You can do an apple speech therapy theme any time of the year, but it’s enjoyable to do it during the fall months when apples are harvested. If you love an apple theme and want some ideas for toys and props to use in your play-based speech therapy sessions, this is the post for you! I have rounded up all my favorite apple-themed props that you can use to increase engagement while targeting speech and language goals.

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Apple Props for Sorting Activities

Learn how to use these apple speech therapy props to cover speech and language goals.

Many of our students with language disorders have areas of need with vocabulary development. Often, our students need help with categorization, understanding wh-questions, and having depth of knowledge with vocabulary meanings. You can work on sorting with an apple theme by making DIY apple baskets using lunch-sized paper bags. I cut mine down and then added apple sorting printables to use in therapy for co-teaching and small groups. Another option is to use baskets that you may have around your house or empty cardboard boxes.


To follow an accurate theme-based approach, you would want to have sorting baskets to have concepts related to apples. For example, students could sort big and little apples, or category group items for fruits, containers, and foods with apples. You can do a skills-based approach with the fun apple props, too. Just know that a theme-based approach teaches speech and language skills using a context for the students to attach meaning to the new concepts and vocabulary. 

Free Apple-Themed Speech Therapy Lesson Plans

If you work with preschool and early elementary speech therapy students use this free Apple-themed speech therapy lesson plan. It has a free apple cooking visual recipe and visual supports for an easy apple paper plate craft. Plus, Live Love Speech and I added links to games, toys, and other materials that would fit an apple theme perfectly. 

Get your free apple-themed speech therapy lesson plan with a craft and cooking lesson.

Props for Sensory Bins & Hands-On Activities

Learn about how to make this apple speech therapy sensory bin to cover your student's goals!

Worksheets are very effective in practicing speech and language goals, but sometimes it can be boring for you and the students! You can use apple speech therapy props to work on LOTS of goals. For sensory bins, you can use Dixie cups or toilet paper rolls to make apple trees. Students can put the fallen apples back on the tree to work on basic concepts. Talk about quantities, make the trees different lengths to work on long/short, or use with your pretend play activities like going to an apple orchard.

Apple Surprise Party Boxes for Mini Trinkets & Mini Pictures

Raise your hand if you love the surprise party box toy sets from Learning Resources? You can have a similar toy prop using these plastic apple boxes. I have filled them with the Themed Therapy SLP verb and vocabulary flashcards (print four to a page) and mini trinkets. You can see a LOT of different versions on Amazon. Here are a few ways you can use them:


  • Answer wh-questions & describing about the items inside
  • Open/close and in/out
  • AAC CORE words for open, look, want, more, out, in
  • Preposition apple tree picking hunt – hide the apples around the room
  • Put in a basket and have kids see how many words they have to practice based on the number inside the apple


How would you use this prop in therapy? Share in the comments. 

Props for Apples & Tips for How to Use

Learn about these apple preschool activities and ways to make it hands-on!

If you have flashcards for articulation, phonology, or language, put plastic apples on top of the card. When they have “picked” all the apples, they can earn a game or start a new activity. Michael’s has a whole section of fake apples about 1.5-2 inches in size. 


For all my preschool SLPs working on colors and size, Learning Resources has a set of apples that are yellow, green, and red and also big and small. 


You can’t go wrong with using red and green pom pom balls to act as an apple-picking game. Roll a die or spin a spinner to see how many apples you picked. Students can put the pom poms on the open-ended game mats from the Themed Therapy SLP membership to see who picks the most apples.


Another variation with the pom pom balls is using them to feed the animals while reinforcing any goal. 

What apple-themed toys and props do you use in speech therapy?

Do you have a favorite apple toy, game or prop that you use in therapy? I would love to know what it is and how you use to it plan engaging sessions. Share in the comments or tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie with a pic of it in action. 

Check out these apple-themed speech therapy ideas for preschool and early elementary.