Planning therapy around themes can make it a lot easier to come up with ways to cover all the goals in your mixed groups. And if you have a large caseload, finding ways to use one set of materials for a wide range of goals will make servicing your caseload much more manageable.
Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials to Cover Goals in Mixed Groups
How many goals could you cover with this farmhouse toy (Amazon affiliate link)? If you had a mixed group with a student working on reducing the phonological process of fronting, a student working on verb + ing and another student working on following directions, you could cover all those goals with this farmhouse!
For fronting, you could have the student say, “Go _____” with the animals or, “I can see _______” during play. To target “verb +ing,” the students can talk about what the animals are doing. For example, the pig can roll in the mud, the cow can eat grass, and the horse can jump over the fence. Use the animals and farm items to work on basic concepts and following directions. And just like that, your therapy session is planned and that easy to adapt!
Do you need a cheat sheet that would help you remember all the target verbs, questions, vocabulary and activities to do with a farm house? Grab my Toy Companion Speech & Language Cheat Sheets and always feel prepared doing play-based therapy.
Build Your Personal Material Stash
When I find toys that can be adapted for a lot of ages and skills, it usually becomes part of my personal therapy stash. If I ever move sites or school districts, I want to be able to take the materials that I use all the time with me.
Another toy I use often is my Mr. Potato Head. Check out this post here to see how you can use this toy in therapy. If you need more toy ideas, this post covers some of my most used toys to work on functional language that you can read here.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.
Using a Farmhouse in Speech Therapy
Use a farmhouse to work on all sorts of goals! Here are some goals/skills you can target with this one toy:
—Turn taking and waiting.
—Initiating requests and comments. You can also work on joint attention by withholding objects until you get some eye contact and joint referencing.
—Teach prepositions such as in, out, next to, behind, in front.
—Work on verbs such as eat, sleep, run, jump, laugh, feed, play, roll, sit, gallop, drink.
—Answer wh-questions about the animals and farm equipment.
—Describe the farm animals by attributes.
—Create a story working on sequencing, story elements, and grammar structures.
Finding a farmhouse toy that is affordable can be tricky for SLPs on a budget. You can always try Facebook Marketplace and thrift stores for a deal. If you can’t wait, Amazon or Target have farmhouses.
Favorite Farm-Themed Books for Speech Therapy
I love bringing literacy into my sessions. The books have such colorful pictures, so I often use those to help stimulate language. Of course, you can work on story retell and oral narration with farm books, but you can also target grammar concepts, vocabulary, perspective taking (social skills), and articulation/phonology with words from the story.
Here are some of my favorite farm-themed books:
Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
No Sleep for the Sheep by Karen Beaumont
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
If you don’t have time to head to the library or your Amazon purchase hasn’t arrived yet, you can still use books in therapy. Search for book read-alouds on YouTube like Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner.
Farm-Themed Toys for Speech Therapy
Use the Create-A-Scene for the farm (Amazon affiliate link) to work on simple story telling, practice verb +ing, following directions, describing nouns by attributes and answering wh-questions.
You can use the farm animals from Learning Resources to work on lots of skills in therapy. Here are some ways you can use these farm animal figurines: target more/less, plural noun markers, describing the animals, sorting the animals by features (i.e. two legs, tail, four legs, color), CORE vocabulary go/stop and as a reinforcement toy for completing other skills.
I love this puzzle to work on farm-themed speech therapy goals from Melissa & Doug. You can work on word opposites open/close as well as lots of CORE vocabulary such as more, look, what, want, turn, and like/don’t like.
Melissa & Doug also have these affordable farm-themed reusable stickers that come with farm picture scenes. This can be a great way to work on grammar concepts, following directions, and story retell. You can also create mini stories and then work on answering wh-questions for those stories!
Farm-Themed YouTube Videos for Easy Therapy Planning
When I just don’t have a ton of time to plan extensive therapy, I turn to YouTube to help me with planning simple, yet effective lessons. I will use farm-themed YouTube videos to target goals for language.
Here are some farm-related YouTube videos you can use:
—4 Reasons Why Cows are Awesome by Scishowkids
—Chickens! What, Where, How by AnimalWonders Montana
—Fun Farm Animal Facts for Children by Kids Learning Videos
—Farm Animal Sounds by Kids Learning Videos is an interactive video to work on what animals sound like. The kids love it!
Some farm sensory bin fillers you can use are popcorn kernels or black/brown beans.
Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials for Push-In Language Support
Wanting to bring farm-themed speech therapy activities into your whole class lessons? Check out my Farm Push-In Activities. They are perfect for busy SLPs wanting to use language activities in small groups and push-in lessons for their K-2 students.
You will have materials completely planned for at least two weeks. I include cheat sheet guides, 3-5 station activities, a Google Slide presentation, as well as a newsletter you can send home to parents. When I started push-in support I wanted to find a quick way I could let parents know what we were working on, in hopes that they would help reinforce the same language at home. I read a research article that found students with language impairments need up to 36 engagements with a word before it is mastered! It gave me permission to do themed therapy for more than one week!
Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials You Love
What farm-themed speech therapy materials do you love to use in your sessions? I would love to know what is working for your students. Over the years, I have really grown in learning how to adapt materials just from listening to what other SLPs do in therapy. Please share by leaving a comment or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.