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Toy Tunnels are great for development in all areas!
Articulation/Speech: Toy tunnels are so fun to add to articulation activities for children that are active or need frequent sensory breaks. Have the child complete 3-5 word repetitions and take a turn crawling through the tunnel. You can also place articulation picture cards on each end of the tunnel and have him/her crawl back and forth to collect cards and practice target sounds.
Language: The tunnel is a great way to teach many concepts: in, out, through, fast, slow, short, long, etc. You can target following directions and so much more. Add any puzzle pieces, picture cards, manipulatives, etc. to each end of the tunnel to practice vocabulary, actions, and answer simple questions.
Pragmatics: Turn-taking and joint attention
Fine Motor/Visual Motor: Crawling on hands and knees through the tunnel helps develop shoulder stability and upper body strength, which is essential for fine motor control. The arches of the hands are also developed while weight bearing into the hands. To add some fun fine motor play to the tunnel activity, scatter small objects inside the tunnel and have children grasp and gather them in their hands as they crawl through! Or set up a fine motor task (like stringing beads or a pegboard) at the end of tunnel to alternate rounds of gross motor and fine motor tasks for kids on the move. For visual motor practice, use a straw to blow a ping pong ball through the tunnel while crawling behind it!
Sensory: Lay inside the tunnel and log roll sideways for intense vestibular stimulation!
Gross Motor: A child can use a tunnel to work on crawling through the tunnel or for use in an obstacle course.