh and different.
I first learned about using paperclips and magnetic wands with any card decks from my girl Lauren over at Busy Bee Speech. Ever since I saw her “catch the gingerbread man” version of this game, I started using it with my students. First, you need to grab the free printables by clicking the pink button below. Then, print up the pictures for the particular seasons. I used the popsicles and sun for summer. Put popsicles under your task cards with paperclips. Put a few suns under the task cards. Students then pick up the cars with the magnetic wand. If they get the popsicle, then they get to keep the card. If they get a sun, the popsicle was melted and they don’t get to keep the card. The student with the most cards wins. There are different versions for the seasons! This is a great game for mixed groups.
Big Roller Game Using Magnetic Wands
All you need are some magnetic chips or paperclips, a magnetic wand and a die. Grab whatever stimulus items you need. When each of your students takes a turn, he will practice his target, then roll the die. Whatever number he rolls, that is how many “coins” he will earn. Whoever has the most coins at the end of the session wins. You can add in your own rules for what happens if the student rolls a 6. Maybe a 6 is an extra turn, steal 2 coins from another player or lose a turn.
You can use magnetic wand chips or paperclips! I store my magnetic wand and chips in a mini plastic pencil case. It is easy to store and grab if I need to take it to my other site. Check out more ideas for how to use paperclips in speech HERE. This is a great game for mixed groups. If you need more game ideas for mixed groups, head over to this blog post for ideas!
Where Is The Treasure?
Use a Super Duper card deck or any skill deck that you own for this game. I saw this idea from my SLP blogger buddy Danielle from Sublime Speech and loved the possibilities of it! Put magnetic chips under some of the cards. When it is the child’s turn, they can use the magnetic wand to pick a card. Pretty cool, right!?
Here are some game variations I have used to make Memory more exciting! If the card is picked up with the magnetic wand, that means they found the treasure! They get to keep the “coin” as their treasure. Whoever has the most coins at the end wins.
If you need verb action cards that are set up by seasonal theme, I use my memory cards from my Seasonal Vocabulary & Grammar Activities Bundle to work on verbs with the game Memory, Go Fish or the Flashlight game.
To make it extra exciting, you can hide some extra coins under cards.
Use Magnetic Wands to Teach AAC CORE and Fringe Vocabulary
With this same activity, work on getting the student to communicate using the CORE vocabulary of “go,” “my turn,” “like,” “more,” “all done,” “there,” and “here”. Students can request the color that they want, how they feel while playing with the magnetic wand and work on social exchanges like “this is fun.” I like to withhold the wand and the magnetic chips to also work on initiation, and joint attention. These wands also work on cause/effect, which is great for trying to get joint attention and keeping kids motivated to request more of something.
Put fringe vocabulary on their communication book/board or device for “sticks”, “pick up”, and “I got them all”. What other fringe vocabulary would you add? I use my low tech communication boards with students that are non-verbal, limited verbal or even just benefit from having visual cues to help me reduce my verbal prompts.
Teach Vocabulary Concepts With The Magnetic Wand & Chips
Put items in a box that are magnetic and items that aren’t magnetic. Have the students use the magnetic wand to see if the items stick together. Work on negation (not magnetic/is magnetic) or “it sticks,” “it does not stick.”
With the magnetic wand and chips, you can teach the basic concepts of “more”, “less” and “all.” Give different amounts of chips to the students in the group. Ask them questions about who has more, less, or equal amounts. Talk about picking up “all” the chips or discuss who has “none.” Only have one student? Use stuffed animals or figurines to have the chips.
Use Magnetic Chips To Increase Engagement & Help Collect Data
You can use the magnetic chips to help show students when the activity will be finished. This will help engagement and focus. Each time the child sees a picture covered, they know how much closer they are to ending the task. These verb action sheets are in my seasonal vocabulary and grammar BUNDLE set.
If you have students that need answer choices to demonstrate understanding of verbs, pronouns, vocabulary, answering wh-questions, etc. use magnetic chips to keep your students engaged and get data too! Put a chip on each of the pictures. Give the stimulus to the student such as “show me the person swinging” and they can make their selection with the magnetic wand. You can take data in the process.
What are your therapy ideas using magnetic wands in speech?
I would love to know how you use magnetic wands in your speech room! I would be so grateful to have more therapy tricks on how to use these fun therapy materials. Share in the comments, post a pic on Instagram and tag @thedabblingspeechie or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.