Make an Ocean Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Make an Ocean Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

When it starts to heat up outside, that’s a great time to pull out your summer sensory bins! Sensory bins pair well with books and can cover LOTS of goals, making for a great mixed group activity.

Today, after reading this blog post, you will be able to create your ocean sensory bin for your speech therapy sessions. You can make the sensory bin as grand or simple as you want!

Ocean Sensory Bin Fillers and Materials You Need

Use this ocean sensory bin for your mixed groups to cover a variety of speech and language goals.

You want to layer the container with filler items (textures) and materials as you build your ocean sensory bin. Here is a list of potential things you can add to your ocean sensory bin (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):

 

If you want to see how I set up an ocean sensory bin, you can check out it on Instagram. When using printables that you want to stand up, you need something sturdy like blue kinetic sand or something that has weight like blue dyed rice. 

How to Set Up Your Sensory Bin

How to setup your ocean sensory bin for speech therapy so you can cover your mixed groups with ease!

To set up your ocean sensory bin, you either want the bin to be all ocean water or a combination of shore and sea.

In the picture, I used kinetic sand for the shore and blue playdough for the ocean. I cut out green cardstock to use as seaweed and put ocean figurines throughout the bin.

You can add mini trinkets and discuss what you found on the beach shore or in the ocean. Using mini charms is a great way to work on speech sounds during the session. Or, you can play, does it belong at sea to work on yes/no questions and create sill sentences.

When planning out your sensory bin, pick the filler you want and select your materials. The most accessible sensory bin is just adding blue pom balls or cut-up blue straws and ocean animal figurines!

Where to Find Ocean Animal Printables

There are sensory bin printables in the ocean push-in language lesson plan guides if you need ocean animal printables. In May, the themed therapy SLP membership has an ocean animal unit, and there are printables and a cheat sheet for using the sensory bin. Get on the waitlist to become a Themed Therapy SLP Member in July 2022

Ways to Use the Ocean Sensory Bin for Language Skills

This ocean sensory bin can be used to target a variety of language goals. You can use the scuba divers to work on “who, what, where” questions. For example, you can ask, “What is the diver holding?” or “Who is he swimming by?”

Target basic concepts for through, under, over, around, near, far, up, down, in, out, etc.

You can work on describing the ocean animals by attributes and act out different prepositions and verbs with the ocean animals.

Use the ocean animals to retell or talk about what happened in the ocean-themed book you are using in therapy. Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck or Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae are two great books with early elementary.

Use this ocean sensory bin to cover your speech therapy goals and keep your students engaged during the session.

Need Ocean and Summer Language Activities for Your K-2 Students?

If you are working ESY speech services or just have to work all summer, why not have engaging summer-themed language activities done for you? When you don’t have to worry about lesson planning, you can focus on your student’s progress and leave work feeling stress-free! Click the pictures below to check out all the activities and grab them for summer therapy!

Speech Sound Ideas to Use with the Ocean Sensory Bin

Use this ocean sensory bin to cover your speech therapy goals and keep your students engaged during the session.

When targeting speech sounds with the sensory bin, use a cheat sheet of sound-loaded carrier phrases or words during the hands-on lesson.

For example, you can work on “catch the _____” for /k/ and /ch/ or “lookout, the ____ ran into the seaweed.” for targeting /r/, /l/, /k/ and /s/.

Here are some examples of words to use for a variety of sounds:

/f/ – fish, find, fast, fun, full,
/k/ – catch, knock,
/s-blends/ – swish, swim, splash, small, spray, spout
/l/ – look, low, whale, eel, sail,
/sh/ – shrimp, shallow, show, ship, ocean, swoosh, push

What ideas do you have for this sensory bin?

How would you target goals using this ocean sensory bin? Share in the comments your tips! Remember when making your ocean sensory bin, use what you already have on hand! You don’t need to make it expensive to have an effective sensory bin. For more sensory bin ideas, check my page with all the goods about sensory bins! If you are on the hunt for some ocean-themed crafts, this blog post shares tips for how to use them as therapy props!

Easy Summer Crafts For Speech Therapy

Easy Summer Crafts For Speech Therapy

You either love or hate crafts as an SLP. While I am not a fan of messy crafts that involve glitter and expensive craft supplies, I am down to do crafts that help my students stay engaged. And, if you can use the craft as a functional therapy tool, it’s a go for me! Try these easy summer crafts for your speech therapy sessions when you need to find engaging activities that pair well with a summer-themed book.

The summer crafts in this blog post require minimal supplies that you can afford or hopefully find in your school supply room.

Craft Supplies You Need for Summer Crafts

Here are the things you will need (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):

 

Some of the crafts featured in this blog post are from the summer crafts for the speech therapy set.

Beach-Themed Crafts for Speech Therapy

If you are doing a beach theme, make a kid buried in the sand craft! You will have one craft template and can print targets for your speech or language goals. Every student does one craft in your therapy sessions but has targets for practicing their goals.

Easy planning for you and keeps students engaged! And they can take it home for home practice.

Ocean-Animal Crafts for Speech Therapy

There are LOTS of fun low prep ocean animal crafts that you can pair with your favorite books. This craft is fun because you can glue targets on the inside of the craft and then use it to work on basic concepts and with your pretend play activities. For more ocean-themed craft ideas and books to pair with them, check out this blog post

Easy summer crafts to use in your speech therapy sessions to cover goals and ideas for how to use as therapy props!

Summer Crafts That Pair Well With The Summer Season

Easy summer speech therapy crafts that will keep your students engaged in the session!

Making a sun with a paper plate or just with construction paper is perfect for summer because it’s hot outside! You can have students glue or write words on the sun rays or on the back of the paper plate.  If you are working on summer weather concepts, you can write activities you can do when it is hot outside. Or, write down things that are hot and cold!

For more ideas for how to use this sun craft, check out the REEL on Instagram.

You can also make a lemonade craft or easy tissue paper or paint crafts for a summer 4th of July BBQ. Check out the pictures below. The lemonade craft is part of the summer crafts for speech therapy resources. And, the watermelon and fireworks low prep crafts are from the summer push-in lesson plan guides

S’mores Craft For Speech Therapy

LOTS of kids are eating s’mores over the summer whether they are camping or having backyard firepit hangouts. This is an easy craft to do and pairs well with a camping theme! Need this template? It’s part of the summer craft set

Books to Pair With These Summer Crafts for Speech Therapy

Beach Day by Karen Roosa has fantastic pictures! After reading this book, I had my students create a beach theme, and then they got to sprinkle natural sand on their craft with Elmer’s glue. You can read about it HERE!!

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen is a great little story about camping. You can read about some of my camping-themed therapy ideas that I did last year.

When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore is a fabulous beach-themed book! You could create a sandcastle or dragon craft with this book!

Alex and The Amazing Lemonade Stand by Liz & Jay Scott look like a fun read! I just ordered it. It would go perfectly with my Ice Cold Lemonade Craftivity.

Easy summer crafts for speech therapy that you can use with mixed groups and your favorite summer books!

What Summer Crafts Do You Love to Use With Your Summer Themed Activities?

What crafts do you love to use for the summer season? If you have one that is easy to prep and engages your students, share it in the comments! As always, tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie if you use one of these crafts so I can see what you are up to in your speech therapy room. 

3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

When you plan a themed therapy unit, one of the best ways to keep the engagement up in your speech therapy session is by pairing a themed book with an extension activity.

An extension activity reinforces or reviews concepts from the theme or book that you just read. So, that can include sensory bins, an informational YouTube video, a game, a writing assignment, task cards, or a craft!

Themed crafts can be an easy way to plan your mixed groups or whole class lessons. Today, I will be sharing three ocean crafts you can use in speech therapy. 

Craft Supplies You Will Need 

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

For these ocean crafts, you need basic supplies, which means it is nice on your wallet! You may find some or all of these things in your school supply room. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

  • Glue
  • Streamers (Dollar Tree)
  • Paper plates (Dollar Tree)
  • Cardstock
  • Acrylic paint, water color paint, or dot markers
  • Plastic eyes (optional, you can draw in with a marker or cut out with black construction paper)
  • Markers

Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy That Work on Goals

When it comes to crafts, you want to consider the prep time needed to make the craft. If it isn’t too complex and targets many goals, then the craft is worth the prep.

To make this “Who is hiding in the seaweed?” you print off the template in the ocean language lesson plan guides. Then, print the verb and vocabulary seaweed strips on dark green and light green colored cardstock or white cardstock.

Students can paint their ocean animals with dot markers or watercolors. Then, your students can glue the seaweed pieces to hide their ocean animals. During the craft, you are working on the concepts on/off, colors, turn-taking (only have one glue per table so students can share), and “who” questions. Students can practice the verbs or vocabulary on the seaweed before gluing it on.

You can put it on a bulletin board or send it home for additional practice.

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

Books That Will Pair Well With This Ocean Craft

Have easy to prep ocean crafts for speech therapy to use in your whole class lessons or small groups.

This craft pairs well with the following books:

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck 

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

Crab Craft To Use in Speech Therapy

This crab craft has a lot of possibilities to be used as a therapy tool after your students create it!

It would help if you had a paper plate, red paint, and construction paper. Print out your ocean images or pictures of your student’s speech words. Have ocean-themed vocabulary words to glue on the inside of the crab included in the ocean language activities unit. Or, you can use the Any Craft Companion to print out speech or language targets.

Your students will paint the plate red and cut out crab legs with red construction paper. Glue the speech or language targets on the inside of the craft. Once the paint is dry, students can use the crab to catch things with their mouth. So, pull out your flashcards and have your students feed the crab the cards after practicing. Or, your students can follow directions with their crabs!

Watch the Crab Craft Tutorial on YouTube

Books the Would Pair Well with the Crab Craft

There are several crab-themed books you can use with this craft. Here is a list of them:

You’re a Crab!: A Moody Day Book by Jenny Whitehead

The Brave Little Crab by Beth Costanza

The Happy Snappy Crab by Tiger Tales

If you want to have visual supports with this craft to use on the SMARTboard or laptop, you can get access to Visual Themed Crafts in the Themed Therapy SLP membership re-opening summer 2022. You can get on the waitlist HERE so you don’t miss any details. 

 

Jellyfish Ocean Craft for Speech Therapy

With this jellyfish craft, you can work on basic concepts and follow directions after you make it!

The blue streamers can help your students understand the verbs “sway’ and “float” while moving the jellyfish craft up, down, high, low, right, left, and around.

Cut a paper plate in half and either paint or glue blue construction paper to the plate. Then, cut out blue streamers to be the jellyfish’s tentacles.

Students can write their speech or language words on the back or use the Any Craft Companion to glue them on the craft.

Books to Pair with This Jellyfish Craft

You can use Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae because it features a jellyfish in the book. If you are looking for some books specifically with jellyfish in the storyline, check out these:

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

I am Not a Fish! by Peter Raymundo

Jellyfish (A Day in the Life: Sea Animals) by Louise Spilsbury

If you are looking for more craft ideas to use in your speech therapy sessions, check out these easy paper plate craft ideas!

5 Spring Themes for Speech Therapy

5 Spring Themes for Speech Therapy

When I am in a themed therapy planning rut, I try to think about using themes related to the year’s seasons. Or find themes that your student’s classroom teachers are using in the curriculum. But, if you can’t perfectly align your theme with all the classrooms on campus, try to come up with activities around a theme your students may experience out in the community or at home.  

When you think about what is relevant to your students’ daily lives, you will discover many themed therapy options! Today, I will share five spring theme speech therapy ideas you can use across your elementary caseload. 

If you are wondering how to use a theme for Prek-6th grade, check out this blog post with my three tips!

Spring Season is a Great Theme to Use in April

Need some inspiration for planning out your themed therapy sessions for the spring season? Check out these 5 spring themes speech therapy ideas to plan your next themed unit!

One of the most versatile themes for spring is spring weather! You can theme smash talking about clothes and temperature with this unit. And, there is a lot of great vocabulary to target with spring weather. You can describe spring vocabulary, name clothes to wear in spring, activities, and work on basic concepts with spring items such as an umbrella, rain boots, hat, sun, and clouds.

If you need some tips for teaching spring-themed vocabulary, check out this blog post with evidence-based practices that you can easily incorporate into your sessions. 

In need of spring-themed activities for your elementary caseload? Check out the digital and printable spring activities in my TPT store. They will save ya lots of time and increase engagement. 

Spring Materials to Save You Time Without Sacrificing Student Engagement

If you need activities ready to go for spring without the stress of making them your own, check out these spring resources for your caseload. 

Bugs and Flowers are the Ultimate Spring Themes for Speech Therapy

The best themes to choose are those that you can do with younger and older students. Flowers and bugs can do just that! You can easily find ways to adapt a flower and bug theme to fit the needs of your preschool students and your upper elementary students. Check out this blog post about the flower life cycle to see examples of how you can cover LOTS of goals across your caseload. 

For early elementary, making a flower garden sensory bin can be a great way to help students make connections with the flower books you use. You can read more about spring sensory bins HERE

Bugs are undoubtedly fascinating living creatures for kids. Between learning the life cycles of insects, exploring their body parts, and understanding how some bugs help pollinate our plants, it can be a very engaging unit that lasts longer than two weeks!

Check out this blog post HERE for some ideas and activities discussing honeybees.

Need some inspiration for planning out your themed therapy sessions for the spring season? Check out these 5 spring theme speech therapy ideas to plan your next themed unit!

Earth Day Happens During the Spring Season

Need some inspiration for planning out your themed therapy sessions for the spring season? Check out these 5 spring theme speech therapy ideas to plan your next themed unit!

We celebrate Earth Day in April, and it is a great theme to use to discuss our climate and how we can help protect the Earth. This theme is easy to help students make personal connections into their own life and take action for how they can help keep the Earth cleaner. For some YouTube videos on Earth Day, check out these channels. If you need some non-fiction passages, check out these on Wonderopolis. What activities do you plan for Earth Day? Let me know in the comments. 

Baby Animals on the Farm

You may have done a farm theme in the fall season talking about harvest, but now you can do it in the spring to talk about all the baby farm animals being born! Add these farm babies figurines to your farm toys and materials! Check out this farm blog post to get ideas for your farm unit. 

What farm books do you love that tie in baby animals in the book? Share in the comments. 

 

 

Need some inspiration for planning out your themed therapy sessions for the spring season? Check out these 5 spring theme speech therapy ideas to plan your next themed unit!

Any time I can incorporate more play and hands-on activities into my sessions, my students light up and participate so much more. Check out this blog post with play-based activities you can use with a spring theme HERE.

St. Patrick’s Preschool Play Ideas for Speech Therapy

St. Patrick’s Preschool Play Ideas for Speech Therapy

I don’t know a student who doesn’t get excited about hiding items in things or going on hunts to discover something sneaky. You’ve come to the right blog post if you need st. patrick’s preschool play therapy ideas that incorporate sneaky leprechauns or hidden gold!

When I spotted some wooden buildings at the Target Dollar Spot, I knew I needed to hoard, I mean, stock up on these fab toys.

You can use them with a community helper and transportation theme, and you can also do some theme smashing with st. patrick’s preschool play!

st. patrick’s Preschool Materials You Need

To have some sneaky leprechauns invade the town, you need the wooden buildings from the Target Dollar Spot. I don’t think the wooden buildings are available anymore at Target, but I found some alternatives that I will link below. For your St. Patrick’s preschool play activity, you will need the following:

Gold coins – You can find these at Dollar Tree

Mini pots – Usually, these are at the Dollar Tree during Halloween and St. Patrick’s season

Wooden buildings: Found at Target Dollar Spot, you can also find them on Mercari or try these Melissa and Doug blocks. 

Leprechaun printables – You can get them in the St. Patrick’s Day Grammar and Vocabulary set

Leprechaun and St. Patrick’s Day props – I always look in the dog toy section at TJ Maxx. Check out where you can find themed props HERE. Here is another version like the one in the pictures in the blog post. 

Binder clips to attach your leprechauns

 It’s time to get your play on! Easy St. Patrick’s preschool play therapy ideas for your speech therapy sessions that will be sure to engage your friends and work on their goals.

Sneaky Leprechauns Hiding Around the Town

It’s time to get your play on! Easy St. Patrick’s preschool play therapy ideas for your speech therapy sessions that will be sure to engage your friends and work on their goals.

Hide some leprechauns under the wooden buildings and tell your students that some sneaky leprechauns are in our town! We must find them.

Grab your favorite toy car or vehicle and look ‘under’ the buildings around the town. While you drive around, target ‘go’, ‘stop’, ‘look’, ‘where’, and ‘around.’

Have your students share three things they might see at each building. So, if you stop at the school, they can name school supplies.

Give your students inference clues about ‘where’ the leprechaun could be hiding and target ‘where’ questions during this entire activity!

How would you use this activity in your mixed groups? Share in the comments.

Go on a Gold Hunt Around the Town

If you have those gold coins and the mini pots, you can have students drive around the town looking for gold coins. With a permanent marker, you can write different numbers on the coins. Whatever number it says, that’s how many times your student has to practice their speech sound.

Or, you can put different amounts of coins under the buildings to work on none, more, less, and a plural noun marker. 

What’s great about this activity is you can also work on ‘where’ questions and category items that would belong at each building!

How would you adapt this activity for your students? Share in the comments.

It’s time to get your play on! Easy St. Patrick’s preschool play therapy ideas for your speech therapy sessions that will be sure to engage your friends and work on their goals.

St. Patrick’s Preschool Circle Time Activity

It’s time to get your play on! Easy St. Patrick’s preschool play therapy ideas for your speech therapy sessions that will be sure to engage your friends and work on their goals.

It can be tough to engage your young students during your co-teaching lessons! They want to wiggle and move, so it can be challenging to keep them excited at the carpet time activity.

But, if you make it feel like a fun game, they will stay excited during circle time. And in the process, you can target waiting, turn-taking, functional communication, and language skills.

With your gold coins, leprechaun printables, or St. Patrick’s themed props like shamrocks, or rainbows, you can tell your students that SOMEONE took the gold coins from the leprechaun’s pot.

To see these therapy ideas in action, head to my Instagram

 

Have all your students close their eyes while you give some students a gold coin. Tell them ahead of time that if they get a gold coin, they have to hide it with their hands. Then, everyone opens their eyes and has to ask different friends in the group if they stole a gold coin.

You target yes/no questions, ‘who’ questions, initiation of questions, waiting, and turn-taking!

If you have a leprechaun prop, you can also play “Who did the leprechaun sneaky upon?” to target the basic concept behind it.

Need More St. Patrick’s Day Therapy Ideas?

I would love it for SLPs on social media if you tagged me @thedabblingspeechie to share how you used these St. Patrick’s preschool play therapy ideas in your sessions with students.

Don’t stress about St. Patrick’s Day for your elementary caseload. There are a LOT more engaging therapy ideas on this blog post to help you with planning. 

It’s time to get your play on! Easy St. Patrick’s preschool play therapy ideas for your speech therapy sessions that will be sure to engage your friends and work on their goals.
3 Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

3 Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

Remember when we were all learning how to use Facebook for the first time (then learning it again when it changed! Oh the confusion!). If you are a new themester SLP, it’s possible you’re feeling just as overwhelmed learning a new style of therapy with your caseload. What’s great about themed therapy is you can easily take a single theme and use it across a lot of different ages and goals. This will help you streamline your planning and take the overwhelming out of planning. 

 

If you’re feeling like choosing a theme is like a buffet, there are so many choices that it makes it hard to pick just one, then this blog post will definitely help you narrow down choices.

What to Do When You are Lacking Inspiration for Your Next Theme

If you are struggling with what theme to do next, check out this blog post where I share 30 of my TOP fave themes for therapy. Plus, you can grab a FREE themed therapy idea guide for easy planning. It comes with an editable themed therapy planner to help you keep notes on what you did in therapy. Check it out HERE

Three Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

 If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

The first thing you will want to think about is picking a theme that is going to be interesting for your younger and your older students. When you pick a theme that’s interesting for multiple age groups, you will cut down on a ton of your planning time. When you use this strategy, you only have to pick one theme you want to do with your upper and lower elementary students.

For example, a camping theme and a plant life cycle theme will be relevant and interesting for your younger and older students. Check out how to adapt these themes here and here.

Tip #2 Use One Themed Therapy Activity to Target Many Goals

It can be easy to tell yourself that you need a different activity to specifically target each of your student’s goals. This is the #1 to increase your planning time. The beauty of themed therapy activities is you can pick one themed activity that is open-ended enough to target a ton of goals.

To do this, you prep one activity that can be adapted for the different skills you want to target depending on the students you are working with. With less individual activity prep, you can plan engaging lessons efficiently. Check out this penguin sensory bin or this windsock craft for example of how you prep one material or activity for a wide range of goals.

 If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

#3 Tip: Re-Use Materials Week After Week

If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

Reuse, reuse, reuse! Don’t be afraid to use the same materials week after week. Switching up the materials slightly will make them feel novel to your student and will be very easy prep work for you. For example, when using themed vocabulary or verb cards such as the ones in the seasonal grammar and vocabulary sets, you can use magnetic wands to make it different.

In one session, you put different amounts of magnetic chips under the cards and the student who gets the most chips at the end wins. In the following session, add themed game cards (hint: check out the blog post for the free printables) to the task cards. Lay them out on the table and have students select. If they get a popsicle, for example, they get to keep it. But, if there is a sun behind their card, they lose a popsicle. Whoever has the most at the end wins.

How do you adapt materials so that you can reuse them? Share your best therapy tips in the comments.

Ready to Start Experiencing the Benefits of Themed Therapy?

If you are spending a painful amount of time planning for your caseload at school, after school, and at home, then I have great news for you! A Themed Therapy Planning How-To Course for the Busy SLP is now available until March 17th. You can earn clinical maintenance hours for your ASHA and state license while also becoming a rockstar at efficiently planning themed therapy for your Prek-5th grade caseload. Want to learn more about joining? Check out all the details HERE

 

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