AAC Activity Ideas

I remember when I began working in classrooms for students with moderate-severe disabilities who had AAC devices and feeling completely overwhelmed. I didn’t know exactly how to model words for the students, nor was I confident about having whole group lessons in the classroom. Looking back, the more motivating the activity is that you bring with you, the easier it is to model communication for students and to get support staff (i.e., teachers, aides) involved to assist in promoting the communication skills of the students. So here are some of the activities I’ve done over the years that have been the most successful and engaging for staff and students!

Activity Ingredients/Supplies Instructions Core Words to Target
Fizzy Eggs

Baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, water, pipettes, mini cups

This one is pretty easy & the students LOVE it! Just take a large mixing bowl & put half a cup of baking soda in if you’re working with 6-7 students. Then add 1-2 tablespoons of water until the mixture is wet enough to be rolled into balls that will hold their shape. Add some food coloring of the student’s choice, mix it up and form one ball for each student. Then distribute the vinegar & pipettes and let the students see what happens when they squeeze vinegar on the baking soda ball!

Open, put, in, help, more, go!

Bingo You can usually find picture themed bingo sheets online for free - I like to use holiday themed ones!

This is an easy no prep activity if you already have bingo cards & chips. I like to model “give” while I give the students their cards & bingo chips. I usually only give them 3-4 chips to encourage them to ask for “more” or say “need that”. Then I will usually show the students the card & model the word “show”. Students can tell me if they “have it” or “not have it”

Have, show, give, not, it, need, that, more

What's in the Box??

A cardboard box and then anything you want!

Another easy, no prep activity! Just grab a card board box, cut a hole in it & throw some random items you have in there! I like to have students request a turn to take something out of the box or talk about other student’s turns (e.g., she turn, he turn). Additionally, I like to model “look” when someone pulls something out. Wow!! Look!! Some students could even work on describing the items with adjectives (e.g., big/little, soft/hard) or functions (e.g., if it’s a pencil - use it write). This is also a nice opportunity to teach the words it/that/this & remind staff that using those core words can benefit the student more than consistently working on a variety of vocabulary words.

Look, my turn, she turn, he turn, get, it

Pumpkin Volcano

This was SO fun around Halloween - all you need is a pumpkin, a bowl for the guts, baking soda, water & some vinegar!

I would recommend cutting the pumpkin first & starting the gutting process before your whole group session. Don’t worry about cleaning out the pumpkin too much because this will still work with some guts in there. But you can work with students on “take out” while they help to remove some of the guts. Then you can “put in” 1/2 cup of baking soda, fill the pumpkin 3/4 of the way with water and then when you’re ready pick a student to pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda!

Put, in, take, out, open, I do, wet

Graham Cracker Holiday Tree
Graham cracker, frosting, green food coloring, rolo candies, knife, m&m’s.
Another fun holiday activity. Students need to “get” a cracker, mix the green food coloring into the frosting, put the frosting on the graham cracker in the shape of a triangle, cut the rolo in half & put it on the bottom of the triangle using the frosting. If you want to add 3 m&m’s (if the students like those) then feel free! I usually send these home in a plastic bag with a note attached about what the ingredients are & the core words we targeted so parents can practice at home! get, take, out, cut, need, it, put, on, more, like, not like
Marble Painting Marbles, paint, white paper, stencil (you can make one easily out of card stock) a cardboard box with low edges (also can be made by cutting a box down). The stencil can be anything you want! I have made shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, hearts for Valentine’s Day, or just a star for any time of year! Begin this activity by having the students trace the stencil (or have an aide help them if necessary, although it doesn’t need to be perfect!) and then use scissors to cut out the shape. Put the shape they cut out in the box. Next, squeeze out some paint onto a plate & roll the marbles around in the paint. Put the marbles in the box on the paper and then tip the box to roll the marbles all around and create a design on the paper! Make, help, cut, need, put, in, take, out, go, more, all done, use





Author: Lexi Mazza, M.S., CCC-SLP
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. The content is based on the author's personal experiences, research, and opinions. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified professional or expert before making any decisions or taking action based on the information provided in this blog.

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