Spring Speech and Language Activities Prek-5th

Spring Speech and Language Activities Prek-5th

If you work with preschool through 5th grade, you are gonna love this blog post! Today, I am sharing spring speech and language activities you can use with your entire elementary caseload. This will help you plan more efficiently for your spring speech therapy lesson plans.

Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience in this blog post. When you click on a link, I earn a small commission at no additional cost. 

Spring Books for Speech Therapy

Many of these books included have book cheat sheets and visual story maps in the Themed Therapy SLP membership. Sign up for monthly or annual plans; don’t stress about themed therapy planning. You can read more about shared book reading strategies with these spring-themed speech therapy books.

Spring Toys and Games


During the spring season, bugs are everywhere, and flowers begin to bloom. You can do a spring bug pretend play activity with these bug figurines. Or, you can make a garden dramatic play activity or flower shop dramatic play with items from your local Dollar Tree. Check out this blog post to read more about spring play-based speech therapy activities. There is also a Real Talk SLP podcast episode 81 on play themes for spring too. If you are on the hunt for some spring speech therapy games, here are some fun ones:


Spring Songs and YouTube Videos

Using a spring song to get some movement can help kids stay engaged when planning your lessons. Here are a few spring songs that would be fun to use in your push-in or small groups:



When planning for your upper elementary students, using spring-themed videos can be a low-prep activity that easily covers speech and language goals. Here are some of my fave spring YouTube videos.



Plan spring speech and language activities for your prek-5th grade caseload!

If you need a FREE Google Slide presentation of all the best spring videos, click the pink button below. 

Sensory Bins for the Spring Season


The Themed Therapy SLP membership also has a spring sensory bin and cheat sheet lesson plan. 

Spring Crafts for Speech Therapy

There are so many great simple crafts for spring! If you want spring-themed crafts with articulation and language targets, check out this How to Grow a Flower craft.

Make in the Tall Tall Grass crafts and pair them with the book! Simply Speech has free printables for this craft. 

You can also check out some other spring speech therapy crafts on this blog post. 

Arty Crafty Kids also has some really easy spring crafts for preschool that would pair well with your books for an engaging small group or whole class lesson!

Receptive and Expressive Language Activities for Younger Students

In spring, talking about flowers and insects is a great theme smash! For SLPs who love the book, In the Tall Tall Grass by Denise Fleming then get this free Tall tall grass digital lesson plan for teletherapy.


For more themed therapy ideas to do in spring, this blog post has 5 themes you can use!

Take spring speech and language activities outside, check out this bubbles toy blog post with a free toy companion cheat sheet guide to give you LOTS of articulation and language goals targets.


You can take your students outside on an I Spy hunt with their DIY binoculars to make it even more engaging. Make the binoculars first in your session, and then head out for I spy hunts using these free I spy game mats

Spring Language Activities for Prek-2nd Grades

Spring Speech and Language Activities for Older Students

When looking for spring speech therapy activities for your older students, consider looking for articles or YouTube videos on their topic of interest that align with this season. For example, you could use a non-fiction article from Wonderopolis on baseball. Or, find a cool science experiment from Mystery Doug like this one about Why Do Birds Lay Eggs in Spring


Another great way to cover a lot of articulation and language goals is using real photos of spring activities. Search spring photos online or on free sites and add them to a Google Slide. Talk about wh-questions, using their words in a sentence, identifying emotions, perspective taking, inference, and sentence structures. Use the spring inference picture task cards if you don’t have time to search for spring photos! For spring and vocabulary Boom Cards, check out these


Need short stories with questions that are no prep and use spring vocabulary? Check out this set in my TPT store that is scaffolded for different levels. There are also short stories like this in the themed therapy SLP membership too!

The free Google Slides also organize several spring YouTube videos for older students to address these goals! And we have 4th-5th grade themed activities in the Themed Therapy SLP membership.


Using Spring STEM and Science with Older Students

Plan some spring-themed STEM activities to perk your older student’s interests. I love teaching tier II vocabulary and using these activities to give them a practical application of the words. Plus, you can target wh-questions, explain what happened, etc. The Educators Spin on It has a fun plastic eggs stem challenge. 

Stem Education Guide also has some great spring STEM activities that are not too difficult or costly!

Talking about a flower life cycle is a great unit to plan in spring, and I cover all the videos, goals, and activities you can do HERE

What Are Your Favorite Spring Speech and Language Therapy Activities?

What are some of your go-to spring speech therapy activities you use with students on your caseload? I would love to know a favorite book, fun DIY activity, game, website or resource you use with your spring-themed activities. Share in the comments or tag me on social media @themedtherapyslp 

EP 93 speech therapy schedule tips for how to get the most out of the day

If you have ended your day as a school-based SLP and wondered, “What the heck did I do all day?” you are not alone. Between high caseloads, speech therapy referrals coming in every other day, and trying to see all your students on your speech therapy schedule, it feels like we have NO time left to do all the other caseload management tasks.

In today’s episode of the Real Talk SLP podcast, I am sharing my speech therapy schedule hacks that help me stay focused and productive on the must-dos for the day or week.

By taking about 20 minutes at the end or start of your week to plan out what you will do with your non-therapy time, you will find pockets of time that you can use to get important speech therapy tasks done.

You know, like progress reports, writing IEPs, scheduling meetings, programming AAC devices, planning therapy, assessing students, Medicaid billing, etc.

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In this Real Talk SLP episode, I share the following:

You will learn tips for how to up your productivity during the work day so that when you leave, the important things on your to-do list will be done. 

With this one small switch in how you view your work week, you won’t get distracted by emails, phone calls, or overbooking yourself and actually have time on your schedule to get stuff done!

How-to use Google Docs to create daily or weekly speech therapy schedules that you can duplicate to adjust your schedule.

Make your copy here of mine HERE. Use this Google Doc for each of your sites. If you are at one site or need a full weekly schedule view make a copy of this Google Sheet

Print out your weekly speech therapy schedule after you edit it in Google Docs. I prefer to make a copy of my previous speech schedule and write a new weekly date for digital tracking.

Once I fill it out, I print out the weekly schedule and keep it on a clipboard to take notes when I go around the school. This way, if I didn’t have a computer on me while co-teaching, I could take attendance for Medicaid billing.

How to Use Zingo in Speech Therapy

How to Use Zingo in Speech Therapy

When working with students in mixed groups, it’s great to pull out games for speech therapy sessions. We often use board games as a reinforcer for practicing a goal. You know the typical way of rolling the die, practicing their goal, moving their game piece, and then letting the next student take their turn. Sound familiar? That can be super effective for practicing speech and language skills, but what if we could use board games as speech therapy tools? Today, I will share how to use the Zingo game for speech therapy goals. With these easy suggestions, you can turn the game into a Zingo speech therapy activity. 

Where to Find the Zingo Game


If your students love playing BINGO, they will love the twist of the Zingo game. I found this game at a thrift store, but if you want to avoid hunting around for it, grab it on Amazon (an affiliate link is included for your convenience.) In case you didn’t know, ThinkFun has an expansion pack with new words and cards. 

Using the Zingo 1-2-3 game would be super easy for your students with speech sound goals to get those high trials. Every time your student matches a number on their board, that’s how many times they have to practice their target speech sound. For more high-trial therapy ideas, head to this blog post

To help you adapt the game for receptive and expressive language goals and articulation and phonology goals, use the two-page toy companion cheat sheet with the game! It helps save brain energy as you navigate mixed groups with this speech therapy game. 

Zingo Speech Therapy Practice for Z words

It’s a no-brainer that this game has a lot of embedded practice for z words, just with the title alone.

Whenever students find a tile, they can say, “I got a zinger.” or “I can’t wait to yell Zingo!”

You can put the Zingo tiles on the table for a play-based speech therapy activity and have students zoom their cars past the items. They can say “I zoomed past the dog.” Or, you can have a magician zap the tiles to disappear!

You can also create sound-loaded carrier phrases and use the Zingo tiles as the fill-in-the-blank item.

For example, if your student works on r-blends, you can write a sound-loaded sentence such as “Grayson grabs a/an ______.” Use the Zingo tiles to fill in what Grayson grabs.

Use these done for your sound-loaded sentence strips in my TPT store to save you time!

 Rock Chalk Speech Talk shares so great ways to use this game for other sounds and apraxia goals. Check it out HERE


Ideas for Mixed Groups Articulation and Language

Frequently we have mixed groups with articulation and language goals. Here are some ideas for using this game with those types of goals.

Work on yes/no questions for the tiles. For your speech sound students ask them if the object has their speech sound. Use the free yes/no visuals from the Ultimate Articulation Carryover Guide.

Grab your figurines toys sets like these Little People community helpers and put them on your mats, covering the object. Then, you can ask “who” and “what” questions such as “Who has the duck?” After they find their item, have students describe the item by attributes. You can use this describing poster from the articulation game for describing words. Have younger students look under the figurines to see what they find. You can target CORE words for look, see, under, and what, or build simple sentence structures for “I see _____.”

Teaching Tier II Vocabulary With the Zingo Speech Therapy Game

Before playing the Zingo game, teach your students some tier II vocabulary words that can be relatable to the game.=

For example, the word reveal means to uncover or to show what is hidden.

With the Zingo game, the game tiles are hidden. When you slide the game handle, it reveals which two tiles are next in the game.

First, have your students complete a personal dictionary sheet with the word reveal. Then, tell them while we play Zingo, we will practice using “reveal” in sentences while playing the game.

Because there is a personal connection to the tier II vocabulary word, students will better understand how to use the word. If you need personal dictionary sheets, these are available in the Themed Therapy SLP membership in the bonus section.

For more tier II vocabulary words to use with the game, reference the Zingo toy companion cheat sheet.

How do you use the Zingo Game in Speech Therapy?

Isn’t it the best when you have many ideas for using one speech therapy game? When we can adapt one board game to cover speech and language goals, it makes planning therapy easier. So, it’s your turn. How do you use the Zingo game with your students? Share your ideas or tips to make this game functional for speech and language goals! Make sure to tag me @thedabblingspeechie if you use Zingo in speech therapy!

To learn about more speech therapy games, head to this blog post

Speech Therapy TH Sound Ideas

Speech Therapy TH Sound Ideas

Working on the TH sound in speech can feel challenging. It can be tricky to think of motivating words with the voiced and voiceless TH sounds. These sounds, though, occur so frequently in our language! Just re-read those first three sentences… so many TH sounds! We could have our clients drill reoccurring voiced, and voiceless TH sounds for a whole session, or we can try to find easy ways to spice things up with our therapy. Nothing makes a session drag more than doing boring drills the entire time. So, I’ve compiled some of my favorite resources and engaging speech therapy TH sound activities, and it’s all right here in this blog post!

This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Resources For Speech Therapy TH Sound

The first step, establish the sound in isolation and practice voiced and voiceless TH in syllables. Here are some helpful resources. 

TH Speech Therapy Words Ideas and Activities

Now that your student has established the voiced and voiceless TH sounds, it’s time to start practicing the sounds in words. 

  • One activity I’ve done in the past shows my students two pictures (like cats vs. dogs) and asks them if they like or would rather have “THIS” or “THAT?” Print/write THIS and THAT, place one picture/item below each word, and students can answer THIS or THAT. 
  • Use these TH activities speech therapy digital folders to customize quick drill activities for your in-person and teletherapy sessions. Everything is in one place, including links to websites, YouTube videos, Google Slides, progress monitoring tools, and PDFs.
  • Grab some pipe cleaners, beads, and pipe cleaner articulation for another one of my TH articulation activities. 
  • Print out TH speech word picture cards and use them for I spy games, drills, sensory bins, and more articulation activities that your students enjoy!
  • For kids who need movement or play-based speech therapy activities when working on TH, use this fun game, “throw it” from Home Speech Home.


High Trial TH Picture Word Ideas

You can get a TON of trials for your students who need TH picture words using the TH articulation activity flipbooks. There is a printable version which is very engaging because kids go bananas for using dry-erase markers.

Or, you can use it on your iPad or Kami Chrome Extension with the No Print version.

To help kids see how long they have to practice their words, you can set a timer for 1-5 minutes.

I like to do a minute and keep track of their trials with these digital counters. After the minute practice, I can give feedback about productions and show them how many words they practiced.

We can set it again for another minute and follow the same procedure. You can get a lot of buy-in for how easy it can be to practice at home each day for two minutes after they see they can get 25-100 trials in two minutes!




TH Articulation Sentences Level Activities

Now your student is moving on up to sentences with our TH sound! Give these a try.

  • Use this TH sentence activity challenge and send home practice sheets with your student!
  • Use sound-loaded carrier phrases with flashcards, mini trinkets, or word lists. You can pair the I Spy sensory bin with the sound-loaded TH visual sentence strips
  • Compare and contrast similar nouns that contain the TH sound. For example, teeth and mouth or toothpaste and toothbrush would be great TH words to compare. If you need pre-selected compare-and-contrast flashcards, check out TH articulation carryover set
  • Also included in this carryover set are some Sequencing TH pictures.
  • Use your speech word lists for TH to create carrier phrases. I use Home Speech Home or the themed speech sound word lists from the Themed Therapy SLP membership to find TH word lists. For example, you can write a phrase like, “I went to school with _______.” Then have your student fill in the blank. Use these free TH word list flashcards with this activity.
  • Play a guessing game and use the TH carrier phrase “I am thinking of _______” or “I am thinking of something _____.” You don’t have to use a TH word list by having a sound-loaded TH phrase. You could even play a trivia game, and students are required to answer, “I think the answer is.”

Speech Therapy TH Sound Reading Passages


The key to getting high trials at the reading level is finding stories or passages with reoccurring TH words. Here are some resources you can use: 

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At last, your student’s TH articulation objectives have reached the conversation level. Here are some ideas for you!

  • Search for how-to YouTube videos that contain TH. For example, you can search for “How to wash a thermos?” or “What to do if you have a toothache?” Use those videos to work on speech carryover while answering wh-questions, summarizing, defining vocabulary, and explaining the steps. You can use these pre-selected TH YouTube videos QR task cards in the TH articulation carryover activities set. 
  • Play the game or activity, “What do you think?” Give them a sound-loaded question, show them a funny video or topic, and have them share “What they think.” You can use the Epic or Fail videos from Ellen’s channel to have students predict what they “think” will happen next.
  • Any “Would you Rather?” or “What would you do?” questions are great for sneaking in practice. You can get what would you do question in my TH articulation carryover set or find some fun questions from Erik Raj
  • Lastly, incorporate self-monitoring skills using this post.

What TH articulation activities do you plan?

Voiced and voiceless TH sound is one of the most visual sounds to teach. And hopefully, after this post, you’ll feel even more prepared to use motivating and engaging activities with your students. What TH activities do you do? Please share in the comments or tag us on social to share your ideas!

Syllable Level Articulation Visual Cue Sheet

Syllable Level Articulation Visual Cue Sheet

We’ve all heard or said, “walk before you run!” As SLPs, we know it’s the same for speech. We learn to say smaller syllables like “sah” or smaller words like “sat” before we say multisyllabic words like “Saturday.” It’s that golden ladder speech sound hierarchy that all SLPs learned and often live by when treating speech delays and articulation disorders. We start by establishing the sound in isolation for our students with speech sound disorders. It might be tricky to decide on syllables or words from there. If we go to syllables, how can we keep our support of our students at this level while also keeping them engaged? My FREE tool, Syllable Level Articulation Activity Worksheet, can help with that. 

Traditional Articulation Therapy Approach Refresh

Following the traditional articulation therapy approach, we move from the smallest unit (a single phoneme) and gradually climb up the speech sound hierarchy. If you remember from grad school, the articulation hierarchy follows this system:

  • Sounds in isolation
  • Syllables
  • Words
  • Phrases 
  • Sentences
  • Reading Paragraphs
  • Conversation
  • Generalization across settings and people

Often, we’ll move right from the isolation level to words. When following the traditional articulation therapy approach, however, we should have the child practice their articulation productions in syllables. By removing the contextualized context, drilling their speech sound in syllables allows the student to focus on the motor patterns. Need more of a refresher on the traditional articulation therapy approach? Check out my blog post about it here.

If you need a visual articulation hierarchy chart, check this free one out from Allison Fors.

Where to Start With Articulation Therapy

Before grabbing the worksheet, you’ll need to determine where to start with your student. The best way to decide where to begin in therapy is to complete baseline testing about where the child is correctly producing the sound. The SLP can determine if the child can discriminate a correct versus incorrect sound production. Then, the SLP can assess if the sound is stimulable in isolation, syllables, words, and so forth. Once you’ve determined their baseline, it’s time to help them climb that ladder!


The Syllable Level Articulation Activity worksheet helps both our students and us. We can quickly plan for sessions with little to no prep. Grab the worksheet and

 Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience. 

The worksheet helps provide a visual for students while they focus on the motor patterns with their new sound attached to short, long, or mixed vowels in CV or VC syllables.

Tips for Using the Syllable Level Articulation Sheet

Practicing syllables may seem “boring” or even “weird” to some students, but it’s an important step. Explain to your students that these are the building blocks for words. I once had a parent question why I practiced such simple words in therapy with their child. I took the time to explain that practicing their child’s speech sound in syllables would later prepare them for correct productions in multisyllabic words. For example, working on final /s/ syllables such as “ace” could help produce this syllable in acid, baseball, asymmetrical, racing, and replace. After, she was more open and appreciative of the CV and VC words. A few weeks later, she could hear these CV and VC syllables in longer words. Some of our students (or their parents or teachers) might need this explanation, too! For younger students, you should tell them that you’ll be practicing silly nonsense words during the session.

Once you’ve explained your goal for the activity, it’s time to practice. You can pull out the worksheet for drilled practice before between turns in a game or craft. Cycle through each vowel before your student takes a turn. You could also have them repeat one vowel per turn. The choice is yours!


Additional Articulation Activity Ideas To Do With the Sheet


If you’re doing more play-based therapy, brainstorm the syllables that might come up during play or that you want to use during the activity. Many of these CV or VC syllables are words that we use daily. For example:

  • Make a car GO. Put a GUY in the car. “Oh no, the car is covered in GOO!”
  • Do you SEE that dino? It is SO cool. What does the dino SAY? The dino’s name is SUE.
  • The dolls are IN the house. Oh NO, the cat is stuck ON the roof. NAH, we can get it down. Ouch! The doll fell on her KNEE. Look, here’s a NEW band-aid to help. Now she’s hungry and needs AN apple.
  • Create silly names for the characters (dolls, dinosaurs, animals, monsters, etc.) you’re using. My dino’s name is SAH! or This animal is POH!

Ensure your worksheet is handy to help your student practice these syllables during play. When the worksheet is out during play, it allows your students to shift their attention to practice and provides a visual.


Strategies for Incorporating Self Awareness

Have the child rate their productions with visual supports. You can record your student producing their syllables and then have the student listen to the recording. The student can say or write down the words they said correctly or incorrectly.

Make sure your positive and negative feedback is clear and specific. For example, you can say, “That was a perfect L.” or “Oops, our tongue wasn’t in the right position, so I didn’t hear an L sound.”

Have your students visually see their performance at the end of the session by graphing how well they did or explaining which words they produced correctly.

Once they’ve mastered this syllable level, it’s time for words with their target sound!

Check out the printable and no-print articulation flipbooks if you need articulation word lists. They have word, phrase, and sentence-level practice. 


Sticking At The Syllable Level A Little Longer

Practicing at the syllable level provides our practice students with these essential building blocks to larger words. They can focus their energy on the motor plan for their new sounds. Planning sessions around such small syllables can be challenging. Still, the Syllable Level Articulation Activity Worksheet can help give students a visual when practicing during games, a craft, play, or more! How do you practice the syllable level of the Traditional Articulation Therapy Approach? Share your activities and tips in the comments!

Winter Boom Cards for Speech Therapy

Winter Boom Cards for Speech Therapy

You may love planning by themes but need help with getting the speech therapy activities prepped for the theme. If you want to do a winter speech therapy unit with your elementary caseload that is less time-consuming, this blog post is for you! Instead of searching endlessly on Pinterest for winter activities, read this blog post for winter Boom Cards for speech therapy. You can cut down that prep time for treatment sessions using digital speech therapy materials!

Plus, you can pull up Boom Cards on your laptop, SMARTboard, or iPad, so they are super convenient for traveling SLPs.

If you are new to using Boom Cards, check out this blog post from The Digital SLP, which answers all your questions in this blog post


Open-Ended Winter Boom Cards


It’s nice to have open-ended winter-themed speech therapy activities to use with any goal on your caseload.

Often, our mixed groups run more smoothly when we can use one reinforcer game or activity to work on goals in the group. Here are some winter game-type activities you can use for any goal:

Troll in a Bowl Winter Reinforcer – Save the Snowman

Hot Cocoa Race Open-Ended Game – FREE download by Crazy Speech World

Don’t Melt the Snowman – FREE download

Winter Picture Scene – FREE download (click the pink button below to grab)

Winter-Themed Picture Sequencing Boom Cards

Because school-based SLPs do a lot of intervention in mixed groups, it’s nice to have digital speech therapy materials that you can adapt to many skills. The following activities are great for working on sequencing tasks related to winter that also provide opportunities to discuss tier II vocabulary, following directions, verb actions, wh-questions, and more:

Winter Sequencing Boom Cards – Sequencing for getting dressed in the snow and having a snowball fight

Snowman Sequencing Boom Cards – Sequencing for building a snowman

Hot Chocolate Sequencing Boom Cards – activities to discuss how to make hot chocolate 

Check out this blog post to learn how to incorporate winter sequencing. You can also get ideas for sequencing with a snowman theme from this blog post



Receptive and Expressive Language Winter Boom Cards


More Winter Speech Therapy Ideas and Activities 

If you need some more winter speech therapy ideas, check out these blog posts:


January Speech Therapy Themes

January Speech Therapy Themes

When planning by themes for your elementary speech therapy caseload, knowing which theme to use can cause indecisiveness. When we are trying to decide which way to go with themes, it leaves us wasting time and procrastinating therapy planning. So, I am sharing a GIANT list of January speech therapy themes you can use with your caseload. And, if you still need to narrow down a theme for January, check out this blog post with tips for choosing a theme. 

One Thing to Remember with Theme-Based Therapy

As SLPs with high caseloads, remember that you DON’T have to use a theme for only one week. It can be time-consuming to plan when you constantly prepare for a new themed unit each week. You will lead yourself to burn out FAST switching materials each. We want to stay energized from lesson planning, so when you pick a theme, use the mindset that you will use this theme for 2-4 weeks of therapy. I talk all about that on the Real Talk SLP podcast episode 45. 

SLP Planner for the Year

Use my free-themed therapy yearly SLP planner to help you plan what themes you want to use for the year. It gives you ideas for what to prepare and has an editable lesson plan template to keep notes on what you did with a theme. When you have notes for your themed units, it will job your memory when you pull out the January speech therapy activities the following year. Click the pink button to download. 

January Speech Therapy Themes With Animals

Plan units around winter animals using books, non-fiction passages, sensory bins, and YouTube videos. If you focus on antarctic animals, break down the theme to learn about one animal a week. Here are some other winter themes with animals:


Arctic animals

Yeti’s (are they real or a myth)



January Themes Focusing on Winter

The winter season is something that most kids experience in the United States and around the world. Although some places like Florida don’t experience snow, many kids live in colder climates. Or, they can quickly drive to snowy places in the wintertime.

Using winter themes in January is a great way to build background knowledge around the seasons and teach vocabulary and language skills around those themes.

One way to break down a broad theme like winter is to plan mini-themes related to the season. For example, you can plan to do a winter season theme for the entire month of January. Each week you can focus on a different aspect of winter, such as winter clothes, winter weather, winter activities, and winter sports.

Or, you can pick one of those winter topics and focus on one mini topic each week. If you choose winter sports, you can focus on ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, and the luge. For more winter-themed speech therapy ideas, check out this blog post


More Winter Theme Ideas

  1. Snow Day – you can read the book Snow Day by Lester L. Laminack to talk about what kids do when it snows, and their school is canceled. 
  2. Snowmen – I have LOTS of blog posts with ideas for a snowman theme you can check out on the blog
  3. Snowflakes – you can find good articles on ReadWorks or Wonderopolis. I also will look on YouTube for snowflake videos. Plus, there are LOTS of excellent snowflake science experiments and activities you can work on for speech and language goals. Check out this idea from The Sprinkle Topped Teacher
  4. Hot Chocolate – who doesn’t love talking about hot chocolate? And it’s full of speech and language opportunities. I have a bunch in my store if you need some activities for a hot chocolate theme. Live Love Speech has some visual recipes for your co-teaching lessons.
  5. Winter Tools and Vehicles – this is the ultimate theme smash where you can pair winter weather with transportation. If you need a snowplow sensory bin, check out this one

If you need more January speech therapy ideas, check out this post from Busy Bee Speech.

January speech therapy activities

Check out the Themed Therapy SLP membership if you love using themes for your speech therapy caseload but struggle to find the time and energy to plan your lessons. The membership is for busy school-based SLPs who serve Prek-5th grade students and want to streamline their therapy planning process.

When you become an SLP themester, you can access three themed therapy units a month!

The January speech therapy themes are arctic animals, penguins, and outer space. An annual membership gives you access to over 24 theme

Themes Based on National Holidays

So many meaningful and fun national holidays would make for great themes to plan in January!

Here are some January speech therapy themes for national days:

Martin Luther King Jr. (this is an excellent kick-off for Black History month, which starts in February)

January 1st – New Years Day: focus on healthy habits, creating goals, and new changes

January 4th- Spaghetti Day

You can theme smash yetis and spaghetti with the game! I have a cheat sheet for the Yeti in my Spaghetti game in my TPT store

January 8-14th – National Pizza Week

Check out this blog post with ways to use a pizza speech therapy toy in your sessions. 

January 18th – Winnie the Pooh Day

January 18th – Hot and Spicy Foods – January 18th

What theme-based units do you plan in January?

Let me know in the comments what theme-based speech therapy lessons you plan for your elementary caseload. Tag me @themedtherapyslp with your themed activity, and I will share it in my stories!

Graphic Organizer for Sentence Structure

Graphic Organizer for Sentence Structure

One of the best ways to work on sentence formulation with your students is with graphic organizers. When you have a sentence structure graphic organizer that is easy to adapt across a lot of different activities, it makes language therapy planning easier! Today, I will share a free graphic organizer for sentence structure that you can use with any activity.

Why Use Graphic Organizers for Sentence Structure

For many of our students with language impairments, learning syntax and parts of speech can be overwhelming. Frequently our students are visual learners, and when they see words organized, it helps reduce their cognitive load so they can take in new information.

The free sentence structure graphic organizer has color-coding for the parts of speech which helps your students understand and remember how to build a sentence.

A parts-of-speech graphic organizer can visually break down how to build a sentence and provides a hands-on approach to learning sentence formulation.

How to Use the Sentence Structure Graphic Organizer

If you have syntax or morphology goals on your caseload, this free sentence-frame graphic organizer can help you cover many speech therapy goals.

In a group or individual session, you can use ANY photos related to your theme, wordless short videos, pictures, or images from your story books.

To start with the graphic organizer, you can show the student the video or image. Explain any unknown vocabulary or discuss concepts that will help build their knowledge of the item.

Then, you can brainstorm vocabulary words that describe the video, photo, or picture by the part of speech.

I will often write the words and allow the students to focus on verbally sharing their vocabulary words. Many of our students need help with spelling, and this graphic organizer is for you to work on creating sentences rather than how well you can spell a word.

After you brainstorm all the parts of speech on the graphic organizer, students can create sentences using the frames. Having the list in front of them helps your students to develop a novel sentence with less scaffolding from you!

And you can incorporate discussing morphology for verb tenses while using this graphic organizer.

Tips for Using in Mixed Groups

We all have had mixed groups where every student in the group has different goals. That can be so stressful for planning therapy, right?

You can use this graphic organizer for sentence structure activities and other speech and language goals.

For example, if you have a student working on R, give them some R challenge words when describing the photo that has R. Or, you can have the student circle all the generated words that have their /r/ sound.

Furthermore, you can have students working on speech fluency create sentences using their fluency strategies.

And, when you need to work with another student to explain some concepts or get 2-5 minutes of quick artic, you can have your language student use the pre-filled graphic organizer at an independent station to create sentences.

Sentence Structure Resources to Use with the Graphic Organizer

If you are doing a theme with your caseload, pull up real photos related to your theme from Google Photos. You can also find videos on YouTube of items from your themed unit. For example, I pulled up some funny squirrel videos and used them with the sentence graphic organizer. Check out this blog post for the squirrel videos.

Pull up any wordless short video and use it to describe what happened in the video. My favorite wordless shorts are from Simon’s Cat videos. You can use these cheat sheets to work on a LOT of goals. 

Find scenes or pictures you can use to describe with the organizer. You can use the images from my seasonal verb and vocabulary activities

One of your best therapy resources is the pictures from the books you are already using in therapy! Grab any book and describe what is happening in the picture. You can see how to do this with the book, “The Mitten.” Here is a blog post with more info about this book.

Need more grammar tips for your speech therapy sessions?

If you have a lot of students with syntax and morphology goals, check out these grammar blog posts:


How to Conversational Recast with Grammar Therapy

How to Implement Grammar Intervention


What activities or strategies have you used to help your students learn how to create grammatically correct sentences? Share your expertise or therapy material find in the comments!

Sneezy the Snowman Activities

Sneezy the Snowman Activities

When January hits, it’s time to pull out the Sneezy the Snowman book in your speech therapy sessions. You can target synonyms, s-blends, CORE words, sequencing skills, and story elements, to name a few skills! If you are doing a snowman theme with your elementary speech therapy caseload, this blog post will hook you up with Sneezy, the snowman activities you can use across the ages.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post for your convenience. When you use an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Where to Find the Sneezy the Snowman Book?

You can head to your local library, Amazon, or find a Sneezy the Snowman read-aloud on YouTube. To have access to the book digitally, Kindle Unlimited has it available when you subscribe as of 01/01/23. Your library may have a digital loaning service with OverDrive or the Libby app to get this book electronically for free!

Sneezy the Snowman Story Retell Props

To turn the sneezy snowman into an engaging story, you need to make a story prop kit! I talk about how to make your own for this book in this blog post. Not only can you use the story retell props for narrative language, but you can also use them for syntax, basic concepts, yes/no questions, and comprehension.

Sneezy the Snowman Sequencing Ideas

If you decide to do the DIY sneezy snowman story kit, you can work on sequencing what happened in the story (blog post link is above.) For your older students, you can use this free Sneezy the Snowman retelling worksheet from Rowdy in Room 300. After working on sequencing with Sneezy the snowman, you can continue to target sequencing with a snowman theme using ideas from this blog post

Sneezy the Snowman Activities for Vocabulary

Using this book, you can work on the shades of meaning for the vocabulary cold and hot. On the whiteboard, map out how words can be similar but grow in intensity.

For example, you can discuss the shades of mean for cold such as cool – chilly – cold – freezing.

Discuss with students when you might use those words to help describe a situation or the weather.

To help build depth of knowledge with some tier II vocabulary words in the story, have students fill out a personal dictionary, write the synonyms, and antonyms, use them in a sentence, state a kid-friendly definition, and draw a picture of the word.

Here are some of the vocabulary from the book that would be good for the personal dictionary: gigantic, shiver, new, build, melt, swirl, scoop, and surprise.

For category skills, you can work on winter clothing and sorting hot and cold items. Check out the snowman-themed language lesson plans if you need some hot and cold sorting. 

Sneezy the Snowman Crafts

If you need some Sneezy the Snowman activities using crafts, this blog post from Kindergarten Works has some easy ones!

Check out this template in my TPT store for a snowman craft to use with mixed groups. 

You can also use this free Snowman paper plate craft with your younger-aged students. 

Join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership

Join the Themed Therapy SLP membership if you want more themed therapy ideas like these Sneezy the Snowman activities. We provide 2-3 monthly themed units for your Prek-5th grade caseload, including book cheat sheets, no print materials, Google Slides, visual crafts, a toy guide, newsletters for parents, and MORE! You have access to over 24 themes simultaneously when you join the annual membership.

Sign up here.


Reinforcer Speech Therapy Activities to Pair with the Book

Throughout the book, Sneezy drinks something hot and then melts and has to be made brand new. You can play the Build a Snowman game and have kids make their Sneezy “brand new” again. 

Similarly, students can use the snowman file folder activity from my language lesson plans to rebuild Sneezy. You can target any goal with the build-a-snowman file folder activity! Check out the blog post about snowman toys because there are other types of toys you can use for a build-the-snowman activity.

What Activities Do You Do With Your Students?

Do you have a particular activity you pair with the book, Sneezy the Snowman? Share in the comments the activity and how you use it to target speech and language goals. 

Best Speech Therapy Toys for Early Elementary

Best Speech Therapy Toys for Early Elementary

As speech-language pathologists, we LOVE to use toys to work on speech and language goals. Today, I want to share the best speech therapy toys to use with your early elementary students. Having speech therapy toys that are easy to adapt helps you plan more for many students in less time.

If you are new to using toys to address speech therapy goals, check out this blog post about play-based speech therapy HERE.

After reading this post, you are sure to have a list of toys that will increase engagement in your speech therapy sessions. 

Best Speech Therapy Toys for Speech and Language Goals


Pretend play food sets are so versatile for speech and language skills. You can use these to work on categories, describing, grammar, morphology, social communication, and speech sound goals. 


Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post. I receive a small commission when you use my link at no additional charge. 

By far, the best sets for early elementary are as follows:

Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Toy Set because it has so many opportunities for social communication, and kids love talking about ice cream. This blog post shares ten ways to use this toy!


cookie or baking toy set can work on labeling kitchen utensils, sequencing the steps for making food, and using the food props for various goals. I have a blog post about using a cookie toy set for speech therapy HERE

solid play food set is an excellent addition to your speech therapy toys because you will use the food in so many themed units. For example, you can use food for a picnic theme, BBQ theme, pack your lunch for a school theme, or Thanksgiving dinner.


Toy Companion Cheat Sheets for Play-Based Speech Therapy

Check out The Ultimate Toy Companion Cheat Sheets to guide the SLP during play therapy (45 toy cheat sheets.) Have a speech therapy handout for all your favorite toys and games to use in treatment so that you don’t have to worry about remembering targets to use with the toys (that’s the cheat sheets job!)

Speech Therapy Toys That are Easy to Adapt

When you are looking to invest in new toy sets, you may ask yourself if you can use the toy to cover a variety of goals. And you should consider if it has a hands-on component and if it will get you opportunities for functional communication, cause-effect skills, or target cooperative play.


It’s an even better bonus when you can use the toy for speech sound goals!


Lego or Magnetic block sets are those types of toys! You can incorporate them with many goals, are hands-on, and kids dig them.


Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and surprise party boxes from Learning Resources are easy to adapt for speech and language goals. These cause-effect toys can also entice students to want to communicate more in a session. Check out this blog post for more ideas on cause-effect toys to buy.


The surprise party boxes can be put in a sensory bin, hidden around your speech room, and you can conceal mini trinkets or small pictures in the boxes for any goal.


Mr. Potato Head can cover body parts, clothing, requesting, sequencing, and wh-questions. Check out this blog post for more ideas on how to use this toy. 

Toys that Help Language Development

Your k-2 crew with language impairments usually has several areas of need in the language domains. When you have a mixed group walk-in with a grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension goal, you want toys to target those goals together.

Using magnetic scenes is a great toy to cover story retelling, comprehension, labeling, grammar, and describing goals. Plus, your students will enjoy creating scenes, and you can use it as a barrier game. One of my favorite magnetic scenes toys is from Create-A-Scene. I also found these Magnetic Portable Playboard sets that are smaller, so you can easily transport them from site to site. 


You can use the Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad for a more affordable option. 

When you have students working on basic concepts, describing vocabulary and categories, and answering wh-question and syntax, you need a toy house! The Li’l Woodeez toy house from Target or the Fisher-Price Little People play house is excellent for targeting language goals. And it’s a nice break from flashcards or worksheets.

What Speech Therapy Toy Do Your Students Go Bananas For in Sessions?

If you have a toy, you find a winner with your early elementary caseload, share it in the comments below!

My biggest wins in therapy are when I can use a toy to demonstrate or elicit a speech or language skill without using flashcards.

That’s why I love hearing what toys work for your students so that other SLPs can get ideas for therapy.

Check out this blog post from Speech Room News if you work with early intervention and need toy ideas.