How To Use Beach Balls In Speech Therapy


Beach balls represent summer fun! Attending speech therapy over the summer or during extended school year can feel daunting. Have no fear, beach balls are here! Using beach balls during speech therapy can be a great way to target goals while having fun.

Silent Beach Balls

A fantastic way to target non-verbal communication skills is to use a beach ball to play the classic game “silent ball.” Silent ball is played by tossing the ball from person to person, without saying a word. You can use your eyes and body to gain the recipient’s attention before throwing them the ball. This game targets eye contact, non-verbal communication, and impulse control because the students have to resist the temptation to talk.

Artic Beach Balls

Beach balls can be used to target articulation goals in a few different ways. Option 1: write numbers on each section of the ball. Whichever section their right thumb is touching when the student catches the ball is how many times they have to say the target word. Option 2: write an “I” (initial), “M” (medial), or “F” (final) on each section of the beach ball to represent word position. The student would then come up with a word that has their target sound in the initial, medial, or final word position, and they would have to say it 5 times before passing the ball to someone else. Option 3: do a mixture of both.

Beach ball with letters and numbers written on it.

Conversation Beach Balls

Who knew beach balls could be used as a conversation starter? To target social communication skills write multiple topics in each section of the beach ball. Pass the ball around and each student can pick a topic to initiate conversation with the SLP or a peer. Once the conversation has come to a natural end, the student can pass the ball to someone else.

Beach ball with conversational topics written on it.

Following Direction Beach Balls

Another fun way to use beach balls during speech therapy would be to target following directions. The SLP can write funny directions on it and the student has to do whatever his right thumb is closest to. The directions can be simple or complex depending on what the SLP writes. For example: “leap like a frog” vs. “jump up and down twice after you meow like a cat.” The sillier the directions, the more fun the game will be.

Beach ball with silly directions written on it.

Vocab Beach Balls

A fun way to enhance vocabulary skills is to write words in one section of the ball, and their synonyms and antonyms in other sections. When the student catches the ball have them find the synonym and/or antonym of the word closest to their right thumb. Take it one step further by having the student use the word in a sentence.

Beach ball with vocabulary words written on it.

Prepositional Phrases

Finally, you can put your permanent marker away. There is no need to write on the ball to target prepositional phrases, unless you really want to. You can simply tell the student “put the ball ON the shelf”, “roll the ball UNDER the table,” “Toss the ball OVER the chair.” Use any simple prepositional phrase to target this goal. If you are interested in other games used for speech therapy check out this blog, 10 Must Have Board Games for Speech Therapy.

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