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Great Therapy Toys: The Other Ball Popper

Kids are obsessed with balls. They are just wayyy to fun to resist and this seems to be a universal truth. Perhaps (definitely) this is why most lists for “beginner signs” include the sign for “ball.”

My first love for engaging children with balls is the quintessential ball popper. My kids go crazy for it.


(hence my loving haiku you can find here)

But a newer, more handsome ball pop has entered my life…. AND YOU CAN TARGET SO MANY GOALS WITH HIM. Let’s discuss.


So far this little guy (let’s call him Sprinkles), has given even the shyest of my little friends the motivation to speak (or at least try). I have two kiddos on my caseload right now that maybe have said 5 spontaneous words over the course of our treatment thus far. But let me tell you… they were chatting away and imitating left and right for this little guy! One even said his first final consonant… 100% INDEPENDENTLY! It was “boop” and it was adorable. I about fell over I was so happy and proud of his hard work.

Sprinkles has brought much joy and success already this week (and it’s only Tuesday). So here’s a little diddy on how I’ve used this stud so far:

  • For Late Talkers and Severe Artic: We are targeting words like: ball, pop, boop, up, go
  • For Phonological Processes: pop (of course)
  • For Artic Kids: We are searching around the clinic for objects that contain our sound and then using them as target practice. If needed, you can always tape some of your artic cards to the walls and use those instead.
  • For Where Questions and Prepositions: We are shooting Sprinkle’s ball at my door and seeing where it bounces/rolls to. Then we talk about “where” the ball is. “Next to the chair! Under the table! In front of the cabinet!” We are also discussing putting the ball IN sprinkle’s nose and how it is about to pop OUT.
  • Other Language Ideas: describe the elf, discuss what elves do, is it’s cold or hot where they live, who they help, if they’re big or little, happy or sad, I let each kid name him if they want (or can), the ball is popping/bouncing/rolling


Sprinkles here has been such a hit, I just might have to invest in a non-seasonal variety.

I mean… look how CUTE!

monkey  penguin  cow  unicorn

That is what we’ve come up with so far this week! I would love to hear how you’re using your little ball poppers! Be sure to come say hi on Instagram sometime or, better yet, become a VIP and get access to my freebie library!

Happy popping, y’all!

speechy things slp speech therapy signature

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Hi I’m Lindsey! I’m a pediatric SLP who specializes in the R sound. Fun fact- I actually used to dread the R but after dedicating a lot (like… a lot a lot) of time to researching and troubleshooting… I now love it! So much, in fact, that I currently spend my days treating “R kids” via my private practice and creating R resources and continuing education for SLPs via Speechy Things. I’m so glad you found me! Let’s “Rock the R” together!

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