What are interactive books?
“Interactive books” or “adaptive books” is a general term for a book that requires participation from the reader. They can differ quite a bit – in how the participation occurs, as well as how they are setup. The downloadable interactive books you will find in the special education world will most likely require lamination and the use of Velcro to move pieces onto various pages. (I exclusively use tack though – see why in the video at the end!)
Why use interactive books?
These books are a favorite and staple of mine!
The interactive component of these books keep minds engaged and hands busy. Kids love to move the pieces and be in control of the activity – it feels more like a game than work! These books work especially well for those with limited attention spans.
Also, they are a perfect on-the-go therapy tool for you traveling SLPs or those of you who don’t have a massive room or storage closet (so pretty much all of us!). You can get a lot of language and can work on tons of skills from just a small, compact book!
Lastly, and probably my favorite aspect, you can target many goals! I can often use one book with the majority of my caseload and for my group therapy sessions. I’ve used interactive books not only for language intervention, but articulation, stuttering, and social skills therapy…or just as a motivator!
Here are some of the main things I work on with interactive books:
- Answering WH questions
- Following directions
- Sentence formulation
- Expanding language
- Grammar (pronouns, verbs, prepositions)
- Categorization and associations
- Attending to task and turn taking
- Social routines and sequences
I use interactive book as an alternative to social stories. Don’t get me wrong, I love social stories and have had good outcomes with them, but not all kids like them or will attend/learn from a written story. Instead, I use an interactive book to discuss routines and appropriate behaviors. For example, I use the interactive books below to teach step by step what can be expected when going to the dentist or doctor. We discuss what will happen first, next, last and learn about the tools used.
Fun ideas to incorporate with interactive books!
Sensory bin: Hide the interactive pieces in a sensory bin. Let the student find one at a time or all of them and then complete the book. This works well for students who need a change-up, sensory input, or to add even more engaging components to the task.
Whiteboard marker: Since the book is laminated, use a dry erase marker to tie in more skills and engage in a different way, then simply wipe it off!
Sticky tack: Try using tack instead of Velcro when assembling! This allows freedom of placement. Otherwise, you must put one side of the Velcro onto specific locations of the scenes.
Watch this video to see the ways I use this playhouse interactive book in therapy and why I use tack instead of Velcro:
How do you use interactive books in therapy?
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