I really loved using these fun, brightly coloured, patterned stamper pens when I was younger. My sisters and I would make fabulous pictures full of unusual patterns and bright colours using these! Inevitably we’d all fight over our favourite one (hello yellow star, I’m looking at you!) and our mum would insist that we all shared them fairly! Well, when I saw these at the shop, I knew I HAD to get them to use in my speech therapy sessions! I was so pleased when the kids shared my joy and excitement when I first got them, and they’ve proven to be a really simple and inexpensive motivator during our sessions! Here’s a few ways I’ve used these pens in my therapy sessions…
1) Data Collection
Kids use a stamper pen to keep a tally of their good repetitions! They get to put a stamp on a little piece of paper every time they’ve done a good sound. It’s a super simple and motivating way for them to take their own data! This works really well in groups sessions too; because they’re all keen to use the nice pens, they’re more willing to have another go so they can use a stamp! #winwin
2) A Reinforcer
Quite simply, they practise their sounds and then they get to make a pretty picture using these cool stamper pens! No catch! They don’t need to be tracking their trials, they can just go wild and stamp to their hearts content… which is great for those days when you don’t really have the desire or inclination time to rebuild Jenga, again.
3) Tracking Contributions in Groups
Whenever I do written work in small groups, I let everyone pick a pen and I make a list of which child has which pen. Then, as we go through the session, whenever they make contributions in the group, we write it down onto the worksheet or big piece of paper, and they put a little stamp next to what they said so I can make a record of it later. This is useful because we don’t need to slow the pace of the session down while I make a note of who said what, and we don’t fill the sheet up with their initials. It also acts as a motivator for them because they like seeing all the different shapes being added, and it helps me quickly see who’s contributing most/least, so I know where to direct some more specific questions, to ensure everyone contributes equally.
Here’s an example of how I would use that system with one of the worksheets from our Spring Language Activities Pack.
4) Gaining a Speech & Language Sample
You know those kids who are reluctant to do any kind of assessment when you first meet them? They’re really shy and don’t really want to talk to you? Well, I’ve found that these pens are a great way to get a sample of speech sounds in spontaneous speech without any pressure. I reassure them that we don’t need to look at pictures if they’re not ready, and we can just do some colouring and use my fun pens. We might decorate their speech folder or their homework log, and I talk about the design I’m making… slowly but surely, they start to make little comments too, like “I want the green tree” or “it’s a yellow star!” Boom. Straight away I’m able to gain a language and speech sound sample without any pressure! If I think I need to hear the sounds again in single words, I use the pens and lead them in, e.g. “look, I’ve got a pink…” “pate”.. “yes, it’s a pink face“.
5) Social Skills
These pens are a great tool to use in social skills groups too; you can work on initiating interactions, requesting and turn taking in a slightly more natural situation. I like to use them with the ‘All About Me’ bunting craft from our Ice Breakers & Team Building Challenges pack in my small groups. I get kids to decorate the bunting with things that they like and that reflect them. They use these pens (and other craft supplies), and we can target requesting (“Can I have the purple bug please?”), sharing, taking turns (“Can I use the red heart next?”), making appropriate comments (“I like your blue fish”) and more!
There are so many great ways to use these pens, and these are just a few of the ways I like to use them.
Did you ever have these pens as a kid, and do you use stamper pens in your therapy sessions? What other ways do you use them? Let me know below!
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