Has your speech sessions needed a little revival of enthusiasm to keep your students motivated to practice their speech productions in therapy? Or, maybe you have a child that is a mover and shaker and needs to get out of their seat to stay focused on their productions. In this blog post, I am going to be sharing how YOU can make paper plate paddles with your students and get high trials while also incorporating movement into your session. Plus, your students will love taking home their paper plate paddle! To learn more about how to prep this craft (spoiler alert: it’s really easy!), keep reading.
How to Make the Paper Plate Paddle Craft
I love functional crafts that will achieve meaningful outcomes for my student’s progress on goals. SLPs don’t have a ton of time OR money to prep extensive crafts. You probably have everything on hand or can get for cheap. Here are the supplies I used:
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- Paper plates (you need the flimsy white ones)
- Dot markers, stamps, or regular markers
- JUMBO popsicle sticks
- Glue Gun
Have your students decorate their paper plate with circles using the dot markers. You can also have them glue or write their speech words or other language targets on the plate.
Glue the jumbo popsicle stick on the back of the paper plate. You can also glue a word list on the back for the child to reference while practicing in the session or at home for additional practice. The word lists I often use come from my Any Craft Companion Pack.
Tips for How to Use the Paper Plate Paddle Craft with Speech Sound Disorders
Use the dot markers to keep your students engaged with their speech sound productions. Have your student decorate the paper plate with dots before creating the paddle. To make sure you get lots of repetitions in a session, you can have your students say their sound/word for every dot they make on the plate. Or, you can have your students drill five words/sounds per dot.
Sometimes, if my students struggle with waiting or if they take a long time to make dots, I will drill for 1-2 minutes and then let my students put 5-10 dots on the paper and repeat this until the paper plate is fully decorated.
Or, if you don’t have time for crafts, you can make the paper plate paddles and use while the student practices a word and then hitting the balloon up in the air.
Using Your Paper Plate Paddles for Speech Sound Disorders
The fun really begins when you have the paper plate paddle completed. Blow up a balloon and have students practice their sounds while they keep the balloon in the air. Of course, you can always use this to cover a lot of goals especially for our friends working engagement, joint attention, expanding functions of communication (uh oh, fell down, get it, whoa, high, drop, etc.)
You can give your student one target word to focus on that they can say as they hit the balloon. Or, you can have your student do drills for 1-2 minutes and if they got 20 productions, let them have a movement break to see if they can keep the balloon up in the air for 20 hits.
To help with transitioning between getting to hit the balloon with the paddle and practicing, you can glue words on the back of the paddle (I have an Any Craft Companion Resource with targets all ready to go.) Onc they say all of the words on the back of the plate, they get to use their paddle.
Send this craft home with your students for additional practice with a balloon. You can direct your parents to blow up the balloon and use the paddle to keep the balloon in the air while they say their speech productions.
Speech Sound Resources to Use with the Paper Plate Paddles
If you are looking for articulation resources to use while getting those high trials, you can grab my articulation flipbooks. They include word lists, pictures, carrier phrases, and picture scenes for each sound. Use the L flipbook for FREE. The NO Print versions can be used on laptops or iPad.
For your students working on speech words at the word and structured sentence level, use my visual sentence starters to help your students get that repetitive practice while creating this craft.
If you need another paper plate craft for working on grammar skills, check out these ideas in this blog post HERE.
Share How You Used This Paper Plate Paddle Craft With Your Students
I hope that this post gave you a variety of low-prep and easy, yet effective, ideas for treating speech sound disorders on your caseload. My speech students have loved using the paddles to hit balloons and move around the room as they practice. If you do this craft with any of the students on your caseload, I’d love to hear how you adapted it to fit their needs. Comment here on this blog post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.