Imagine kids in search of something special following a spider web like trail. Perhaps there are words, questions, or tasks along the way leading them to a prize at the end. Better yet, imagine an activity where kids have to move their bodies while explaining how they maneuver their way through. All of these fun motor activities can be used with speech and language goals in mind and you can even share the fun with a “how-to” photo for parents to continue the exploration at home.
Follow That Yarn
Younger children love to follow trails. Imagine making one all around your room with yarn that can have a starting and ending point. Pick up a skein of yarn and figure out where you would like the group or individual to begin. Tie on a note with a question, skill to practice or something else at certain points along the way. These can attach onto the yarn with tape or tie onto it. As the kids follow the yarn around and around, ask them to give directions about how they travel. Continue along until they reach the end where you could have a culminating activity for them to participate in.
For space that is more limited, create a spider web using a few tables, desks, or chairs, Wind the yarn around and place a bead or other item into the web. The kids can maneuver the item around the yarn web and explain their moves as they go. Not only will this get them talking and using descriptive words, but help fine motor movement.
Yarn Obstacle Time
If you are able to secure a long area or hallway, make a yarn maze. Imagine if you will something that it is similar to a laser obstacle. This will be something that kids can maneuver through. They will not be following the yarn, but dodging around it. Set up the yarn obstacle maze ahead of time. Depending on the age of the children, you can have them see how to get across and talk their way through it. Perhaps to add to the challenge for each time they touch the yarn (something to avoid), they have to practice words for articulation, or something else connected to goals. Older children in small groups may do well with blindfolds and having a partner talk them through the maze and avoiding the yarn. This will increase their use of descriptive words and more.
Send home some of the fun with each child. Give them a small ball of yarn and have them set up a follow that yarn scenario for their family. Include instructions for adults at home so they are aware of the goal and what they can do if the children want them to set it up for them. Encourage use of directions, words they are practicing, and more. Be sure to include instructions in any languages needed for multilingual families so everyone can have fun.