Putting Pinwheels to Work with Language Skills

  • August 1, 2013
  • Tera Rowland

practicing words and sounds therapy Practicing words, sounds, and other language skills can quickly go from fun to hard work for younger children. When kids are actively engaged in what they are doing, they tend to work on the item more when away from the session and meet the goals faster. Kids of all ages will enjoy going out for a walk and bringing a pinwheel outside to do a lesson out and about in the sunshine. For each of the activities, you will need to purchase several pinwheels in advance. Look at dollar stores and in toy sections of retailers.



Windy Walk Word Practice

Depending on the type of pinwheel you locate, you may be able to have four to six different items within sections. Some pinwheel designs may even allow you to place some more items on the back. Be creative and maximize the options with what you are able to find.

For younger children, you can place words, pictures, or letters on the sections of your pinwheel. To help with rotation of words laminate each item on small circles and use Velcro to secure them. In addition to this, you will be able to change them as you add new items with that child or with additional students. During each turn, let the pinwheel spin and then allow the child to stop it with their fingers pinching a random section. Some suggestions:

  • Use the word in a sentence
  • Say other words that have similar start or end sounds
  • Give several words that begin with that letter
  • Come up with additional words that rhyme with the one given

Be creative and make sections that work with whatever the children you work with are focusing on. With removable tabs on the sections, it is easy to change things as you need to.

Additional Speech and Language Pinwheel Ideas

Speech Room News has a blog post where she has shared a pinwheel activity that she used. The pinwheels that were made focused on articulation, grammar, and language. Jenna also shares the petals that she created for others to print out and makes suggestions on how to use them with different age groups.

Another extension of this activity can be to make your own pinwheels. While constructing them, you can model and ask them to repeats the directions in their own words. In addition to this, the pinwheels that they make can be taken home with instructions for families to extend the activity. Also consider putting the translation of the words onto the back to assist others.

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