Using Slime As A Speech Therapy Tool
Craft stores and more have displays set up all about how to create slime of different colors, textures, and more. Slime is a popular toy for kids but it can also serve as a great therapeutic resource as well. The best part about slime is that it is extremely easy to make with kids during a session. Slime is flexible and can be made inside or outside with little or no space required. The ease of creating slime makes it an ideal tool to incorporate into therapy sessions.
The therapeutic benefits of slime can be applied to both Speech Language Pathologists as well as Occupational Therapists. It serves as a creative way for children to practice therapeutic skills, learn about science and have fun while doing it. Students are often more engaged when sessions include something with a sensory component. There are several creative ways to utilize slime in therapy. We have listed a few of those ways in the article below.
How To Make Therapy Slime
There are many different slime recipes available online these days. Be careful and avoid ones which include borax, because it can cause irritation with the skin. The easiest slime to make requires two easy to find ingredients. All you need is glue (white or any of the gel squeeze bottles) and a bottle of liquid starch. Liquid starch is often located in supermarkets with the laundry products. The only other items you will need to make a simple slime are a container to mix it in and something to do the mixing. Other options to add into the slime include food coloring, glitter, and other similar items for interest.
Tot Treasures also has a good slime recipe using glue and liquid starch. Go slow when adding the liquid starch, because you may not need as much as the recipe requires. If it is too soupy, just add more glue and mix again until you have the perfect slime consistency. Get the kids involved in the process. Let them get their hands in the slime to help and determine if it is done. Talk through the process. What happens when the liquid starch is added? How does this change how the glue feels? This is a great activity for kids to work on their hand muscles during occupational therapy.
Using Slime In Therapy
The best part of slime is it can be used in a wide variety of activities. Once made, the slime can be the topic of a conversation for speech and language. You can make up a game to use the slime with running, skipping, hopping, or other gross motor activities. Hiding things into the slime makes a fun way to work on fine motor skills. Slime is also perfect to help kids relax and ease their anxieties. Keeping slime in a container as a stress reliever is another option.
If you decide not to make it with children, but want to use it as a hands-on learning tool, here are 4 slime therapy activity suggestions to incorporate within a speech language lesson – bonus fine motor activity:
I Spy The Slime
Slime is great to hide items within it. If you have small objects from sounds that you are working on, you can work them into the slime. Then, as they are located, the word can be said and used into a sentence. You can also use coins, buttons, mini letters, sequins, and beads for this purpose. Each time the child is looking for something, you can have them repeat a key phrase that works on one of their goals. The repetition and fun will make them eager to keep going to see what else is hidden within the slime.
Slime Shape Activity
The slime also is great for creating different shapes. Take turns in a group creating something with the slime (like a snake, letter, or shape) and modeling the steps needed for everyone to do this. Another opportunity during this activity is to have the child use descriptive words of how the slime feels. This activity practices sequences, informative language skills, and building confidence.
Bouncing Slime Game
Once made, the slime is able to bounce. It can be used to bounce to sounds, count syllables when saying words, or help to bounce on a group of cards when playing a game. Think outside of the box on how to incorporate this into previous plans to make something a bit more interactive or fresh.
Practice Core Vocabulary Words
Choose core words to target using slime therapy. For example, practice More/Want when the child requests additional slime to play with. Give them small amounts at a time so they can continue practicing “more & want” should they desire more slime. Additionally, have children “put” the slime in different objects such as a cup and/or bowl. Children have a tendency to move around so this activity is great way to cultivate a comfortable environment while also helping them to practice core words. A final example is See/Look. Have children explain what they observe about each other’s slime in terms of descriptive words such as color and shape. Have them practice sentences such as “I see____,” or “Look at my ____.”
When you are done using the slime in sessions, allow the kids to take it home in small airtight containers. The slime will last for quite a while and be great for them to share at home. Send home a recipe to share with families because other members may want slime of their own. Be sure to include instructions in additional languages for those who are multilingual and may need it.
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