Monday, July 1, 2013

Don't Throw it Away! Paint Sticks

Last year my family moved to a new house and we painted pretty much every room in it!  (Ok, so my husband and brother-in-law did the actual painting...).  Needless to say, after many, many trips to Home Depot, I ended up with a ton of extra paint sticks.  

Being the hoarder I am creative and thrifty, I saved them!  If you have extras, you should save them too!

First up, I used to work in a class where most of the kids had communication books.  Once the kids started to learn to put symbols together, we used the paint sticks rather than sentence strips.  We attached velcro to each side ("hook" Velcro on one side and "loop" on the other).  The child would create their sentence on the paint stick, take it off of their book (which also had Velro on the cover), and hand it to an adult.  The paint sticks are much sturdier than anything else we have tried for the purpose of combining picture symbols!

Next, I have a group of students who are, for lack of a better word, blurters!  They spend my entire session talking over each other!  To alleviate this, I created a "Talking Stick" using a paint stick and some colorful duct tape:

It's not very fancy, but it WORKED!  They started waiting for other children to finish speaking and asking for the stick so they could have a turn talking!

Similar to my talking stick, Maureen from The Speech Bubble created these cute "Sticky Sticks." These are similar to my Talking Stick, but you add a suction cup to one end and you can use them to pick up articulation cards!  Head over to her post to find out  more.

And finally (thank you Jenn from Crazy Speech World for reminding me of this one!)...Story Sticks!  For my version, I just attached Velcro to one side and created small images using either Boardmaker or LessonPix.  You can use these to sequence events in a story or for story retelling.  This is the one I use with "The Gingerbread Man":

Check out Jenn's much cuter version of a story stick HERE.

Do you have any other ways of using left over paint sticks?  I'd love to hear them!!

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