Category Archives: Early Intervention

RAPPER SNAPPERS AKA POP TUBES in purple, red, green, and blue

Therapy Activities On A Budget: Rapper Snappers

Rapper Snappers are a multi functional therapy tool perfect for creating fun, budget friendly therapy activities! In this post, Physical Therapist and creator of the ABCs of Movement, Laurie Gombash, PT, M.Ed, shared five different ways to use Rapper Snappers (also known as Pop Tubes) as a therapeutic tool.  Be sure to check out her video below!

Demonstration of rapper snapper activity:  pulling a pink rapper snapper open

Arm Strengthening

Place hands on either end of the Rapper Snapper and pull! Work with the arms overhead to target shoulder strength or work with arms away from the body to target core strength. Target different muscles of the upper body  by pulling in different directions. Try holding the rapper snapper in one hand, at hip level, and using the other hand to pull up and across the body. Alternatively, hold the rapper snapper at shoulder level and uses the other hand to pull down and across the body.

Pro Tip, using the fingers to scrunch the Rapper Snapper back to size is great for finger strengthening!

Self Regulation

Rapper Snappers are a fun way to learn about self regulation.  Help kids visualize concepts like fast breathing or rapid heart beat by opening and closing the Rapper Snapper rapidly. Alternatively, demonstrate slow or rhythmic breathing by slowly pulling apart  or closing the rapper snapper.

Pro Tip, the sound made by the Rapper Snappers as it is opening and closing provides great auditory feedback!

Demonstration of rapper snapper activity:  squeezing a pink rapper snapper closed

Fine Motor & Motor Planning 

Looking for a fun and engaging activity? Use Rapper Snappers to make a marble run!  Bend and twist the Rapper Snapper to make a maze, drop the marble in, and let it run through.  Using two or three fingers to grasp the marble and inserting it into the Rapper Snapper’s narrow opening is a great way to get the small muscles in the hand working.  Planning a successful maze for the marble to run through takes planning abilities!

Pro Tip: This activity can be done holding the Rapper Snapper and moving the marble through or you can use Velcro or other adhesives to adhere Rapper Snappers to a wall or other vertical surface. 

Demonstration of rapper snapper activity:  blowing into a pink rapper snapper

Oral Motor

Shape the Rapper Snapper like a smile and try to imitate it with your lips, now flip it upside down to make a frown!  Purse your lips, give a big blow, stick out your tongue!  There are so many ways to use a Rapper Snapper to help build and strengthen oral musculature! 

Academic Skills

Use the Rapper Snappers to build shapes, letters, and numbers. Connect multiple Rapper Snappers for bigger numbers or shapes. Work as a team to build a giant letter on the floor!  

Rapper Snappers are a small, easy to transport, budget friendly tool that can be used across multiple settings and to target a variety of treatment goals making them the perfect tool when creating therapy activities on a budget!

Watch the Video!

Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium (MEIC)

This year’s annual conference in Framingham, MA, attracted over 750 attendees over the course of two days! Therapro was thrilled to participate as an exhibitor this year, greeting old friends, welcoming the opportunity to introduce Therapro to new early intervention providers, and meeting families of children from birth to 3 years.

MEIC provides this yearly opportunity for learning and networking among professionals and families who work tirelessly on behalf of infants and toddlers with special needs. Therapro joined this group in celebrating individual differences and offering fun and creative therapeutic resources for the challenges providers and families encounter with this age group.

Among the Therapro products attendees loved was the perennial favorite, Rapper Snappers. It was fun listening to therapists and educators describe how they creatively use these colorful, adaptable tubes in a gazillion ways! The Push Pull Puzzle was a sell out, with raves about how much the children love this 2-sided puzzle with 12 magnetized pieces. The puzzle promotes many skills such as finger isolation, color/figure recognition, and language stimulation. Fine motor manipulatives including Giant Nuts & BoltsGator GrabbersFinger Crayons, and Pop Beadswere deemed ideal for developing little hands.

Therapists restocked their oral motor tool kits with Z-vibesFlexi Cut cupsNuk Brushes, and Chew Lollies and Chewy Tubes at the Therapro exhibit. The Therapro publication, Pediatric Feeding Disorders: Evaluation and Treatment generated positive exclamations of its usefulness from speech and occupational therapists.

We were energized by the enthusiasm and commitment of the professionals and parents we encountered at this conference! Therapro‘s ongoing assurance is to partner with these providers by offering exceptional products to support their interventions.

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L