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Lately, I have been seeing lots of pics and posts about these super cute ball poppers in speech therapy!  I found one at Hobby Lobby and one at Michael’s.   Let me tell you, these little toys have been such a hit with my kids!  Today, I wanted to share some ideas on how to use them in speech.

ideas for ball poppers in speech therapy the speech bubble slp

1. Concepts

I have been using these ball poppers in speech therapy to work on concepts.  Kids can pop the ball and then use their concepts to tell me if the ball is ‘next to’ the basket, or ‘behind’ the chair, etc.

2. Reinforcement

Using these poppers in speech therapy for general reinforcement is awesome!  For every ‘X’ amount of productions or completing so many questions or tasks, they earn a ball.  You get about six balls with each toy, depending on brand, so that means we can get quite a bit done before they get poppin’.

3. Following Directions and Sequencing

Incorporating these poppers into following directions tasks has been a blast.  I will have kids ‘stand up and pop the toy’, etc. I have also had kids tell me and sequence the steps to use the toy. Then, pop it of course.


How would you use them?

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Meet Maureen

Hey there! I’m Maureen Wilson, a school-base SLP who is data driven and caffeine powered. My passion is supporting other pediatric SLPs by teaching them how to harness the power of literacy and data to help their students achieve their goals…without sacrificing time they don’t have.

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14 Responses

  1. I have similar poppers which I have amassed a collection of ping pong balls. I wrote letters/sounds on them, and we pop away practicing the correct production. I have written words on some and attempted to draw pix. Students absolutely love popping and catching the balls! When they catch a word, they have to use it in a sentence. Gets them away from the table and having some fun! LOVE the “pig popper!”

  2. Hi! I saw these ball poppers just yesterday at a local toy store and thought they would be great in therapy. However, I didn’t buy one because I wondered how hard they were to squeeze to get the ball to pop out. I work with mostly 3-4 year olds. Are these easy enough for a preschooler to squeeze and have the ball pop far? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Sue 🙂 My students with strength and motor difficulties have no problem squeezing them, so I think your preschoolers will have plenty of muscle to pop them 🙂

    2. I actually find that they are very difficult for my preschoolers to pop on their own. It’s possible though, that each one is different?? I will say though, that it’s worked out well as they are super motivated to use them and the fact that they require help has turned them into a communication temptation that I use with my kids…they need to request ‘help’ ‘push’ ‘pop’ etc before we do it together.

      1. For my little ones I will deflate the balls a bit so it is easier for them. I love using them for language though, it fun and a natural 🙂

  3. Sometimes I will tape the target cards around the hallway (I’m at a school). And then let the kid “hunt” their words.

  4. I am hoping to use the Poppers as an enticing toy that my non-verbal or minimally verbal students will request using PECS! We can then practice sentences for the more verbal kiddos, such as, “The ball went far!” or “The ball went into the basket,” etc.

  5. You can use binder clips to hold up articulation cards or some other cards. I have the students choose a card to aim for and if they hit it, they have to say it 3 times. If they knock down any card other than the one they chose, they have to say it 5 times per card. Lots of trials are gathered!

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