Using Simon’s Cat Videos In Speech Therapy

Using Simon’s Cat Videos In Speech Therapy

Who loves low-prep speech therapy activities that cover a LOT of goals? And keeps your students engaged? Um, we are all raising our hands right now. If you have yet to hear of the wordless short Simon’s Cat videos, you need to check them out. In fact, I am going to tell ya all the goods about how to use the Simon’s Cat videos in speech therapy. Reading this blog post will make planning for mixed groups a WHOLE lot easier.

What Are Simon’s Cat Videos?

Simon’s Cat is a series of comic strip animated short videos that you can find on YouTube. The videos are primarily without words and are in black and white. You can watch these videos on your iPhone, iPad, laptop, or computer to target many different skills! If you are worried about ads and unwanted images popping up during your lesson, I recommend watching Simon’s Cat videos with safe tube. Safe tube is free and allows parents and educators to watch videos without the ads. If you need internet at your school site, there is now a Simon’s Cat comic book!! You can get it on amazon HERE. This is an amazon affiliate link.

Using Simon's Cat videos in speech therapy to target articulation, language, grammar and social skills

Why Simon’s Cat Videos For Speech Therapy 

  • These videos are free—less money to spend on Therapy materials.
  • There are a ton of videos. Seasonal-themed and generic, I can use them in speech therapy all year long.
  • You can use Simon’s Cat videos across a variety of ages. I have used them with 1st-8th grade. You could also test them out among the high school ages.
  • I like watching them. Therapy always seems more exciting if I enjoy the resource because I am excited to talk about the videos.
  • You can use Simon’s Cat Videos with your mixed groups. Planning for each student in my groups can be challenging because I have to find different activities and then manage the group to stay on task. Having one resource to cover everyone’s goals increases on-task behavior.
  • The setting in the video is usually Simon’s house, and the characters are a man and a cat. I know that in many of the videos, my students have exposure to the vocabulary, so I don’t have to spend much time around schemes and background knowledge. 
  • These videos are short! They are only 2-3 minutes long so you can get through them in a 30-minute session.

How To Simon’s Cat Speech Therapy Ideas

There are many ways to use Simon’s Cat videos in speech therapy. You can structure your speech therapy session to use the video the entire time or break up your session. For example, do a 5-minute warm-up, teach some vocabulary words for 5 minutes, and then show the Simon’s Cat video for the remaining 10-15 minutes to target goals.

Using Simon's Cat Videos In Speech Therapy

Use Cheat Sheets with Simon’s Cat Wordless Short Videos

If you need quick speech therapy lesson plans for mixed groups that you can use with younger and older students, check out these seasonal Simon’s Cat speech therapy cheat sheets.

They come with 3-page cheat sheets for winter, Valentine’s day, spring, summer, fall & Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

And there are sentence strips, graphic organizers, and visual supports to help you cover a TON of speech and language goals.

Try out the One the Fence Simon’s Cat speech therapy cheat sheet by clicking the pink button. 

graphic organizers and visuals for Simon's Cat videos
Use these Valentine's Day Simon's Cat speech therapy cheat sheets for mixed groups.
Spring Simon's Cat speech therapy cheat sheets to make mixed groups easier!

Articulation Speech Therapy Ideas

using simon's cat videos in speech therapy to target story telling and comprehension
  • During the video, you can have the students write down or tell you words they saw or heard with their speech sounds. After the video, they can say each word five times or use it in a sentence. You can also write a cheat sheet of target words from the video.
  • The SLP can have the student answer comprehension questions from the video with their target speech sounds.
  • Summarize the video using the target words from the video with their best speech sounds.

Language Speech Therapy Ideas

  • Work on narrative comprehension and oral narration using these videos. Jot down some comprehension questions from the video before the students arrive to discuss the video. Have students work on storytelling by adding details on what would happen next if the video didn’t end. If you need some graphic organizers to help with this, grab this free set from KiwiSpeech HERE or Speech Time Fun’s summarizing graphic organizer HERE.
Using Simon's Cat videos in speech therapy to work on story telling and oral narration
  • The SLP can help their students build more complex sentences using the video. Watch the video and then have the students describe the parts of speech they see in the video. If you want more information about effective grammar intervention, check out this blog post I did with some research I found. 
  • Teach and show vocabulary with these videos. The SLP can pick target vocabulary words to teach from the video. During the speech therapy session, target antonyms, synonyms, word associations, attributes, and adjectives to describe items in the video.
  • Discuss the main idea of the video and work on making a new video title for the video.
  • Teach specific grammar concepts such as third-person singular, pronouns, plurals, verb tense, and noun-verb agreement.
  • If you need cheat sheets to remember all these ways of using the Simon’s Cat videos, check out these Simon’s Cat speech therapy cheat sheets to use throughout the year.

Social Skills Simon’s Cat Speech Therapy Ideas

  • What are they thinking about? Work on teaching that our eyes give people clues about their thoughts. Have your students identify what the characters are thinking based on where their eyes are looking.
  • Use the videos to have students identify emotions and non-verbal body language. Have your students explain how the characters feel and what clues they noticed, such as eyes widening, smiling face, or body hunched over.
  • Perspective taking- work on students explaining what people could be feeling or thinking in the video.
  • Social inferences and predictions are a way for us to figure out what someone may do next, so we can figure out what to say or do in a social situation.
  • Conversation – have your students watch the video and then have them discuss what they liked/didn’t like about the video.
  • Thinking/Talking bubble – These wordless short videos are perfect for working on what people are thinking and what could be in their talking bubble. Make your speech and thinking bubble on a dry-erase board, or grab a dry-erase think bubble from the dollar store or on amazon HERE. (amazon affiliate link provided).
  • Humor – these videos are hilarious and are perfect for discussing why they are funny!

How Do You Use the Simon’s Cat Videos?

How would you use Simon’s Cat videos in speech therapy? I would love to hear your therapy ideas.

Gingerbread Man Perspective Taking Activity

Gingerbread Man Perspective Taking Activity

December is the month that I always pull out the Gingerbread Man book. It is a great theme for December because it is holiday neutral, but still has that festive feel. Today, I wanted to show you some ways you can do a Gingerbread Man perspective taking activity. I am going to provide three ways you can implement this idea, so you don’t have the materials, you can do the next best option.

gingerbread man perspective taking activity for your next social skills lesson. A fun and festive holiday social skills lesson.

In this gingerbread man perspective taking activity, the focus of the lesson is to work on “thinking about others”. Before the lesson or in a lesson prior to this one, you can start working on the vocabulary terms “thinking about my ideas” versus “thinking about others ideas”. You can talk about situations when you need to think about other people’s ideas.

Setting Up For The Gingerbread Man Perspective Taking Activity

Last year, I made gingerbread man cookies that were different sizes. When I was dabbling at Hobby Lobby last year, I found these amazing cookie cutters that had small, medium and big sizes for gingerbread men. I couldn’t resist and bought them! They also have different sized ones with a boy and girl version on Amazon (Amazon affiliate link). Amazon also sells a set of three that you can get, too.

I also brought in different colored frosting and types of decorations for the gingerbread man cookies. For my students working on language skills, they got to work on describing by attributes and answering wh-questions from peers. My social skill students worked on thinking about others, but also had opportunities to work on waiting, requesting, turn taking, initiating, and responding with comments.

 

gingerbread man perspective taking activity using a cookie decorating social skills lesson

When I do this lesson, I usually push into the classroom and bring enough supplies for every student in the class. I did this with my K-2 and 3-5 special day classrooms. We partnered up each student and I have the teacher and instructional aids in the classroom help as I present the lesson. One student will be the creator and the other student is telling their partner what to create. If your students struggle with initiation or knowing the social language to ask, you can make visual conversational scripts to help them access the words during the lesson.

How to Organize & Maximize Social Skill Opportunities During The Lesson

For each step of the lesson, I have the student creating the cookie ask his/her partner a question. We first started with, “what size gingerbread man do you want?”. The partner would answer the question, and then the student would go to the designated cookie decorating station to request the cookie and a plate. Then, the student would come back and ask the partner what colored frosting the student wanted. We waited for each partner group to be finished before moving on to asking a new question. Once the first student decorated the cookie for his/her partner, the roles reverse.

We went through each step of making a cookie for someone else. Some of my friends had to learn how to be flexible when the person did not want the colored frosting or decorations that they wanted. It was a natural moment for us to talk about thinking about others and being flexible. You can also have students ask clarifying questions such as “do you want more frosting?” or “is this where you wanted the button?”

At the end of the lesson when everyone’s cookie was decorated, we also had students show their peers or teachers in the class their cookie. Students described each other’s cookies and we also talked about the steps that were needed to decorate the cookie. Before eating the cookie, the students had to say “thank you” to their partner for decorating their cookie.  SO.MUCH.LANGUAGE, right!?

Gingerbread Man Perspective Taking With A Craft

If you don’t feel like baking gingerbread man cookies, you can do this same activity using a paper gingerbread man and creating a craft! Simply, print a blank gingerbread man template on brown construction paper or cardstock, grab art supply decorations (i.e. poms poms, glitter, wiggly eyes, sequences, paper cut out like frosting lines, etc) and glue.

GINGERbread man perspective activity

 

 

Do the same set up as listed above, just use the craft items to have students make selections.

Gingerbread Man Perspective Taking With Playdoh Mats

Don’t want to make a mess with glue, glitter and scraps of paper? Then, do it Play-Doh style! You can buy Play-Doh for this activity on Amazon (Amazon affiliate link included for your convenience), which is my most favorite and time effective way, LOL, or you can make Play-Doh with this easy recipe HERE. Mommy SLP tip….I make the homemade Play-Doh with my own children as a fun bonding time and then take it to school for my speech therapy sessions. Of course, I make extra so my own children can have fun with homemade Play-Doh too.

gingerbread man perspective taking activity using a playdoh decorating social skills lesson

 

Print out a blank gingerbread man template in color and then follow the same lesson plan outlined above, but use Play-Doh instead. You can have them add buttons, eyes, clothes, hair, frosting decoration and more.

Gingerbread Man Perspective Taking With Apps

You can even adapt this perspective taking activity to use with your iPad because there are gingerbread man creation apps. If you are a traveling SLP, or so swamped with paperwork that you don’t have time to prep any of the other versions above, this is for you! Here is one that is free, but it has ads on it.

gingerbread man perspective taking activity on the ipad

Here is another gingerbread man cookie maker app that could be fun. Or you could have them decorate a gingerbread house instead!

Facebook Live with Tips and Info about Doing a Gingerbread Man Perspective Taking Activity

If you are more of a visual type of learner, you can head over to my Facebook page HERE and watch my Facebook Live I did a couple of Mondays ago with info about how to do this lesson in therapy.

If you need more easy holiday therapy ideas, check out my blog post from last year that is filled with some good ones! What holiday activities do you love to use for social skills? I love using Elf in speech therapy during this month.

Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head In Speech Therapy

Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head In Speech Therapy

Do you remember playing with Mr. Potato Head as a kid? It was one of those toys that kept me busy for hours. Mr. Potato Head is a great toy to invest in for your speech therapy room. If you work with the prek-2nd grade crowd, this is for sure a crowd pleaser!
Using Mr. Potato Head in speech therapy is a great way to keep kids engaged while building speech and language skills

Why you should get a Mr. Potato Head For Speech Therapy

I love finding toys, games and resources that I can re-use over and over again in therapy. If I can think of MANY ways to use a toy in therapy, it is a winner in my book. So often, SLPs have mixed groups and need to adapt activities to incorporate articulation, fluency, social skills and language goals. It is truly an art to manage all that! Mr. & Mrs. Potato head allow students to explore, manipulate things with their hands, be creative and practice pretend play skills. When you have all those ingredients, a child’s willingness to communicate increases a TON!

Where to buy a Mr. Potato Head

You can find Mr. Potato Head on Amazon (amazon affiliate link for your convenience),Target and Toys R Us. Of course, I love using amazon prime to collect my toys. If you are a bargain shopper, you can always comb the Good Wills and garage sales for these classic toys. I recommend getting the Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase and the Mrs. Potato Head Silly Suitcase because it comes with a lot of variety for the price. Plus, I think the suitcase is very easy to store all the parts and keep organized in my speech materials closet. I do have my eye on some of the Star Wars Mr. Potato Heads and will probably get those next year with my speech budget!

Fun ways to use Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head in speech therapy to keep your students engaged and motivated to communicate!

Ways to use Mr. Potato Head in speech therapy

1. For my students working on turn taking and collaborative play, I give the box filled with body parts to one student and the potato to the other student. One student has to initiate with the peer to get the items that he/she would like to add to the potato head. We work on making comments after a friend asks for an item.

Use Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head in speech therapy to target a variety of speech and language goals!

This activity can teach the expected social rules, turn taking, taking in the group, following your peer’s plan vs. your own plan and so much more!

2. Work on body parts! This is a early developing category group that children should learn. Have the students request the item that they want for their potato head. You can work on the noun-function for each body part, where you can find certain clothing items and where clothing items belong on the potato’s body.

Mr. Potato Head Speech Therapy-How to use Mr. Potato Head in speech therapy to cover multiple goals

3. Target descriptive language with teaching adjectives. Describing items by color is an easy way to build adjectives and MLU! For example, you can have the students say “Mr. Potato Head has blue shoes.”

Mr. Potato Head speech therapy. A great toy for speech therapy

4. Work on “who” questions with Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head. First, have your therapy group request and work with their peers to build the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads. Then, find items in your therapy room to use with the potato heads. I used these fun trinkets from Dinky Doodads to use with this activity. Then, I asked my students “who” questions. For example, I laid out three items between both of the potato heads. I then asked “Who has a donut?” This was a great way to work on the beginning stages of understanding what “who” is asking.

5. Build grammatically correct sentences with noun-verb agreement. For my students with limited MLU’s or grammar errors, I used Mr. Potato Head to work on parts of speech, especially noun-verb agreement.

6. Practice articulation with carrier phrases and sentences. Grab a set of pictures with your student’s sound and have them make sentences with silly Mr. Potato Head sentences. I use sound words from my Any Craft Companion Set. You can do Mr. Potato Head ate ______, Mr. Potato Head sat on a ______ or Mr. Potato Head watched a/an __________.

7. For my students working on basic concepts and following directions, I use Mr. Potato Head a couple of ways. I will hide the body parts around the room. The students have to ask for clues using basic concepts to figure out where I put them. Is there a piece under the table, behind the box, near the door, etc.? I will also work on first, next, last and before and after with my students. Before you put on the pink ears, put on the orange nose. It is a great way to also collect data during the session!

Need more ideas for Mr. Potato Head

If you want some more therapy ideas, I found a blog post from Speech Room News that you can read about HERE! Speech For Kids has a great post too that you can read HERE! How do you like to use Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head in speech therapy? Share in the comments below.

Social Skills Videos- A Review of Everyday Speech Videos

Social Skills Videos- A Review of Everyday Speech Videos

Social skills therapy can be overwhelming at times. There are many components to having a successful social interaction, which makes it difficult to know where to start in speech therapy. It is also hard to find resources that break down complex social skills into smaller, more visual parts. This is why I love using social skills videos in pragmatic therapy. It gives me a starting point and helps me guide my lessons. I was so excited when I discovered Everyday Speech’s Social Skills videos!

Use Everyday speech's social skills videos for teaching lessons in social pragmatic therapy. Love how easy these are to incorporate into speech sessions and whole group lessons.

What is Everyday Speech

Everyday Speech is a website that provides social skills materials for SLPs, special education teachers and other learning professionals. The website’s main focus is building a library of social skills videos that can be used to teach the students specific social skills. They add new social skills videos every month. By next year, Everyday Speech is aiming to have over 100 social skills videos to use in your speech rooms and classrooms (amazing)!

Everyday Speech Social Skills Videos for social pragmatic therapy. These videos are great and save time for lesson planning!

How I discovered Everyday Speech

If you have been following me for some time now, you know I LOVE Youtube! I love finding videos that I can incorporate into my therapy sessions. The kids love technology, I love when my students are engaged, and it makes for some serious low prep, effective therapy sessions. Everyday Speech has a youtube channel featuring some of their videos. I tried them out with my social skill groups and they were a hit!

Why I love using these social skills videos

  • They are short! Each video is about 2 minutes long, so I can visually show my students the social skill and still have time to practice/role play the skill after the video ends.
  • The videos have real people acting out the social skills. They get to see what the expected behaviors/actions/words are necessary for the skill.
  • Video modeling is an effective evidence based therapy approach for students on the Autism. I love how visual the videos are for my students. Plus, they are written by an SLP, so I know they are legit!
  • I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the thought bubbles in the video. It helps show what people are thinking during an interaction, which has helped my students understand another person’s perspective.
  • Planning therapy has become so much easier for me when using these video. There are a lot of videos to chose from in the database, so I can use different videos each week in therapy.
  • There are worksheets that go along with the videos, which have great discussion questions and can also be given as homework for home carryover.
  • Everyday Speech has videos that are in game form. There is a BINGO game, Guess what happens next, Act it out, problem solving and two sides. These videos are longer in length and the speech therapist can use them for the entire session. I am using these videos for my push in social skill lessons. The kids have to work in teams and it keeps the students engaged while learning about social skills.
  • The video topics are relevant to what students are required to know in the school environment such as spreading rumors, being fair on the playground, accepting rejection from a peer, and following directions the first time are just some of the videos you can use!

Everyday Speech Social Skills Videos has worksheets you can use with the social skills videos

How do I gain access to these social skill videos?

You can go to the Everyday Speech website to order a monthly or yearly subscription. A monthly subscription is $7.99 a month or a yearly subscription of $79.99. Next year, the monthly and yearly rates are increasing to $9.99/month and $99.99/year, so now is the time to join! Whatever initial price you paid when you joined Everyday Speech, that is the price you will pay each year, so the price increases won’t affect you after you initially join.

Everyday Speech also allows a 30 day free trial for you to use all the social skills videos before you commit!

Interested in getting sharing this with your employer? Everyday Speech has purchase order forms HERE that you can have your school district or employer fill out to buy this subscription for you.

Special Offer For My Followers

Everyday Speech has generously offered a promo code for 50 of my followers! If you sign up for the monthly subscription, you can get the subscription 50% off for the first six months. The first 30 days is completely free, then 50% off for 6 month months ($7.99 -> $3.99).  If you sign up in May, that will get you to December for only $24! Plus, it locks you in to the $7.99/month price after that.

Click this link HERE to sign up and make sure “DABBLING” is in the code at checkout.
What do you think of this resource for your social skills therapy? Do you see this helping you with lesson planning and teaching social skills?
Using the DUBSMASH app in speech therapy!

Using the DUBSMASH app in speech therapy!

Have you ever tried using the dubsmash app in speech therapy?  It’s FREE and super entertaining.  I wanted to share how I used the dubsmash app in speech therapy with my middle school students. I also prepared a little DUBSMASH video for your viewing pleasure, scroll down to the bottom of this post!

using the dubsmash app in speech therapy

If you haven’t heard of dubsmash, You can download the app HERE! Dubsmash is an app that allows people to lip sync and video themselves performing a TV show, movie or music clip.  It’s pretty entertaining and my family has enjoyed playing around with it.

Last year, when I worked with middle school students, I used it with my life skills students.  Big Disclaimer here: Make sure you have previewed and chosen which soundbites you want to use.  When I was experimenting at home with the app, I would sometimes click on a dub that looked “kid friendly” and was met with flavorful language to say the least.

I used the app mostly to engage my students who were working on functional social language and as reinforcement for participating in the group.  This is what I discovered with trying out this app!  I saw smiles emerge from my middle school students when I showed it to them.  Initiating and commenting increased without me “teacher” prompting them to talk. I built trust and a relationship with my students using this app.

Here are a few other ways I thought you could use this app in therapy:

  • You can work on identifying emotions based on the tone of voice of the soundbite.
  • Work on facial expressions when the students create their dub.
  • Students can use their AAC devices to request, make comments, and engage how they feel about the dubsmash.
  • Expressing why you liked a dubsmash clip with a conjunction such as “I really liked this dubsmash because…….”
  • Practice turn taking and waiting.  Also, working on sharing positive comments even if you don’t like the person’s dubsmash.
  • Give your students a social situation and then they have to chose which dubsmash would fit how the person could be feel or thinking during the social situation.

And last, but not least, use the dubsmash in speech therapy to send to your SLP colleagues and SPED team. You can send dubsmash videos via facebook messenger and text messages!  Dubsmash is all about bringing the joy to communication and I dig it!!

using the dubsmash app in speech therapy

So, if you have been following me for a while, you know that I like to have FUN!  I invited, I mean coerced, I mean black mailed all my speech therapy blogger buddies to help me make a Dubsmash compilation.  Check it out!!  We had so much fun.

How would you use the dubsmash app in speech therapy?

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Photo Thought Bubbles App To Work On Perspective Taking

Photo Thought Bubbles App To Work On Perspective Taking

Have you ever seen those photo thought bubbles app on your iphone?  This photo thought bubbles app to work on perspective taking is easy to implement! I love working on perspective taking with my students with social skill deficits.

Photo Thought Bubbles App To Work On Perspective Taking

The best way to teach students perspective taking is using visuals to show what my brain is thinking!  Photo thought bubbles app to work on perspective taking is perfect for that on-the-go therapist that doesn’t always have time to prep therapy!  You can use it from your phone and make thought bubbles with people from your student’s environment!! Cool, right!? This is a great activity to target identifying emotions and non-verbal cues as well as work on what could be in their thought bubble.  You can add in text or leave it blank, so the students can come up with their own answers.

Photo Thought Bubbles App To Work On Perspective Taking

You can also write in thoughts that don’t match the non-verbal cues and students have to identify if the thought matches the non-verbal cues!  The best part of this about this app is that it is only .99 cents!  You can download this app HERE!.  Have you used photo thought bubbles app to work on perspective taking?  I would love to know what you think!  What other fun apps have you found for teaching perspective taking ?  I would love to add some more to my stash!

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