A pet or dog theme is one of the best themes you can plan for your speech therapy caseload! Kids love dogs, and it’s an easy theme to adapt to. Plus, there are LOTS of dog-themed game and toy options, making planning for mixed groups easier! Today, I want to share a round-up of all the best dog-themed games and toys you can use with preschool and elementary students.
The cool thing about using a dog theme is that you can plan it anytime! If you need more year-round preschool themes, I got you covered in this blog post.
How Many Themed Games and Toys Do I Need For My Speech Therapy Caseload?
If you are just getting started with planning by themes, do not read this blog post and think you have to purchase EVERY dog toy and game shared. You are likely on a budget and don’t need every toy to make a theme-based approach work well.
When looking for themed games and toys, you want to consider the price and how adaptable it is for your caseload.
If it can be used for a wide range of skills and ages, that’s a plus! Or, if it provides fun manipulatives that you can use with the game rules or adapt for other activities like sensory bins, that is something to think about too!
And, if you score it at a Thrift store, even better!
I try only to purchase themed toys and games to fill an area on my caseload. For example, if I work with a lot of prek-2nd graders, a dog toy set is something I will probably invest in because it would be used all the time.
Dog-Themed Toy Sets for Play-Based Speech Therapy
You will need a dog toy set if you work with the prek-2nd grade crew!
Here are some of my faves:
- Critter Clinic at Target or B. Pet Vet Toy on Amazon – great for pet care and can adapt for other goals and themes. Learn more ways to use a Critter Clinic in speech.
- Learning Resources Ruff’s House Teaching Tactile Set – has a doghouse, tactile bones, and a small dog.
- For pretend play and sensory bins, this Dog toy set CP Toys Dog Academy Playset, is the best, but pricey! You can get 12 dog figurines for a better price with this set.
Struggle with how to use toys in your play-based speech therapy sessions? You will stress less when you have a toy companion cheat sheet guide to reference in your sessions. The toy companions come with a cheat sheet for a dog toy set, and the Pet Vet Hospital set.
Pet Store Dramatic Play Setup
For those who love to transform your rooms into a themed dramatic play center, check out how to make a pet store dramatic play from Pocket of Preschool. If you want to make a dramatic Vet play-based activity, Melissa and Doug’s Pet Vet Play Set looks great!
Or, if you are teaching how to take care of dogs or need props for retelling dog-themed books, this Melissa and Doug Feeding and Grooming Pet Care Play Set would be awesome! Or, grab your dog stuffie and buy dog toys and supplies from Dollar Tree to DIY it!
Dog-Themed Games for Preschool to Early Elementary
If you are looking for dog-themed games for your preschool and early elementary caseload, here are some great speech therapy game options:
Tongues Out for ages 4+ with 2-4 players. – good for memory, colors, and social language goals, and get cute pug dog figurines for other play activities and sensory bins
Shelby’s Snack Shack Game by Educational Insights
Puppy Trek – Adventure Board Game for Kids to help puppies race home
Sort Em Up Pups! By Learning Resources – can work on attributes by color, ear shape, spots, and more. You can work on beginning adjectives and have dog props for sensory bins and hands-on activities. Use the props to teach spatial concepts.
Reinforcer Speech Therapy Games for Elementary Ages
The life of an elementary SLP is filled with mixed groups! Often it’s nice to have a reinforcer speech therapy game to use in a session. Here are the dog-themed games for elementary ages:
- Puglicious by Mattel Games
- Soggy Doggy by Spin Master Games (can get your table wet, so you need a towel for water spills)
- Diggity Dogs by Educational Insights was a fun twist on Go Fish (I have this game, but it looks like it isn’t available anymore. It is so fun!)
- Diggin’ Doggies Board Game
- Name that Puppy would be great for sharing opinions, making sound-loaded names, or describing the dogs by attributes.
- Dog-themed mad libs word game – are perfect for syntax and vocabulary goals!
What Dog-Themed Toys & Games Do You Use?
Do you have a dog toy or game you love using with students? How do you target speech and language goals? Please share in the comments your favorite dog toys, props, or games and how you use them in your speech therapy sessions!