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How to use Movement Cards in Speech Therapy

Gross motor activities can keep your toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary students engaged in your speech therapy session for a long time because children are designed to MOVE! By incorporating movement activities in speech therapy, your students will not only have fun, but will learn quickly!

Research has shown that movement is linked to memory and unfortunately, opportunities for movement are decreasing in school. As Speech Therapists, we can incorporate simple speech therapy activities the encourage children to move!

\One of my favorite ways to get kids moving is to use Movement Cards. These are cards with images of different animals/people that represent different actions. Here are some easy ways you can use this speech therapy activity today!

Activity Ideas for Speech Therapy Movement Cards

  • Movement Memory: Discuss the action on each card. Hide the individual cards around the room, face down. Name one of the characters/actions and have the student find that card. Each time they flip a card over, have them do the action on the card.

  • Movement Break: Use the cards/one page sheet as a movement break.

  • Exit Card: Have the student complete one action before they return to their classroom.

  • Entrance Activity: Have the student complete one action when they come to speech.

  • Walk and Move: Have the student do the action on the way back to class.

  • Dance Party: Play music. Stop the music. Each time you stop the music, tell the student how to move. They can tell you as well, using the sheet/cards as visual supports.

  • Homework: Send the cards home with the student to review the verbs as homework. You can print them off and staple them into a booklet.

  • Charades: Play charades. Draw an individual card to act out. Have the guesser use the One Page Sheet to guess what is being acted out!

  • Figurines: Use toy figurines to act out the different actions on the cards.

  • Simon Says: Play Simon Says using the actions on the cards.

  • Bowling: Place the cards in paper bags and stand them in a row. Take turns rolling the bags over with a ball. Whenever you knock over a bag, do the action that is in the bag.

  • Bubble Blow: Place the pictures on a wall. Blow bubbles at the pictures. When your bubble hits a card, do that action.

  • Now what?: Act out one of the action cards. Say, “now what?”, and have the child tell you what action to do next.

  • In the bag: Place the cards in a bag. Pull one out and act out the action.

  • Story time: Find the actions in a picture book.

  • Knock em’ down: Stand up the cards using binder clips. Knock the cards over with a ball popper, crumpled paper, or a bean bag.

  • Cover it up: As you do an action, cover the image with a mini eraser or dab it with a bingo dabber.

Goals to Target

These are just a few of the speech and language goals you can target using this speech therapy activity.

  • Verbs: Use to teach themed vocabulary.

  • Sentence Expansions: Discuss what you are doing, using proper verb tenses and grammatical structure.

  • Verb Tenses: Talk about what you are doing, what you did, and what you will do.

  • Homework: Send the cards home with the student to review the verbs as homework. You can print them off and staple them into a booklet.

  • Wh- Questions: Ask the student WHO does a certain action or WHAT action a specific person/character does.

  • Describing: Describe one of the characters/people. Have the student ‘guess’ by acting like the character (instead of saying the answer out loud).

Want to grab some movement cards? You might be interested in these Pets Themed Movement Cards or these Repetitive Gross Motor Stories, that include theme related movement cards (as well as a story filed with actions!).

Interested in more play based therapy ideas, access to freebies (like the ones below) and special offers?

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