Playing Trashketball in Speech-Language Therapy

Playing Trashketball in Speech Therapy Sessions

Are you looking for a fast-paced, engaging, and affordable activity for your therapy sessions? You're in luck-- all you need is a trash can!

I have played trashketball with students in 3rd to 8th grade, although I am sure you could make this work with students of almost any age.

First things first: What is trashketball?

It's as simple as it sounds-- Trashketball consists of throwing trash (such as crumpled-up paper) into a trashcan for points! It's a game I played when I was in school and I'm simply reusing the idea with my students.

Here are my non-negotiables:

  • Print off a set of rules. This game can get out of hand without clearly posted rules. I set rules such as 'Hold the ball between turns, No bouncing/dribbling, Stay seated between turns, No wild throws', etc. I let my students know that if they get 3 fouls (rule breaks) or one major violation, then they're out of the game. Students LOVE this game and tend to get hyped, and you don't want things getting broken! You can download my set of rules here.
  • The students know they MUST participate in the drilling aspect before they can take their shots. I usually keep Articulation Station or drill cards on my iPad for students to practice before taking their turn.

But you still have options:

  • You can use crumpled-up pieces of paper as your basketballs (plain or colored) OR you can use soft, small sports balls, such as these or these.
  • You can use tape OR some other type of marker on the floor to indicate the 1, 2, and 3-point lines.
  • You can use keep track of points by using an online scoreboard, such as THIS ONE, OR tallies on the whiteboard OR on sticky notes.
  • You can keep scores individually (per student) OR per team (group). You can also keep a leaderboard on your whiteboard! I keep my top 5 scores posted on the board year-round and my students love it.
  • You can use an actual basketball hoop, such as this over-the-door hoop, OR just use a (CLEAN & EMPTY) trash can like I do! I simply take the trash bag out of my classroom trash can (yes, I cleaned/sanitized it in the past, so I know it's clean in there).
  • You can allow your students to take a "free shot" at the end and then have them add up their total points for the last few minutes while you finalize your data. 

Goals to target:

  • Articulation. You can target word level, phrase level, sentence level, reading passage level, and conversation level articulation! Have students have their targeted word, phrase, or sentence before taking their turn, or have them read a short poem (I have an old drill book full of them). You can also ask a "Would you rather?" question or open-ended question to target sounds in conversation.
  • Listening comprehension. Read a short passage to the whole group and have them take turns answering comprehension questions before taking their turns.
  • Categories. Practice divergent or convergent categories before having students take their turns.
  • Social scenarios/problem-solving. Read aloud a social scenario and have students answer what they'd do or how they'd solve the problem before taking their turns.
  • Describing. Show a picture and use it in conjunction with the EET. Have the student describe the item before taking their turn.
  • Compare/Contrast. Show two pictures and have the student name similarity and differences before taking their turn.

Do you play trashketball in therapy? How do you use it? Tell me below!

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