Cause and Effect Toys For Play Therapy

Cause and Effect Toys For Play Therapy

Cause and effect toys teach children that their actions can cause something to happen. When a child blows in a bubble wand, bubbles fly out; when a child pushes a car into a tower of blocks, it falls.

Using cause and effect toys in speech therapy can help your students build language. Still, it can also increase attention span, create curiosity, and improve joint attention skills. Today, I am going to share some of my favorite cause and effect toys you can use to help increase engagement while also working on speech and language goals!

What Toys Do You Have In Your Therapy Stash?

Some of the BEST cause and effect toys are the ones that you already have in your speech therapy material stash. A set of blocks and anything to knock them down work wonders! Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

I found these wooden blocks at the Dollar tree and grabbed some of my cars. While stacking the blocks, you can work on “up, more, exclamations (i.e., oh, yay) and stack.”

Stacking cups, blocks, or boxes are also versatile for teaching tall/short, hiding things under, and using pretend play bowls. This set from Brilliant Basics Stack and Roll Cups is under $10 and can be stacked or put together as a ball to roll.

For a set of stacking boxes, Melissa and Doug have a set under $15, but these Babies Dinosaur Stacking Blocks have openings to put dinosaurs. You work on stacking, up/down, and in/out.

Cause and effect toys can improve language, executive functioning, and joint attention. Not to mention using cause and effect toys are super fun for children.

Play Therapy Cheat Sheets

Check out the toy companion cheat sheets if you serve students with various goals and want to start using ONE toy to cover many target areas. There are toy companions for stacking cups, cars, and over 30 types of toys and games (new toy companion cheat sheets are added to the resource as you send in requests.)

Cause and Effect Toys That Provide a Surprise

Toys that have a surprise are great for improving joint attention. Kids love the anticipation of finding what’s inside. You can also be super animated with your facial expressions to share in the “surprise” and excitement.

For SLPs on a budget, grabbing some plastic eggs at the Dollar Tree or Walmart during the Easter holiday is excellent for hiding mini items or pictures inside. You can read here are you can use those eggs with a chicken theme.

You also can use plastic cups to hide items underneath. If you are looking for things to add to a sensory bin, check out the toys from Learning Resources. The Surprise Party presents are great for a birthday theme. They also have other versions, such as acornspicnic baskets, or farm animals.

Need a toy companion for these surprise party boxes? They are included in the toy companion cheat sheet guides!

Toys that Encourage Children to Request More of an Action

Cause and effect toys can improve language, executive functioning, and joint attention. Not to mention using cause and effect toys are super fun for children.

When you use cause and effect toys that spark your student’s curiosity to want to do it again, you have some golden opportunities to work on communication!

And, if they need the item or help from you to watch that action happen, you can work on functional communication such as help, want, go, more, or gestures to signal to make that action happen again.

My two favorite toys for sparking some curiosity are ball poppers and wind-up toys (part of the toy companion cheat sheets.)

You can work on using verbal routines (i.e., ready, set, go), target CORE vocabulary (i.e., go, again, more, turn), turn-taking, joint attention, and social communication (i.e., funny, help me.)

What are Your Favorite Toys to Work on Cause and Effect?

What toys do you use to work on cause and effect in speech therapy? Your recommendations for toys are always the best. Share in the comments so other SLPs can find toys that will help plan their next speech therapy session.

If you need more toy and play therapy ideas, you can always search “toys” in the search bar or check out blog posts HERE

Cause and effect toys can improve language, executive functioning, and joint attention. Not to mention using cause and effect toys are super fun for children.
7 Places to Find Props for Your Themes

7 Places to Find Props for Your Themes

Looking for a way to level up your students’ engagement during your themed therapy lessons? Look no more, themester SLP! I LOVE incorporating themed therapy props into my lessons, and my students love using them. A themed therapy prop is a toy or item that relates to your theme or the characters in your theme-related books. For example, when doing a snowman theme, I always love using the book, “Sneezy the Snowman.” So, I decided to find a plush snowman toy to use as a themed prop for story retell. You can read this BLOG post to learn how to make your own snowman story prop kit

Before you go looking for themed therapy props, keep in mind that you don’t need to break the bank to make your theme a success. Many times you can use items you already have from toy sets or household items as a prop for the themed activity. 

Some of the product links in this blog are my Amazon affiliate link. Whenever you use an affiliate link, I will earn a commission from the product at no additional cost to you!

How Can the Themed Therapy Prop Be Used in Speech Therapy

There are tons of ways you can use themed therapy props across your lessons. Here are just some of my favorite ways to incorporate props into speech therapy:

  1. Use your small toys and items as story props while you read your themed book. Check out how I used a hedgehog for the book Apple Trouble here
  2. Props are a great way to act out verb actions with your students. 
  3. Use the themed therapy prop to demonstrate basic concepts. For example, these penguin figurines and styrofoam for showing on top, bottom, on/off, next to, behind, in front, first, and last (will send link to that blog post when done.)
  4. Answer “what” and “where” questions with the props. If you have a turkey, you can put items in front of the turkey and ask the students, “What is the turkey holding?” To see more ideas for using a turkey in your sessions, check out this post.

7 Places to Find Props for Themed Therapy

  1. This may sound crazy, but you must check out the dog sections at Ross, TJ Maxx, or Amazon. I found the St. Patrick’s Day dog toys at TJ Maxx and this fun squirrel log toy on Amazon from Zippy Paws. Because I LOVE doing a squirrel theme every year, it was worth the purchase for me.
  2. Oriental Trading Company has tons of small toys and items that will be perfect for your themed therapy props! This is where I found my plush snowman (Amazon also has lots of great plush toys).
  3. Beanie Babies – You can find a LOT of characters for books or themes like ocean animals, pets, or arctic animals. Plus, you may be able to borrow some from your own kids stash!
  4. Kohl CARES has great character plush toys that go with some of your favorites like the caterpillar for “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, which is great for an insect theme.
Increase engagement using props to your themed therapy activities! Check out all the places to find themed therapy props.

5. Get ready to Thrift! Thrift stores can be an affordable solution for finding themed figurines or plush toys. Just recently, I was able to snag a bunch of puppy plush toys for my dog-themed unit.

6. Join and scour some Mom Facebook Groups – Join some local mom Facebook groups and put a post out for some items you may be looking for using in therapy. When you add that you are an SLP and need it for kids, I bet some mom’s will clean out their closet for you!

7. Give the Dollar Tree and 5 Below a visit. You can look at these discount stores for toy props to use with your themes. If you have students with special interests such as Peppa Pig, you can find some Peppa props from 5 Below. Have Peppa participate in the themed play unit, like taking care of pets. Or, Peppa can go visit the penguins! Dollar Tree always has seasonal props for holidays and times of the year. For example, in the spring, you can always find props and items for your insect themed unit

Want help with Planning Your Themed Therapy Sessions?

In need of some more tips on how to plan themed therapy lessons for your elementary caseload, I want to invite you to a FREE LIVE webinar training where I share a simple framework to help you plan your sessions efficiently. No more analysis paralysis when it comes to figuring out what you will do in therapy!

 Increase engagement using props to your themed therapy activities! Check out all the places to find themed therapy props.

Where Do You Find Props for Themes?

Do you have a favorite source for themed therapy props? Let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from other SLP’s and learning about new places to look for fun toys for my students!

Must Have Snowman Toys for Speech

Must Have Snowman Toys for Speech

When planning your snowman-themed unit, you can add some engagement by grabbing some of these must-have snowman toys for speech therapy. You definitely don’t need all the toys shared today in this post, but if you are looking to add some new snowman toy additions to your therapy stash, here are some of my faves.

Build a Snowman Toys for Speech Therapy

There is so much language you can target with sequencing tasks! Why not work on the sequencing task of building a snowman. You can definitely make your own white playdough with this recipe and grab buttons, sticks, mini hats and accessories to build a snowman. When building the snowman, you can target transition words, verb tense, vocabulary, wh-questions, summarizing, and answering wh-questions.

If you aren’t interested in making your own white playdough, there are several snowman toys for building a snowman. Here are some good snowman toy sets (Amazon affiliate links included):

Mr. and Mrs. Snowman Set with Floof modeling clay

Melting Snowman

Felt Snowman Game Set

Snowman Stacker Toy from Melissa and Doug Toys

Have some build-a-snowman toys to use in speech therapy for your snowman activity lesson plan!

Ideas for Using the Snowman Felt Game Set

With the felt snowman game set, you can work on following directions for building the snowman. Once the snowman is built, students can work on identifying colors, describing by attributes, and explaining the sequence in their own words. If you need more ideas for how to use winter sequencing tasks, check out this blog post.

You can also set this up across the speech room and do the snowman-dressing races as a reinforcer. After your students practice their targets, they can do a race to see how fast they can build the snowman. You can have them walk across a plank of wood to work on the basic concept “across.”

After you time the students, talk about who built the snowman the fastest, or slowest as well as discuss the concepts more and less time.

Snowman Toys to Use with Games

Let’s talk snowman toys that can be used as reinforcers or functional communication in speech therapy.

If you own a bowling pin set, add some snowman printables to them. Now, you have a knock the snowman down game! Use these free snowman printables for your bowling pin set. You can also use white paper cups and draw snowman faces to create bowling pins. Stack them into a pyramid and use fake snowballs to try and knock them down. 

Using ball poppers in therapy can be very engaging and motivating for students. Did you know that there is a snowman popper toy? It’s the best! There is also another version that pops the balls out of the snowman’s head. And if you have kids obsessed with Pop Its, I even found a snowman version! For SLPs that love using toys with mixed groups, using the popper toy companion cheat sheet will help you have pre-selected targets and ideas for therapy. 

To use the snowman popper for speech and language targets, tape pictures to the wall or whiteboard. Your students can try to hit the pictures and then practice their targets. If you need some snowman category images, there are a bunch in the snowman language lesson plan guides.

More Snowman Toys for Speech Therapy

You still with me? I went on a snowman toy hunt because this is a theme that I use for a whole month! It makes planning so much easier and my students benefit. Check out episode 45 of the Real Talk SLP podcast to find out why using a theme for at least two weeks can help you and your students. 

Snowman toys for speech therapy that will increase engagement in your mixed groups!

These Snowman pullback cards from Oriental Trading company can be great as a reinforcer, but they can also target some powerful CORE words. You can work on stop, go, more, again, fun, like, turn, my, you, and all done.

With your speech and language goals, you can set up mini trinkets in a row. Have students see what the snowman passes on his drive. Whatever he passes, those are the items students must practice.

You can also set up cube blocks or sugar cubes and see if your students can knock them down with the snowman cars. Work on the verbs pull, start, go, stop, hit, crash, knock, and watch.

To check out these snowman pullback cars in action, watch this REEL on @themedtherapyslp

I got a snowman plush toy on Oriental Trading company, but I think they are all sold out. Here is another version from Amazon. You can use a snowman toy to work on following directions, basic concepts, and use it with your pretend play scenes. For example, you can make hot chocolate for your snowman, or have an ice cream party with a snowman and friends. Add mini snowman erasers to any task mat or worksheet to make therapy have a hands-on component. I found the snowman erasers on Oriental Trading.

Want to Stay Inspired with Themed Therapy Ideas?

Staying creative with implementing a themed-based approach can be a little daunting at times. One minute you find yourself looking on Pinterest for a themed idea and hours later you come out with 20 different themed ideas, 10 dessert recipes to try, and your kid’s next birthday party. If you want to stay inspired with planning by themes, come join my FREE-themed therapy SLP Facebook group!

10 Ways to Use a Pizza Toy Set in Speech

10 Ways to Use a Pizza Toy Set in Speech

Making time for play therapy in your lesson plan is a great way to have your student work on their language in a functional and engaging way. Kids love to play, and they also love pizza! Which makes these pizza toy sets a must-have tool for your speech therapy session. Use these pizza toy sets to target a variety of language and speech goals through play!

Where Can I Buy a Pizza Toy Set for Speech Therapy?

 

There are a few different pizza 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 in which I receive a small commission when you click at no additional cost to you.

It can be fun to play pizza delivery or eating at a pizza restaurant with this Melissa and Doug Wooden Pizza Counter. If you want a felt version, there is this set for under $20. Working on pretending to go to a pizza party, you can grab this pizza party set HERE. For a more tactile pizza play activity, you can use the Playdoh pizza set.

 

Incorporate a pizza toy set into your speech therapy sessions to increase engagement and opportunities for meaningful practice on speech and language goals.

Play-Based Speech and Language Toy Companion Cheat Sheets

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 25 different toys. 

You can save brain energy while effectively using toys to target your student’s speech or language goals. Use these cheat sheets so that you can have FUN in therapy too!

Incorporate a pizza toy set into your speech therapy sessions to increase engagement and opportunities for meaningful practice on speech and language goals.
 Incorporate a pizza toy set into your speech therapy sessions to increase engagement and opportunities for meaningful practice on speech and language goals.

Using a Pizza Toy Set in Play-Based Speech Therapy

Incorporate a pizza toy set into your speech therapy sessions to increase engagement and opportunities for meaningful practice on speech and language goals.

A pizza toy 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. Use the pizza toppings and pieces to work on following directions and sequencing the steps to make a pizza.

2. Describe the ingredients and sort the items into category groups: appliances, utensils, food, meat, veggies, dairy, etc.

3. Put the pizza toppings on flashcards and students pick a topping. Then, have the student practice their target. Use silly sentences such as “The rabbit ate the pepperoni.”

4. Practice turn taking and perspective taking by having the child prepare a pizza for someone else. Work on initiation for questions and comments.

5. Have things go wrong while making the pizza by having it burn, dropping the pizza, running out of toppings, and expressing dislike such as yuck for toppings.

More Therapy Ideas Using a Cookie Toy Set

    6. Act out different verbs and vocabulary with gestures such as devour, smell, hot, chew, mix, etc.

    7. Talk about which pizzas have more/less/few/none.

    8. Discuss the social rules for going to a pizzeria.

    9. Use toppings for phonological awareness cues or tapping out multi-syllabic words.

    10. Have your students feed different items pizza. You can work on building sentences, answering “who” and “what” questions and turn taking.

    Incorporate a pizza toy set into your speech therapy sessions to increase engagement and opportunities for meaningful practice on speech and language goals.

    More Toys to Use in Play Therapy

    Incorporate a pizza toy set into your speech therapy sessions to increase engagement and opportunities for meaningful practice on speech and language goals.

    If you are loving all these toy ideas for play therapy, you can read more blog posts on some of my favorite toys to use in therapy.

    When I pull out a toy knowing the purpose of how I will use it to cover goals, I feel confident with my therapy choice. It’s okay to put the worksheets away if you are FUNctionally using toys to target speech and language goals.

    Your students will probably be more engaged with your lesson for the day!

    Check out my favorite toys and 10 ways to use them in therapy:

    Ice Cream Toy Set

    Toy Trains in Speech

    Using Play Food in Therapy

    Farmhouse Toy Set

    How Do You Use a Pizza Toy Set in Speech Therapy?

     

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

    10 Ways to Use a Cookie Toy Set in Speech

    10 Ways to Use a Cookie Toy Set in Speech

    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 Baking Cookie Toy Set for Speech Therapy?

     

    There are a few different cookie 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.

    Melissa and Doug Cookie Dough Play Set

    Melissa and Doug Baking Play Set – you can use these tools and use playdough to make the cookies.

    Use a Play Dough Pretend Play Set for Making Cookies and Milk

    Cookie Mixer Set by Tiny Land Inc

     

    Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using a baking cookies toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.

    Play-Based Speech and Language Toy Companion Cheat Sheets

    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 18 different toys.

    Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using a baking cookies toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.
    Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using a baking cookies toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.

    Using a Cookie Toy Set in Play-Based Speech Therapy

    Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using a baking cookies toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.
    1. Discuss kitchen safety when cooking. Target negation for not, don’t, never. Work on the cause and effect of what happens if we get cookies out of the oven without protective gloves or not putting your fingers in the mixer when it is turned on.
    1. Practice decorating and serving cookies to partners to work on turn-taking and initiation of communication. Share opinions about if they like/don’t like the cookie, requesting milk to go with their cookies.
    1. Put the cookies “in” and “out: of a jar. Discuss “who” took a cookie out of the jar.
    1. Work on vocabulary and grammar skills while making pretend cookies. Practice sequencing the steps. Ask the students what happened first, middle, last.
    1. Talk about the social rules for baking (hygiene) and when/why you would prepare cookies for someone (party, death, thoughtful gift, etc.)

    More Therapy Ideas Using a Cookie Toy Set

    1. Feed a stuffed animal or cut out the cookies while practicing speech or language targets.
    1. Put task cards out and have the students “find the” adjective, category, noun-function, etc. Have them put a cookie on the correct task card.
    1. Work on singular and plural nouns and noun-verb agreement with stuffed animals. Give the animals different items (cookies, oven mitt, rolling pin). Explain what each animal has or ask simple “who” questions.
    1. Have different problems occur during pretend play (burnt cookies, spatula drops, forget an ingredient) and discuss solutions to the problems. 
    1. Sort items into different subcategories such as the spatula, cookie tray are kitchen utensils, flour, butter, sugar are food ingredients, and a mixer, and oven are appliances. Describe these items by attributes (i.e., category, noun-function, location, parts, size, textures, etc.)
    Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using a baking cookies toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.

    More Toys to Use in Play Therapy

    Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using a baking cookies toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.

    If you are loving all these toy ideas for play therapy, you can read more blog posts on some of my favorite toys to use in therapy.

    When I pull out a toy knowing the purpose of how I will use it to cover goals, I feel confident with my therapy choice. It’s okay to put the worksheets away if you are FUNctionally using toys to target speech and language goals.

    Your students will probably be more engaged with your lesson for the day!

    Check out my favorite toys and 10 ways to use them in therapy:

    Ice Cream Toy Set

    Toy Trains in Speech

    Using Play Food in Therapy

    Farmhouse Toy Set

    How Do You Use a Baking Cookies Toy Set in Speech Therapy?

     

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

    10 ways to use an ice cream toy set in speech

    10 ways to use an ice cream toy set in speech

    When it comes to play therapy, we want to use toys that are relatable and motivating for our students. What kid doesn’t LOVE ice cream? Ice cream is a dessert that so many kids experience and enjoy, why not use it to target speech and language goals?

    An ice cream toy set is a versatile speech therapy toy that your preschool and elementary students will enjoy using. This makes lesson planning easier when you have one toy set that can be adapted to target many different goals.

    Today, I am going to share 10 ways that you can use an ice cream toy set in play-based therapy. If you are interested in doing more play-based therapy and want some tips, head to this blog post.

    Where Can I Buy an Ice Cream Toy Set for Speech Therapy?

    Here are some of the best ice cream playsets I would recommend checking out for pretend play activities. If you are on a budget, check out Goodwills, Offer Up, or Facebook Marketplace. Sometimes even sharing a post on social media asking friend and family if they have toys to donate can be an affordable way to collect some of these items. You can also try to get your toy sets through Donor’s Choose

    Favorite Speech Therapy Toy Sets for Ice Cream Pretend Play

    How to use an ice cream toy set to cover a wide-range of goals in speech therapy

     Melissa and Doug Scoop and Serve Ice Cream Counter – I own this one and LOVE it! It’s a little more expensive but is great for an ice cream shop pretend play activity.

    Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Cone Set – this set is more affordable and would be great for pretend play with eating ice cream at home for dessert.

     

    Sweet Treats Ice Cream Parlor by Battat – this set is probably the most affordable and has all the accessories to make your own ice cream sundaes. It could be great for an ice cream party pretend play activity.

    Playdoh Kitchen Ice Cream Party Set – you know your kids will go bananas when they see they can make playdough ice cream sundaes in speech!

    Kidzlane Ice Cream Toy Set – is a versatile set that comes with cones, cups, bowls and waffle cones. Plus, if you add water to the ice cream scoops, they change colors for new flavors. Plus, they are dishwasher safe, so you can easily sanitize these toys.

    Play-Based Speech and Language Toy Companion Cheat Sheets

    How to use an ice cream toy set to cover a wide-range of goals in speech therapy

    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 18 different toys. 

    There is a two-page toy companion for an ice cream toy set that will help you remember targets to use in your play-based therapy. When you don’t have enough time to plan therapy, you can count on your cheat sheets to help you have effective therapy.

    Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using an ice cream toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.

    Using an Ice Cream Toy Set in Play-Based Speech Therapy

     Engage your speech therapy students with these 10 ideas for using an ice cream toy set in speech therapy! So many speech skills can be targeted with it.

    1.Role play different social situations using the ice cream toy. Have the students make a sundae or ice cream for another person working on conversation skills and perspective taking.

    2.Create different flavors of ice cream with the student’s speech sound or target adjectives.

    3.Work on following directions with basic concepts using the ice cream cones.

    4.Answer “who” questions by giving students different types of ice cream.

    5.Phonology milkshake: Students can only put items in the blender that have their sound.

    6.Work on sequencing steps for making an ice cream sundae or a milkshake.

    7.Sort ice cream toppings into sub-categories, such as fruit, crunchy toppings, sweet, and sauces.

    8.Discuss problems and solutions related to ice cream, such as if you drop your ice cream or the shop doesn’t have the flavor you like.

    9.Work on speech and language while doing an ice cream shop pretend play activity.

    1. Talk about the noun functions for spoon, bowl, cone, freezer, scooper, etc.

    More Therapy Ideas for Using Toys in Play-Based Therapy 

    When all the assessments and meetings are due at various times during the school year, your creativity always seems to deplete in planning therapy. So, if you need some new inspirational therapy ideas for some of your student’s favorite toys, here are some blog posts to check out:

    Using a Pet Hospital Toy

    10 Ways to Use Play Food in Therapy

    Trains to Target Speech and Language Goals

    Using a farm toy in speech therapy

    How Do You Use an Ice Cream Toy Set in Speech Therapy?

     

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

    Copyright 2019 The Dabbling Speechie | Disclosures | Terms of UseBrand Ambassador Program