8 Ways to Use Dixie Cups in Speech Therapy

8 Ways to Use Dixie Cups in Speech Therapy

Dixie cups are one of my favorite speech therapy tools… one of my favorite toys and cheap too! Dixie cups have so many uses and kids LOVE them! It is the same idea as when kids play with the box and not the gift.

1. BUILD A CASTLE – Grab a ton of dixie cups and build away. If you are working on speech, kids can earn cups with productions of targets… and language well that is limitless. Grab some characters, cars, etc. to join in on the pretend play

2. RAINBOW VOLCANO – Use dixie cups to engage kids in a fun science experiment. Add a spoonful of baking powder and food color dye of your choice. Have the child pour vinegar into each little cup resulting in an explosion of color! (I use a cookie or lipped tray to catch the lava).

3. BUILD A PYRAMID– I use this frequently to get high repetitions with my clients with childhood apraxia of speech. LOOK AT ALL THOSE REPETITIONS! Kids love tossing a ball to knock it over after they have worked to build!

4. VOWEL SORT– When working on sorting words by vowels the child hears, I use the cups to give them pennies or skittles for correct answers. Older kids love earning something for thier hard work!

5. QUICK TARGET WORK – Using the cups for kids to collect tokens is a great way to get quick, high repetition target work.

6. SOUND IDENTIFICATION – I use dixie cups to assess if kids understand the Bjorem Speech Sound Cues or for phonemic awareness identifying the initial or final sounds in a word. Kids love using pennies to show their understanding by tossing the penny in the cup!

7. WHAT CUP? – Turn the cups over and hide animals, balls, minature erasers… what ever will fit! Tape or paste target pictures on te bottoms of each cup. When kids say the target word they can see if they have found the hidden object.

8. CUP SMASH – Kids love to smash! While I am very concious of reusing materials (in a non-COVID world), I do allow kids to smash a cup or two (with their foot or fist) after a session of hard work. This in itself is such a great reward and well received by all kids.

Hope these ideas will expand your therapy pay options! I love to hear your ideas as well! Be sure to follow me on Instagram @bjoremspeech

Jennie Bjorem M.A., CCC-SLP


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