Monster Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Monster Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Do your students love talking about monsters? I know mine do! And there are so many books and activities you can use to cover lots of speech and language goals. Here are a couple of blog posts with ideas to use in your therapy sessions.

If you have been following my blog or social media accounts, you know I love sensory bins! They are the best way to engage your students. Today, I want to show you how to make this monster sensory bin using really affordable materials. This googly-eyed sensory bin is really fun to use during the Halloween season or any time of the year!

Grab your favorite monster themed book and use this bin as an extension activity! Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. For more sensory bin ideas, I have a whole page filled with ideas to give you inspiration for therapy!

Materials for Making the Monster Sensory Bin

Here are the materials you need to make your speech sensory bin:

-A bin or box of any size

-Monster Googly-Eyed ping pong balls (You can get at the Dollar Tree during Halloween season or grab them on Amazon)

Purple yarn cut up into spaghetti length pieces (Use your 40% off coupon from Joann’s for a great price on yarn)

Learning Resources scoopers or use a plastic spoon or soup ladle with your bin

Ways to Use Your Monster Sensory Bins

This sensory bin can work on functional communication. You can target “want”, “more”, “all done”, “my turn”, “wait”, “help” and “where” using this bin. Do you need a CORE board for some of your students? Head to this blog post to get a free one

Your students can learn the concepts of in/out using this bin. If your students are working on verbs, you can target “pick”, “find”, and  “look” while playing with this sensory bin.

Students can work on language concepts while using this bin. Write different conjunctions on the eyeballs. When a student picks up an eyeball, he/she has to create a sentence with the conjunction. You can do the same thing with prefixes or suffixes. What other goals could you target in your sessions? Let me know in the comments. 

Articulation Practice Using This Monster Sensory Bin

Want your students to increase their repetitions with their articulation sound or phonological process? Write numbers on the eyeballs using a sharpie. Then, have your students hunt for an eyeball. Whatever number is on the eyeball is how many repetitions they have to say. You can also use this as a generic mixed group game. The student with the most points at the end wins!

Are you struggling to get more repetitions with your articulation/phonology students? This blog post will keep your students motivated and working hard each session.

These ping pong balls are bouncy. So, the other way you can use this bin is to put all the eyeballs in a bucket or basket. The student has to say his/her sound so many trials before trying to bounce the eyeball into the sensory bin. Consider it a kid friendly game of monster pong!

Mixed Group Sensory Bin Reinforcer

Play a minute to win it challenge with your students once they complete their work for the session. Set the timer for one minute. Have your students use the scoopers to see how many eyeballs they can get out of the bin in a minute. The student who can get those most eyeballs out in a minute wins.  

How Will You Use This Sensory Bin in Therapy?

Are you going to make this bin for your students? I love storing my sensory bin fillers in gallon sized plastic bags. This way, I can have 1-2 bins and interchange the fillers for new themes. For more storage ideas, head to this blog post. If you need to change up your therapy plans, this sensory bin will definitely get your kids engaged in the session. Make sure to tag me on social media with your bin and therapy ideas @thedabblingspeechie

Halloween Phonology with a Witch’s Brew!

Halloween Phonology with a Witch’s Brew!

It is fun to break away from traditional therapy activities and find ways to infuse the seasonal holidays into your articulation and phonology sessions. For Halloween, you can use so many props from the Dollar Tree or Target Dollar Spot to work on phonology goals in a festive way.

Today, I am going to share a Halloween phonology therapy idea that will help you get those high trials in your sessions. You can have your students make a witch’s brew or potion while practicing their target sounds.

Materials for the Halloween Phonology Witch’s Brew

To make your own Halloween phonology witch’s brew, you need the following items:

-A witch cauldron (I got a mini cauldron at the Dollar Tree)

If you can’t find one at the Dollar Tree, they have a set on Amazon. This set has different sizes, if you want a larger cauldron. 

-Mini Trinkets (I got mine from Dinky Doodads on Etsy). If you want to see how you can use mini trinkets in your speech therapy sessions, check out this post HERE. Kids go bananas for these trinkets, so they are worth the investment for me.

-Witch fingers to stir the witch’s brew (You can grab some on Amazon).

If you need some visual sentence frames to use with this activity, I like to use my articulation sentence starters to get in good practice with the sound!

How to Use the Halloween Phonology Witch’s Brew Activity

With you cauldron and trinkets, you can have your students practice their speech sounds as they placed the trinkets in the cauldron.

Incorporate phonological awareness activities while making a witch’s brew. For example, you can place three mini trinkets out in front of the student. Then, tell the student that the have to find the items the witch wants for her potion brew by knowing which item rhymes with “hat”. 

Or, you can have items already in the cauldron. Tell your students in order for the potion to work, they have to take each item out one by one practicing the word 5 times each. The student can take each item out and practice until all the items are out of the cauldron.

This activity could easily be adapted to work on in/out, plural nouns (i.e. I need three frogs), verbs “stir”, “find”, “make”, “chant”, or simple sequencing.

Carrier Phrases to Use While Making Your Witch’s Brew

The best way to come up with themed carrier phrases is to think about the target sounds your student is working on. Then, brainstorm words that go with your theme, toy or book. This will help you generate carrier phrases that a student may use with the material. Here are some carrier phrases I came up with:

-Sprinkle in ______.

-Stir the _____ into the brew.

-The potion is ______.

-The potion needs _______.

-It’s a ______ potion.

-Boil and bake ______ in the cauldron.

-Add _____ into the brew.

-I want _____ in the cauldron.

More Halloween Speech Therapy Ideas

If you need more Halloween speech therapy ideas, this blog post has activities I used in my therapy rooms a few years ago. Another fun Halloween theme is to use monsters with your students. Here is a blog post that gives you ideas on how to incorporate monsters. I also have some monster materials that will engage your students you can read about HERE

There is also this fun Flying Broomsticks game as a open reinforcer for your mixed groups.

How Would You Use This Halloween Phonology Activity?

I would love to know how you would adapt this Halloween phonology activity for your students. Share your ideas in the comments or tag me in a photo on your IG account. 

Monster Speech Therapy Materials That Are Fun!

Monster Speech Therapy Materials That Are Fun!

If you are new to planning therapy around themes, then you will love all the ideas in this blog post. Today, I am sharing about monster speech therapy materials that are fun for your students. I think you will like using them, too!

 

To plan therapy around a theme, you simply pick a topic or a book that you want to use in therapy. Then, you find books and activities that will support your theme. By using a theme, you can heavily target specific vocabulary used with that theme. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

Using monsters as your next theme is perfect for increasing engagement with your students, because most kids seem to love talking about those silly creatures.

Monster Books You Can Use in Speech Therapy

There are a ton of great monster-themed books. You can work on story retell, vocabulary, answering wh- questions, describing, grammar, and social skills using books. I listed some of my faves below and what target areas you can focus on. 

The Color Monster by Anna Llenas is great for teaching emotions.

How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace can target vocabulary and story retell.

Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley is great for students working on simple vocabulary and language.

The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber can be used for social skills and also has opportunities to work on phonological awareness skills. 

Monsters Love School by Mike Austin has a ton of unique verbs to target while reading the story.

Little Shop of Monsters by R.L.Stine has so many great adjectives and describing words to introduce to your students.

 

What are your favorite monster-themed books to use in your therapy sessions? Share in the comments. Please let me know what skills you target, too!

Build-A-Monster Speech Therapy App

 

Making your very own silly monster is very motivating for children! Your students will love creating their own monster using the Sago Mini Monsters App. This app is under $5, so it is affordable for you SLPs on a budget.

 

With this Mini Monsters app, you can target the following skills:

-Initiating requests and comments

-Working on describing skills

-Targeting verbs

– Practicing sequencing steps to make the monster

 Watch a YouTube tutorial to see the monster app in action. How would you use this app in therapy? Let me know in the comments!

 

Target Following Directions and Prepositions with Silly Monsters

Have your students make their own monster puppets with the FREE monster puppet printables in my TPT store. Use popsicle sticks (Amazon affiliate links included) and tape to create fun monster therapy materials.

You can work on following directions and using prepositions with your monster puppets. 

With your monster puppets, you can also work on has/have and “who” questions. Place the monsters on the table and put mini objects next to the monsters. Students can explain what each monster has with a grammatically correct sentences.

Ask your students “Who has ____?” or give clues about an item and have your students identify “who” has the item. 

 

Reinforcer Games For Mixed Groups

When I have a group working on different goals, one way I keep the students engaged is by having a generic game to play in between turns.

If you want to use a monster theme in your mixed group, then you can use this roll and color monster game that is a FREE printable in my store. You just print the sheets and grab a die and the stimulus items your students need to work on in speech therapy. Whatever number the student rolls on the die is how many monsters they get to color. Whoever colors all of their monsters first wins!

Learning Resources has a Twist and Match Monsters game that is great to use as a reinforcer for any goal. You can have some fun describing the monsters as you play, too.

Make Monster Paper Bag Puppets

I saw this paper bag monster puppet idea on I Heart Crafty Things. I thought it would be perfect for my younger students. During the craft you can work on requesting, commenting and the basic concept “on.” Then, your students can use the puppets to work on pretend play, following directions, doing verb actions and more!

You just need paper bags (I found color bags on Amazon), construction paper, scissors, and glue. If you want to use googly eyes, Dollar Tree has packages or you can use these eye stickers that I found on Amazon.

Teach Word Opposites and Adjectives

Work on teaching adjectives with the feed the monster activity. Students can work on describing the items by adjectives, as well as work on verb tenses.

To get some movement going in your therapy room, tape the word opposite monsters around your room. Then, students use the checklist to find the word opposites that the monsters are chomping on. These activities will help your wiggly students stay focused. See the picture below for an example of this word opposite activity! It is all part of my Monster Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides for K-2 students.

Have your students work on initiating communication, describing, and practicing sequencing with this design a monster file folder activity. Kids will feel motivated to participate knowing that they get some say in what the monster will look like. Need these materials for your K-2 caseload? Grab them in my TPT store. There are a lot more tools included, such as a Google Slides presentation, a newsletter home to parents, book recommendations, YouTube video links, and more!

Need More Monster Speech Therapy Ideas?

In this blog post, I shared some other monster speech therapy ideas you can use with your students. My students especially loved making their own monsters with play dough!

What Monster Speech Therapy Materials Do You Use?

Do you have a fave monster speech therapy material you love to use with your students? I would love to know about it! You know I am all about adding new materials to my speech therapy stash. Let me know your favorite material in the comments. 

10 ideas for using a pet hospital toy set in speech therapy

10 ideas for using a pet hospital toy set in speech therapy

Playing with toy sets is one of the best ways for kids to interact with their environments and learn about the things around them without getting into things they shouldn’t. Even more so, kids love animals, which is why pet hospital toy sets can be such a great tool to incorporate into your speech therapy sessions! While acquiring a pet hospital toy set is an upfront cost, there are so many different speech and language skills that you can target while “playing” with your speech students!

 

Where Can I Buy a Pet Hospital for My Speech Room?

There are a few different pet hospital toy sets available online. All of the ones I’m suggesting below can be found on Amazon, but you might be able to find them at stores like Target, too. The links below are Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

  1. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Set
  2. Pet Vet Toy by B. Toys by Battat
  3. Learning Resources Pretend & Play Animal Hospital (This set is good for traveling SLPs that need lightweight materials to transport.)

Toy-Themed Therapy Resources

Need a cheat sheet guide to help you with targeting wh- questions, Tier II vocabulary, articulation, basic concepts, adjectives, and helpful therapy ideas for toys you use during play-based therapy? Grab this Toy Companion Cheat Sheet Guide for Prek-2nd grade and have stimulus targets mapped out for fourteen different toys. 

Using a Pet Hospital Toy Set in Speech Therapy with Younger-Aged Children

A pet hospital set can be used to target so many speech and language skills! Listed below are some of my favorite ways to engage children in these skills:

  1. Work on sequencing steps for cleaning a cut, wrapping a broken bone, grooming the pet, or doing a check-up.
  2. Work on CORE vocabulary with AAC to work on open, close, go, stop, need, want, my turn, and your turn.
  3. Work on following directions with basic concepts and prepositions.
  4. Put mini trinkets in the doors of the vet hospital that have students sounds, vocabulary, etc. The animals can open the doors to find what is in their space. Students can work on building grammar sentences, working on sounds, describing vocabulary, and answering wh- questions.
  5. Put items behind the doors to work on inferencing.
  6. Compare/contrast the different doctor tools and/or animals.
  7. Your animal is sick! Think of all the things and items they enjoy that you can do with them when the animal is healthy again.
  8. Work on story retell and have the child tell a story to their sick animal.
  9. Your new puppy or kitten just got his/her shots and is ready to come home. Make a list of all the things you need to buy for home. Talk about the noun’s functions.
  10. Make an animal obstacle course for the animal to enjoy after they are feeling better. Work on following directions, sequencing, and verb actions. 

How Do You Use a Pet Hospital Toy Set in Speech Therapy?

Do you have a fun way to engage your students with a pet hospital toy set in speech therapy? Share in the comments, tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie, or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

Using Popsicle Sticks in Speech Therapy

Using Popsicle Sticks in Speech Therapy

Some of my best therapy materials come from affordable things I can find at a dollar store. Have you used popsicle sticks in your speech therapy sessions? They can be a great material that can cover a lot of goals.

And, let’s face it: So many of us don’t even get a budget for speech therapy materials. Plus, we’ve all got bills, so buying a ton of extra fancy materials for therapy isn’t always an option. Today, I want to share all the ways you can use popsicle sticks in your next speech therapy session.

Popsicle Stick Games for Mixed Groups

Zap It is a great game for mixed groups! You can target any goal, and the kids love the game. This game also gets my artic students to practice more trials. Whatever number is written on their popsicle stick, they have to say their word that many times! Check out the game HERE (it has a rule cheat sheet guide).

Play pick up sticks using a set of popsicle sticks. Just write your students’ targets on both sides of the sticks. I try to make sure to pick articulation targets that can also be used for vocabulary instruction. For example, if a child is working on /l/, I would pick lemonade, lion, and lock because we can work on category groups, noun functions, locations, and parts. Or, other students can create grammatically correct sentences using the words.

Popsicle Stick Pacing Boards for Speech Therapy

You can create pacing boards using popsicle sticks. I like using the jumbo-sized popsicle sticks (Amazon affiliate link) for making these. Students can create dots, stars, or other designs with markers. You can also allow students to pick out their favorite stickers to put on the popsicle stick.

Then, you can use them for lots of different goals! Check out my ideas:

-Use as a pacing board for fluency-enhancing techniques

-Identifying how many sounds are in a word

-Creating longer sentences

-Pacing how many times a student has said a sound or a word

Popsicle Stick Puppets for Speech Therapy

One of the easiest crafts to make with your students is making popsicle stick puppets. You can print a sheet of characters, have the students color them, and then attach them to a popsicle stick. The students can work on story retell, pronouns, basic concepts, or following directions with their puppets.

Using Popsicle Sticks with Literacy

When planning mixed group therapy, I tend to use books to plan lessons. I can plan more efficiently while still targeting everyone’s goals. While reading the story, you can give students “jobs” when listening to the story. I cut 3” by 5” index cards in half, write what the students are working on, and tape them to  popsicle sticks.

I tell the students to hold up their sticks whenever they hear their sound or hear a word they don’t understand. Students can remember what they are working on by looking at their “job” on the stick. So, when I call on a student to make a sentence about the story picture, they know what I want them to do.

 

You can also put story grammar element visual cues on popsicle sticks. Hand a few of the story element sticks to each student in the group. While you are reading the book, you can stop and go through the elements of the story. To keep everyone engaged, they have specific elements to recall.

Grab these free story visual cues by clicking the pink button below.

Make Visual Cues with Popsicle Sticks

You can make visual cues for any skill with popsicle sticks! This is an easy way to visually remind your students about what they are working on in speech therapy. Some of my students have moved beyond drill and are working on self-monitoring. I love using visual cues for articulation carryover and for social pragmatics. During conversational tasks, you can visually remind your students about their social behavior. This can help them to remember the social rules or to look around for the non-verbal body language.

 

Grab these free speech sound cues HERE

How Do You Use Popsicle Sticks in Therapy Sessions?

Aren’t these functional ideas great for therapy sessions? My favorite place to stock up on popsicle sticks is at the Dollar Tree. Therapy doesn’t have to always be with fancy toys and programs to be effective. How do you use popsicle sticks in your therapy room? Share in the comments.

Using bubbles in speech therapy

Using bubbles in speech therapy

When it comes to childhood memories, I remember spending many afternoons playing with bubbles. There is just something magical about bubbles that kids enjoy. Bubbles are one of those toys that are great to bring out on a spring or summer day. There are so many great ways SLPs can use bubbles in speech therapy.

Bubbles are also near to my heart because they are affordable for SLPs on a budget! This post is filled with all the ways you can utilize bubbles in your speech room. 

Where Can You Buy Bubbles for Your Speech Room?

 

Buy them on Amazon. If you want containers that are no spill, then here are mini ones (Amazon affiliate link) that hold two ounces of bubbles. Or, you can get a bigger container from Fubbles (Amazon affiliate link) that allows you to have multiple wands in the container. Walmart and Target are always my local go-tos for finding bubbles.

If you are the adventurous DIY SLP, then here is a recipe for how to make GIANT bubbles. Here is another recipe for homemade bubbles. Did you know that you can also make DIY wands with pipe cleaners (Amazon affiliate link)?

It is super esy, and it’s an affordable way to have extra wands on hand for your mixed groups. 

Using Bubbles in Speech Therapy With Preschool Children

Bubbles can be used to target so many skills! Listed below are some of my favorite ways to utilize bubbles.

 

  1. Turn-taking and waiting: Students can practice basic social skill requests and comments while playing with the bubbles.
  2. Play following directions Simon Says: Work on using basic concepts or multi-step directions with bubbles, such as, “Clap your hands and then blow a bubble.”
  3. Use as a reinforcer:  The student has to practice target stimulus items and then gets a chance to blow bubbles.
  4. Describe bubbles by attributes.
  5. Make your own wands as a cooperative lesson for ? in the group, being flexible and engaging with peers.

More Ideas for Using Bubbles With Preschoolers

  1. Tape different cards on the wall: Students can say their word or use a carrier phrase with which picture they want to blow the bubbles near. Have students try to blow the bubbles above or below the cards.
  2. Make your own bubbles with your students: Work on sequencing the steps for making the bubbles. Ask your students wh- questions about the process and have them share their opinions about homemade bubbles versus store-bought bubbles.
  3. Answer and teach simple “Who” questions: Who has the wand? Who is popping the bubbles?
  1. Play Red Light, Green Light with bubbles to teach CORE vocabulary for “stop” and “go.”
  2. Build sentence structures:  The bubble is floating in the sky. The bubbles are under the table.
  3. Bubbles are a great tool for joint attention and teaching cause and effect. Withhold the bubbles or the wand until the student gives you joint attention.

Have A Cheat Sheet With Skills You Can Target With Bubbles

Bubbles can be used as a play-based therapy tool to target all sorts of verbs, language skills, and articulation/phonology. It can be tough to remember all the targets to hit in a mixed group. That’s why I created cheat sheets to help SLPs. You focus on the therapy with the students rather than worrying about the targets you are going to use in the session. Need toy companion cheat sheets? Grab my toy companion cheat sheets designed for Pre-K thru 2nd grade for 14 of your students favorite toys. 

Using Bubbles in Speech Therapy with Older Children

Bubbles can be used with your upper elementary and middle school/high school students as a STEM project or science experiment. You can have your students make DIY bubble wands. They can make predictions about which “wand” will make the best bubbles. Check out this post from Natalie Snyders for more details. 

How Do You Use Bubbles in Speech Therapy?

 

Do you have a fun way to engage your students with bubbles in speech therapy? Share in the comments, tag me on instagram @thedabblingspeechie, or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

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