Why are bubbles so great?
They’re cheap, fascinating, low-tech, and a wonderful therapy tool – a must have for Speech-language Pathologists working with young children. The effect bubbles can have on a child is amazing! By blowing bubbles, you can quickly gain and hold a child’s attention or calm a fussy child. You can work on early words and concepts, practice turn taking, and work on things such as air flow and lip rounding – while having fun! They are also very portable and can be used in any setting.
How do you use them for language therapy?
When working on requests for action, I use bubbles to teach the child to sign or say: bubbles, blow, more, my turn, and all done. I also use them to work on basic concepts such as up, down, big, little, wet, dry, and body parts. For up and down, big and little, I model these by commenting on bubbles I’ve blown. They can, however, become requests by the child on how to blow the next bubbles.
For the concept of wet, we feel the table after blowing some bubbles on it, then wipe it off and feel “dry”. Practicing body parts with bubbles begins with commenting on where the bubbles are landing (e.g., head, hand, finger, foot) and can become requests for where to blow bubbles. Of course, be careful not to blow them in the child’s face.
I recommend getting a no-spill bubble container so that you can hand the bubbles off to a young child without worrying about a big mess. They are available for a few dollars at many stores and are refillable.
If caregivers are present for therapy sessions, have them take turns with you. This is an enjoyable activity that can easily be part of a home program.