Bean Bag Language

As many of you already know, I recently relocated to the states with my husband who is in the US Air Force. While we were serving in the UK, I had the privilege of meeting and working with some amazing professionals in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). One of these incredible people is a fellow SLP, Erica. Erica and I travelled to Speecher conferences all over Europe and had loads of fun.

Italy Stamp Germany Stamp

We collaborated and acted as sound boards for one another’s cases. I can’t really say what the best thing about being Erica’s friend is (because there are SO many great things!!), but I can say that I learned a lot just rummaging through her closet of materials. I asked her to write about a flexible activity she loves and this is what she sent me. ENJOY!

I created these beanbags back in the “I’m too poor to buy nice things-Grad school” days. Not only were they great then, they have been the ONE activity I created that has lasted the years (going on 15 years now)
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I went to the local fabric stores and asked to get ‘samples’ – the big places may not let you do this anymore, but they do have fat quarters to buy. From these you can make your beanbags.

What you need – fabric that has common objects on it for the kids to describe. Some of your fabrics need to be slightly similar, but not too much.

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Activities you can do with the beanbags:
DESCRIBING/MLU – You can use these with your kids with limited verbal output. Using only one or two words. You can even hold up two at a time and ask them which one they want. For your more verbal kids, you can work on MLU and artic.
“May I have the (blue) beanbag with (cows) and (flowers)?”
“I want the (red) beanbag with (balloons) and (polka dots).”
LISTENING/PROCESSING – After the students have their beanbags, describe which one YOU want. You can be very specific to make sure only one gets picked. I have the student with the targeted beanbag hold it up and say “I have it”. Or you can be vague in your description for the higher kids. When two hold up their beanbags, that’s their chance to problem solve and talk about similarities/differences. The person that has the described beanbag can then toss it in the empty bin along a wall. What kid doesn’t love throwing things at school???
MEMORY – Once all of the beanbags are in the bin (not a clear bin), put the lid on top and ask the kids to describe their beanbags again.
If you think of various things to do with these, send them my way. I love figuring out new ways to use these.
Thanks for sharing, Erica. Anyone have any other amazing ideas for these cute bean bags?

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