This is a Corny Idea

Another weekend found me at a fall festival.  The weather was perfect—that wonderful combination of warm sun with cool hovering just beneath.  The smell of straw was in the air.  Ahh….

This event had a few activities new to me such as pumpkin slingshot.  Yes, it’s as thrilling as it sounds.

They had a huge stack of straw with giant drainage pipes set up as slides.  I was a little scared at first, but once you’re down, you feel invigorated.  And I certainly wasn’t going to walk back down the straw with all those little kids taking the slide plunge.

But what was really fabulous was the 20’ x 20’ cornbox.  Literally a giant sandbox filled with a 6” depth of feed corn.  How cool!  How tidy!

I’ve used both rice and sand bins in therapy, but switching to feed corn, even if just for the season, seems like a great plan to me.  The kernels are large, so they’re easier to clean up and there’s a different weight and feel when you submerge a foot or hand.  I found it to be less “tickly” than sand can sometimes be and also a more comfortable temperature (sand seems to retain a too hot or too cold feel especially when it’s outside and depending on the season).

If you haven’t used a bean/rice or sandbox before you’re in for a treat!  Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  1.  Language activities:  Work on progressive verbs by pouring, scooping and dumping.  Address prepositions as you place corn in or out of a bucket or hide objects under the corn.  Elicit early language as you put in corn, put in more or dump out.
  2. Articulation:  Hide target appropriate objects or flashcards in the bin.  Step inside the box—literally—and find them with your toes!

If you fall for this idea please tweet it!  And I know you have some great ideas for using the corn box yourself.  Please share in comments!

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.