The Best $10 I Ever Spent!

Monday, March 27, 2017
As people that work with children, you and I both know that when you find an activity that's highly motivating for our students, we have to do all we can to contain ourselves from jumping up and doing a happy dance. You guys, I found that item. And it's nothing new. I have seen this little guy in stores and on Instagram posts for years. But finally, one evening at Target, I decided to pick one up for myself.
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Crocodile Dentist is now a permanent part of my therapy bag. I love him for many reasons but a big one is because he is small! I can easily fit him into my therapy bag with a slew of other things. But even more, I have found so many uses for him. The game instructions say to take turns pushing down one tooth at a time. One of the teeth will make his mouth chomp down. (It's another fun cause & effect game like Pop the Pig) But I don't always play that way. I literally think that I could tie him into just about any therapy goal on my caseload. Here are a few ways that I have used him....

Identifying vocabulary. I lay a few picture cards (or real items) out on the table and prompt the child, "Feed Chompy (yes, we named him Chompy!) the clock." It's so much more fun than just asking them to point to a picture. I literally did this for 15 minutes with a child in one session the other day. He was having so much fun and I was collecting a TON  of data!

Articulation. Feed the gator articulation cards after the word is practiced. Or, push down one of his teeth after a certain number or targets have been practiced until his chompers close!

Feeding therapy! I have used this with my picky eaters. Every time he takes a lick or a small bite (whatever the goal is) of a new food, he gets to push a tooth down. Plus, you can use this little guy to role play feeding activities. Have your student feed the gator foods the he/she is hesitant to try. Show them that feeding can be fun!
Writing goals. Ok so this one may seem like a stretch but we all have those seriously unmotivated kiddos. I have used this with one of my first graders that just doesn't like to work. After each sentence he wrote, he got to push a tooth down. What he liked even better, was making me push the tooth down because I told him I was so scared of the gator biting me!

Chompy has been a saving grace for therapy sessions that have gotten a bit boring or when one of my students has a major case of the Mondays. I am just so thankful for him! If anyone else has some magically motivating activity, please share!

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