Sunday, February 18, 2018

Preschool Games for Speech Therapy

Games! Games! Games! It is one of the reasons I love being an SLP.  The tricky part is turning commercial games into therapy tools.  My students love to play games, so what better way to motivate them to practice their speech targets.  I love to use Pop Up Pirate, Jumpin Jack, Shark Bite, Pop the Pig, the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, Yeti in my Spaghetti and Fishing games. 

One way you can use them is with articulation or language decks.  The students practice their sounds or language target and then take a turn.  Quick and easy.  I have also started to use Game Companions that go along with each game. These game companions replace the dice or spinner that comes with the games.  The spinners have targets that the students practice before they take turn.

Shark Articulation and Language Game Companion
For the games that do not use dice or spinners I use game mats that have articulation or language targets on them. When you remove game pieces from Fishing games or spaghetti from Yeti in my Spaghetti you place the game piece on the mat.  There are targets on the mats that the students practice.  These can also be used as Smash mats.

Yeti Spaghetti Articulation and Language Game Companion
I have created 2 Freebies that I wanted to share with you.  I created free K sound spinners that I use with Jumpin Jack.  The spinners can also be used by themselves as a game.
Free Rabbit Game Companion for K sounds
Another Freebie that I have created is for commercial Fishing games.  It includes mats that target early apraxia syllables.  There are mats for VC, CV, CVCV and CVC syllables.
Free Apraxia Game Companions for Fishing Games
Games are such a great motivators for our students.  They are a great way to work with those mixed groups that always present a challenge in therapy.  I hope these spinners and mats are helpful.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Do you struggle to get 100 trials in Speech?

Is it hard to keep your students engaged while they practice?  I have found that by using games and activities my students enjoy therapist directed drill play.  It can be a lot of fun and the therapist can obtain 100 trials of the targeted sound or process.  I have found that their are so many commercial games and activities available that easily lend themselves to therapist directed drill play.  For all of these games and activities I like to select 3-5 pictures that will be targeted during the session.  The number I select depends on how often the student needs to engage in play and stay motivated.

Yeti In My Spaghetti :  Every time my students practice their pictures I give them a piece of spaghetti to place over the bowl.  When the game is assembled we play the game.

Kerplunk:  As my students practice they put a stick through the tube.  When all the sticks are in we practice the pictures as we add the marbles to the tube.  When it is all ready we have fun playing the game.

Mr Potato Head:  I set up a variety of parts that the student can select.  We practice the pictures and them add a part to the potato.  After a few potatoes are assembled we play with them.

100 Trial sheets:  I like to use crayons, markers and stamps with 100 trials sheets.  The child marks a picture after each production.  This freebie includes six Spring 100 trials articulation sheets and 2 data collections sheet.  The data collection sheets can be used with any of these activities.


Progress monitor your entire group easily
Legos:  I like to have my students practice their pictures and then I give them 2-3 legos to put together.  They build and practice at the same time.

Ned's Head:  I put multiple copies of the students pictures inside the head.  I place a sticker on one of the cards.  We take turns pulling a card out of Ned's Head.  The student who finds the card with the sticker shouts "I win!" This game is quick and can be played multiple times.

Cariboo:  I cover the original cards with Holiday or a theme.  After each child practices their targeted words they open  one box.  It they find the ball they get to put it in the treasure chest.  We play until the treasure box opens.

Chipper Chat:  Practice the pictures and them put a chip on the card.  When the card is full use the magic wand to clean up the card.  Take time to play with the chips and magnets at the end.

Jenga:  The students practice their pictures and then place a Jenga block on the tower.  When the tower is built we play the game.

Fishing game:  I like to have my students say their words and them put a fish in the "pond".  When the game is complete we play it.  I have also created a game companion that can also be used.  The students practice again as they place them in the fishing net.

Articulation Game Companion
Connect Four:  Each time a student puts a chip in the frame they say their pictures.  We play until their is a winner.

Using these games in therapist directed drill play is a fun and easy way to get your students to practice 100 articulation targets in a therapy session. If you are struggling to keep your students engaged think about trying some of these games. I hope your students enjoy them as much as my students do.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to develop you student's language skills using toys.

Do you have limited space in your Speech room? Do you still want to engage your students with toys? I love being able to use a kitchen center when I am in the classroom, but I don't have the space in my therapy room. I solved that problem by creating a stove out of a box.  I later use that box to store all my kitchen toys. It is a quick and easy way to develop a kitchen center.

To create this center the first thing I did was gather the toys that I needed. I had a shopping basket full of play food, plates, cups, silverware, pots, a griddle, and a Play-Doh stove. I also add some paper plates, cups, notepads and markers. To make a stove I covered a box with yellow paper and made four burners.  To finish it off I added contact paper, so it would be more durable.

I like to target sentence expansion, vocabulary skills, asking and answering questions and syntax skills when I use my kitchen center.  As I bring out the food we focus on naming the food and cooking equipment. One vocabulary unit I like to focus on is Fruit vocabulary. 

Click here to download the fruit vocabulary cards and progress monitoring sheet.
I have my students label the fruit, sort them by color and match them up to a set of pictures. I like to model how to take and order food in a restaurant. We use notepads to write down the order and then we cook the food. Throughout the play we focus on expanding our sentences.  If a student reponds "I want apples" I might expand it to "I want two red apples".

It is amazing to watch how with repeated use of the same toys my students begin to expand their language.  When I first introduce the kitchen center my students typically use unspecific vocabulary and short, choppy sentences.  The more we use the same toys they begin to learn the vocabulary and expand on their play themes.  By the end they are able to pretend they are waitresses, waitors, bus boys and chefs.  They are labeling the food and the utensils.  I love to watch their language grow the more we use the kitchen center.

Creating a kitchen center can be quick and easy.  When we are done everything goes back in the box until the next time we play with it.  This has turned into one of my students favorite activities.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

$10 tpt GIFT CARD Giveaway

TPT is Having a Sale. 
Use the code LOVEtpt to save 28% off all items, including bundles, at my Speech Gems store. I was one of the lucky sellers who received a $10 gift card from tpt to giveaway to my followers. I am excited to be able to offer this raffle. Click on the link below for two ways to enter this contest. Follow my tpt store and instagram page for 2 chances to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway   The winner of the raffle was Angela.  (I hope you find new products to enjoy with your students)

I am excited for this sale and hope that you all find products that you can use as you head into the second half of the school year. I like to reenergize my therapy this time of the year as we come to the end of winter. Here are a few of my favorite products that my kids love.

For Valentine's day I like to use my Feed the Articulation Monsters. I recently added Valentine's Day monsters, so this can be used in the Fall and Winter. We feed the monsters bags of candy with articulation targets on them.  There are blank bags, so it can be customized for many different goals. 

Feed the Articulation Monsters
One of my latest products that I am looking forward to using in March is my Build an Articulation and Language Leprechaun. As your students practice the articulation and language targets they build the Leprechaun's arms and legs.  It includes initial and final sounds, past tense verbs, plurals, association skills, categories, similarities and differences.
Build an Articulation and Language Leprechaun

For my younger students who are working on Basic concepts I plan to use my Spring Basic Concepts mini books. It targets next to, beside, in front, over, under, between, above, below, left and right. There is a book for St. Patrick's Day, Easter and Spring.

Spring Basic Concepts Mini Book

Finally for my older language students, as we approach Spring I like to introduce a unit on figurative language. My Idiom unit has task cards, progress monitoring sheets, a Bingo game and memory cards. It has enough materials to teach my students the 30 idioms in the unit.

There are a  few other sellers that have products I cant wait to try. There are times when I need No Prep items.  Both of these look quick and easy to use.

 Sweet Peas and Pigtails has a No Prep Object function product hat I am anxious to try.

                                                    No Prep Object Functions

The SLT Scrapbook has a super cute No Prep Valentine's Day Pronoun product.

                                                   Valentine's Day Pronouns- No Prep Activities for Speech Th

 I hope that this tpt sale helps you find products that reenergize you as we enter the end of winter and get ready for Spring.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Have more FUN when you TEACH WITH PLAY DOH

I love to use Play-Doh and so do my students.  In Speech there are so many skills that can be targeted with a new can of Play-Doh.  This month I have been working on vocabulary skills, basic concepts, articulation, rhyming and letter sounds all with Play-Doh.  I presented my students with cans of white Play-Doh, wiggly eyes, small animals, tongue depressors, beads and alphabet cookies.

As we were using the Play-Doh I suggested making a snowman.  We made snowballs in three sizes, added pairs of eyes and arms, buttons that were the same or different.  We used the cans of Play-Doh and the tongue depressors to make a bridge.  The snowmen and animals went over, under and across the bridge.  We added water so other animals could go in and under the water.  Later we made an igloo and a polar bear.  Our animals went on top of the igloo, next to it, inside and outside.  We all had a great time and I was able to targeted multiple basic concepts (small, medium, large, biggest, smallest, shortest, tallest, pair, same, different, next to, over, under, inside, outside and across) all while having a lot of FUN!

Another group made objects that rhymed with our animal figures.  We made rhymes for cat, bear, dog and pig.  Everyone loved trying to make wigs, frogs, stairs and at the end we made them all go splat (rhyming with cat).

The alphabet cookies were great for both articulation skills and reinforcing letters and sounds.  We found our sound cookie and made items that started or ended with our sounds.  My kids made cars, ladders, sharks, snails and more snowmen. As we made objects we created silly rhymes and tapped out the phonemes in the words.  My kids rhymed ladder with kadder, snadder,  and shadder,

We had so much fun learning and playing at the same time. Open a fresh can of Play-Doh and have some fun.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Do you struggle to find fun and exciting games for your older students?  Does the academic nature of their goals make it harder?  Introducing quiz games can tackle academic goals and still be a lot of fun.

One of my students favorite activity is a Quiz Game  that
uses a pocket chart, index cards and cut up classroom worksheets. I start by collecting worksheets from the classroom teachers that address vocabulary, morphology and syntax.  I cut up the worksheets and store them in a container.  Then I write the point values (100, 200, 300, 400, and 500) on index cards.  I put the questions in the pocket chart and cover them with the index cards.  My students take turns selecting a point value and answering the questions.  At the end, we add up the points to see who our winner is.  This game can also be played in teams.  I have used  commercial articulation and language decks instead of worksheet questions.  For some of my mixed groups I put articulation cards and language questions behind the point values.  The kids love it.  They get to go to the chart, make their selection and they have a lot of fun.

Quiz Game

If you like this quiz game click HERE to see other quiz games you could use that target vocabulary and language processing skills.

Another twist on this game is to play Three in a Row.  I start by drawing a grid with 25 squares on my white board.  Then I tack up the questions or commercial cards.  The students are trying to get as many three in a row combinations as possible.  They select a question, answer it, remove it from the board and then write their name in the square.  When they get three in a row they circle it.  At the end the student or group with the most three in a row combinations is the grand winner. They love use the white board and it can be used with almost any articulation or language target.

One final quiz game that my students beg to play is KABOOM!  On tongue depressors I write vocabulary words, idioms, sentence combining questions, categories and articulation words.  Any questions can be written on them.  I have color coded them, so I can use them when students have different goals.  The students know what color they can select.   I like to put the sticks in a container of beans and macaroni (so no one can see what is on the stick) and then I set a timer for 5-7 minutes.  Each student takes a turn selecting a stick.  If it has a question they answer it and keep the stick.  If they pull a KABOOM stick they put all their sticks back in the container and play continues.  When the timer goes off we count the sticks and whoever has the most is the winner.  Then we play again.  The timer lets their be multiple winners and adds a level of excitement to the game.

These quiz games turn academic tasks into a fun and exciting session.  When my older students walk in the room and see them set up I can see the excitement on their faces.  What do you do to engage your older student?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Create Simple and Easy Construction Paper Crafts

Do you love crafts? They are one of my favorite things to do and it is reflected in the therapy I provide.  Every month I plan a craft activities that can address multiple goals.  This year I have some large groups of 4-5 students with different goals.  Crafts, play, and books are all activities that I have been using. I love using crafts, but prepping crafts can be time consuming.  As I plan for the month of December I wanted to share a craft activity that is very easy to prep.

This Christmas tree activity uses 1 inch squares of green construction paper, and stickers.  For me if it is December I have to add glitter.  I start by using my paper cutter to cut small green squares and a few brown squares. 

Next I gather card decks that I need to target goals.  (I have a collection that I'm almost a little embarrassed about.  Last time I counted I had 38 commercial decks of speech cards. That doesn't count all the decks I have made myself.)  This month I am using my articulation decks, who and what question decks, and my category deck of cards.  That is all that I need to do and this craft is prepped. I like to make a sample so that my students have an example to follow, but you can also make one with your students.

When I use this craft in therapy I will be using the decks of cards to get multiple articulation productions, have the students answer questions or generate items in a category.  Throughout the activity I give my students 1-3 step directions that they need to follow.  After the student practices they glue on 1-5 pieces of paper in the shape of the tree.  I like to give directions about placement of the squares, but if I have a student that needs more help I will put numbers, letters or marks where they have to glue the squares.  After the tree is assembled we add a trunk and stickers.  Then it is time for GLITTER! 

Crafts are such a great way to target multiple speech and language goals.  My directions can be individualized for each student.  It is easy to incorporate basic concepts as well.  The concepts of first, second, last, next to, under, over, and in a row are all easy to use throughout this activity.

This December if you are looking for fun holiday activities think about crafts.  They can be fun and easy to prep.

Other craft activities that I will be using this month that are low prep are Christmas characters and another Christmas Tree decoration.

I hope that you give crafts a try this December in therapy.  Enjoy the holidays and have fun.