A typical conversation between my general practitioner
Doctor: How are you doing today? Oh, good. We're going to have a little look at your tonsils, so say "Aaaaah!"
Me: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ...
Doctor: (Sticks tongue depressor down my throat)
Me: ... aaaaaaaaaaa *gack*
Tongue depressors usually take the form of an eight inch long by 3/4 inch wide, oblong wooden slat. Picture something like a popsicle stick for God's Own One True Enormous Bomb Pop. Rarely they're made of plastic or sterilizable stainless steel, and even more rarely they have a spoon-like shape to push down more tongue area. Found in doctors' offices and summer camps alike, tongue depressors are wonderfully versatile for both examining patients and making happy puppet people.
If you need to examine someone's throat, tonsils, or oral cavity and no tongue depressors are available, a spoon works just as well. Spoon substitution results for art and craft projects may vary, consider yourself warned ...