FREE ‘I Spy’ Language Game for Parents

FREE ‘I Spy’ Language Game for Parents

With school closures happening around the nation it is extremely stressful for parents to educate their children at home. One way you can help your children work on language at home is by playing games. This ‘I Spy’ language game is engaging because it allows your child to move around and there are a lot of ways you can work on your child’s speech and language goals.

For speech therapists trying to figure out lesson plans for an entire caseload, this activity can help you give actionable therapy ideas because the free parent lesson plan includes ways to use this one activity to target a wide-variety of goals.

You can coach your parents each week with how to adapt this game to build vocabulary.

How to Play the ‘I Spy’ Language Game

'I Spy' language game to use to build vocabulary while homeschooling.

Directions for activity: Print the ‘I Spy’ check-off sheet and give it to your child. Have them go around the house looking for different items that are in the category groups or noun-functions. Once your child finds an item, they can check it off. If the things are small, your child can put them in a box or container as they see the item. Your child is finished with the ‘I Spy’ game when they have spotted everything on the list. If you have multiple children at home, you can break them up into teams to see who can finish the list first. They can look for these items in their toys, rooms of the house, or in their yards.

How the ‘I Spy’ Language Game Will Build Vocabulary

The research continues to show that children build stronger vocabularies when they build a depth of knowledge with a word. This means when they attach several associations with the word, they will have a stronger understanding of what that word means. So, when we work on attaching category groups to words, it helps children understanding how words go together. This is a handy skill for word finding, explaining similiarities and differences and organizing language. Check out this blog post about categories HERE.

At home, you can play this ‘I Spy’ language game to work on categories and noun-functions while also working on articulation, speech fluency, social skills, grammar, and vocabulary. It will help you feel confident that you are engaging your child in a low-tech educational game that is helping them grow.

There are also strong links to building vocabulary and reading comprehension. So, even though your child isn’t practicing reading they are building foundational skills that will help them with understanding what they are reading. 

'I Spy' language game to build vocabulary at home and work on other speech and language goals. This speech activity can be used to help coach parents during distance learning.

Coaching Parents on How to Use This Game

'I Spy' language game to help parents work on speech and language goals from home during distance learning.

For SLPs that are trying to provide lesson plans for their caseload, this free download will help you plan easily.

You can send this home with parents and include the parent lesson plan. It shows all the different skills they can target, so you can guide your families based on your students goals.

This activity can be played many times, so encourage your families to not just play once! Coach them with how to adapt this game to continue to work on their child’s goal. Or, show your families easy ways to extend the activity. For example, after the child plays the ‘I Spy’ Language game, give the parents tips for teaching how to compare/contrast two items in a category group.

Make sure to download this free lesson plan by clicking the pink button below. 

Speech and Language Skills to Target with ‘I Spy’ Language at Home

Articulation – have your child find items that have their sound. Then, have them practice the word 10x with their correct sound production. Make a silly story with the items using their best sounds!

Vocabulary – compare and contrast two items in that category group by how they are similar and different.

Grammar – create sentences by adding in an adjective about the item or talking about “where” the item belongs such as “A pillow belongs on top of my bed.”

Social Skills – work on having your child initiate questions and comments. Model social language during this activity. Give pause time to see if your child will nonverbally or verbally initiate a message.

Speech Fluency- have your child practice their strategies when saying the things they found or when using the item in a sentence. 

Oral Narration – Have your child create a story about one of the items they found. Or, make up a story with all the items!

Your kids will be having FUN while they are learning. As much as we want our kids to be diligently working on worksheets and math problems, your kids need activities that will inspire them. Let me know how it goes by tagging me on Instagram: @thedabblingspeechie

Free Daily Home Visual Schedule

Free Daily Home Visual Schedule

Many of our students with Autism need visual supports to help navigate their day. When we create routines and visually show them what is happening next, it creates a calm for our students. One thing SLPs can do to help support parents at home is to create these daily home visual schedules to send home with students. Scroll down to the pink button to grab this free daily home schedule.  (Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience in this blog post.) I receive a small compensation for any purchases through those links.)

A lot of my students benefit from having a visual schedule, a first/then chart and a working for chart. That can be a lot of visuals to carry around, so I put them all on one sheet of paper. It can also be helpful for some children to only see a few activities at a time instead of the whole schedule at once. To grab this free schedule, click the pink button and enter in your email information. You will then get an email with your free daily home schedule.

 

It includes premade picture icons, tokens, and blank icon pages, so you can store those icons when they are not being used. There is an editable PDF that will allow you to make custom pictures for your student/child that have real photos of their bed, toys, and home or to add in different pictures that relate to your student or child’s daily routine.

Supplies to Make Your Daily Home Schedule

Use this free daily home schedule to create a visual schedule for your child that will help them navigate the day so there is less tantrums throughout the day and more productive interactions!

Here are the supplies you will need to make your daily home visual schedule:

 

Velcro Dots

White Cardstock

Binder Rings

Laminating Sheets

You will print out the main visual support and laminate it. Then, you will print out the 3 icon strips for morning, afternoon and evening. Laminate those sheets along with the premade icons. Print out the blank morning, afternoon, and evening activity sheets to put your premade icons. Once you have everything prepped, hole punch all the sheets and attach using the binder rings. There are more specific directions in the free download.

 

Need a daily home schedule for your child with Autism. Grab this free visual schedule to help your child navigate the day with ease!

I hope this was helpful for your home. Please reach out and share how it is working. You can find me on social media @thedabblingspeechie or you can email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com

I always love to hear how I can support SLPs and the parents of their students with visual supports and engaging materials to help your children/students make progress with speech and language skills.

10 Ways to Use Play Food in Speech Therapy

10 Ways to Use Play Food in Speech Therapy

What’s more fun to young kids than playing with toy food items? They love using play food to engage in activities like playing house. Harness that interest for your speech therapy sessions! This is why toy food sets can be so engaging for our speech students! These play food items allow students to interact with you and do pretend play, all the while allowing you to work on a variety of different speech and language skills with them. I’m sharing 10 skills you can focus on with toy foods below, so keep reading to get all of my suggestions!

Play food is SUCH a big hit with young children. Why not give them space to play with toy food items while also working on essential speech and language skills? Play food sets make for a fantastic addition to your speech therapy materials. Kids love playing with toy food, and you can work on targets like sequencing, CORE vocabulary, AAC, grammar concepts, and more. Click through to read this post to learn 10 ways that play food can be used in speech therapy! #speechtherapy #SLPs #speechskills

Where Can I Buy Play Food for My Speech Room?

There are a few different play food options available online. One of them is even from Melissa and Doug, so you don’t have to worry about the quality of those items! 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 & Doug Food Groups

Pantry in a Bucket by Play Circle Battat (This is a good deal!)

New Sprouts Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner by Learning Resources

 

Play food is SUCH a big hit with young children. Why not give them space to play with toy food items while also working on essential speech and language skills? Play food sets make for a fantastic addition to your speech therapy materials. Kids love playing with toy food, and you can work on targets like sequencing, CORE vocabulary, AAC, grammar concepts, and more. Click through to read this post to learn 10 ways that play food can be used in speech therapy! #speechtherapy #SLPs #speechskills

Build Vocabulary While Using Play Food in Speech Therapy

You can use play food to compare and contrast items by attribute features. While you are playing with the food, you can discuss the different category groups for food items, function, size, shape, color, where you buy/store it, what meals you use the food for, parts and textures. I love using my visual sentence frames to help my students explain similarities and differences between foods. 

For your students not ready to work expressively with comparing and contrasting, have your students “sort” food into different groups. For example, you can sort chewy vs. crunchy foods, hot vs. cold, sweet vs. sour foods.

Being able to see and touch the play food while doing this language activity makes it engaging for your students too!

Play food is SUCH a big hit with young children. Why not give them space to play with toy food items while also working on essential speech and language skills? Play food sets make for a fantastic addition to your speech therapy materials. Kids love playing with toy food, and you can work on targets like sequencing, CORE vocabulary, AAC, grammar concepts, and more. Click through to read this post to learn 10 ways that play food can be used in speech therapy! #speechtherapy #SLPs #speechskills

How to Use Play Food in Speech Therapy

A toy food 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. Have one student prepare a meal for another student. One student can practice his/her articulation, vocabulary, grammar while telling the student what to do to prepare the meal.
  2. Sequence the steps for setting a table, cleaning the kitchen, shopping at the grocery store, or making a meal. Sequence how to make a hamburger, sandwich, cake, etc.
  3. Following directions and basic concepts with the food and utensils.
  4. Sort food by sub-categories: desserts, fruit, vegetables, breakfast, dinner, meat, etc. Then, describe the food by attributes (size, shape, colors, parts, texture, etc.)
  5. Work on “who” and “where” questions. Give different food items to students and ask, “Who has a brownie?”
  6. Asking and answering wh-questions while playing with the food.
  7. Play pretend restaurant to work on social skills, articulation carryover, and language.
  8. Plan a dinner party or birthday party.
  9. Practice manners while eating.
  10. Work on inferencing by giving the kids clues about the food item and they have to guess the food.

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 Pre-K to 2nd grade and have stimulus targets mapped out for fourteen different toys.

Share How You Use Play Food Toy Set

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

Gingerbread Man Speech Therapy Activities

Gingerbread Man Speech Therapy Activities

Do you love using The Gingerbread Man story in your therapy sessions? It is great for teaching oral narration and language skills.

Over the years, I have even found ways to incorporate social pragmatic skills with a gingerbread man theme. 

Today, I wanted to share some gingerbread man speech therapy activities you can do with your students in December or January.

Gingerbread Man Speech Therapy Activities

You can work on oral narration and comprehension using the book The Gingerbread Man. Another way to build language is to compare and contrast different versions of The Gingerbread Man.

Here are some book versions that you can use in therapy (Amazon affiliate links included):

Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett

The Gingerbread Man by Gail Yerill

The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst

The Gingerbread Man is Loose in the School by Laura Murray

After reading the story, you can work on word opposites such as hungry/full, fast/slow, go/stop, wet/dry, shallow/deep.

As a group, you can target the tier II vocabulary of chase, stream, and gobble.

You can discuss kitchen utensils and things that people can bake. 

Review each picture in the story and work on grammar concepts while retelling the story. 

 

Use these gingerbread man speech therapy activities to target lots lots of language and social skills. #slpeeps #speechies #socialskills #speechtherapy #gingerbreadman #preschoolslp #preschool #languageintervention #slp2b #cfyslp

Gingerbread Man Activities for Mixed Groups

gingerbread man speech therapy activities that you can do to work on language and social skills. #slpeeps #schoolslp #speechtherapy #gingerbreadman #cfyslp #slp2b #languagetherapy #eslteacher #socialpragmatics

You can use gingerbread man cookies to work on so many functional language skills. Have your students decorate gingerbread man cookies to work on CORE vocabulary, requesting, commenting and sequencing. I found these different sized cookie cutters, so we also worked on big, bigger, and biggest. Students working on articulation carryover can practice their speech sounds while explaining how they decorated their gingerbread man cookie.

Need ideas for how to use cookies to work on perspective taking? Check out this blog post HERE.

When using a task card deck with your mixed groups, you can make the deck more engaging by planning the “Catch the gingerbread man” game. All you need are gingerbread men, some fox printables, paper clips and a magnetic wand. Attach gingerbread men to most of the task cards. Put a few foxes under the cards. Then, students pick a card with the magnetic wand. If it has a gingerbread man, they get to keep it. If it has a fox, then they lose a card. Grab these free printables HERE. 

Gingerbread Man Brain Break Activities

For your students that need movement to help them stay engaged, I highly recommend these YouTube videos as fun brain breaks.

This allows your students a quick time to get their wiggles out while still moving their bodies to something related to The Gingerbread Man theme.

The second YouTube video puts some verbs from the story in song form which may help some of your students with learning that vocabulary.

I love incorporating YouTube videos into my whole class push-in lessons to break up the session. 

 

Visual Supports for Story Retell

To work on story retell using The Gingerbread Man, use file folder activities to help scaffold oral narration.

Some of your students may need step by step visual supports with what happened in the story. Use the file folders in my TPT store to plan leveled activities for your students.

You may have some students with complex communication needs and need additional supports to help them demonstrate their comprehension of the story. You can have your students match characters or story elements if they can’t verbally sequence the story. 

For students working on increasing MLU, have them use the visual sentence frames to build sentences about “who” was chasing the gingerbread man.

Work on story retell using visual supports in a sensory bin. You can check out how I made a gingerbread man sensory bin HERE.

It includes free printables to make your own gingerbread man sensory bin.

Gingerbread Man Activities for Body in the Group

The gingerbread man loves to be chased. And, it seems to be quite hard to catch him. Planning a body in the group gingerbread man chase around campus can be a practical way for you to work on staying with a group and thinking about others.

Check out this blog post to see how you can plan a gingerbread man hunt and work on social pragmatics as a whole class. I used a free printable to make this activity come to life!

 

Gingerbread Man Push-In Lesson Plan Ideas

When I plan push-in lessons for my K-1 and 1-2 Special Day Classrooms, I like to read a story book at the carpet and do a Google Slide presentation as a group.

Then, the class breaks up into three smaller group work stations. I plan three activities that align with theme of the week and use the teacher and aides to help with running stations. To see how I setup my push-in lessons, head to this blog post. If you are interested in learning about different collaborative service models, head to this blog post.

At the stations, you can plan an easy craft, use the characters from the story to work on prepositions while playing “Simon says”, and a pretend play gingerbread man cookie baking station to work on language and social skills in a functional way.

 

If you are needing lesson plan guides that will help you implement small group and whole class lessons, check out my gingerbread man push-in guides. It has 3-5 small group activities, book suggestions, a letter to send home to parents, a Google Slide presentation and cheat sheet guides for the teacher aides. Grab this resource and finally feel confident with structuring your therapy sessions. 

These are the activities you can do with a gingerbread man theme. What do you plan for your students? Share 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.

Real Talk SLP episode 8

Today on the Real Talk SLP podcast, I wanted to talk about the ups and downs of finding relevant, engaging and practical professional development for the busy SLP.

As SLPs we are pulled very thin between conducting therapy, assessing, and all that fun paperwork.

In particular, school-based SLPs have to be knowledgeable about so many different areas because we treat a lot of disorders, and ages.

I decided to bring on my SLP blogger besties to have some real talk about professional development. Each one shares about the current struggles with finding good PD as well as recommending some resources that have helped them to feel confident about their clinical decisions.

Professional Development Resources for Busy SLPs

The Informed SLP is a resource we all have memberships and use regularly.

We all agreed that attending the ASHA Convention has lots of great presentations and so many options to chose from; however, it is expensive and difficult to take that time off of work. ASHA’s evidence maps can be a helpful place to start when looking for information on a certain topic.

A great alternative is to use Speech Pathology.com or Speech Therapy PD.

Natalie recommended The Impact of Unilateral Hearing Loss and Single Sided Defness for the Pediatric Population from SpeechPathology.com

Marueen recommended Intervention for Selective Mutism: The Nuts and Bolts of Behavioral Treatment

Hallie recommended Evidence Based Practice Treatment Approaches for Improving Vocabulary in Children with Language Disorders

I recommended any courses or presentations by Char Boshart who has a lot of courses on Speech Therapy PD. If you are interested in Speech Therapy PD (Use code: SLPROCKSTAR” to get $10 off either subscription).

I also just presented with Rehab Seminars and they had a lot of practical presenters that were very helpful including Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP and William Van Cleave, MA, Educational Consultant

We are all fans of FREE PD, right!? The SLP Summit is a free online webinar training that goes on twice a year during winter and summer. There are a ton of different topics and you can learn while sitting by the pool or your couch. 

We also discuss how the four of us SLPs came up with the idea for the Speech Retreat. It is a one day Professional Development that is packed with practical therapy ideas you can use tomorrow. Plus, we wanted to celebrate SLPs, so we include swag bags and LOTS of raffle prizes. Check it out at Speech Retreat and sign up for the April 13th Speech Retreat in Raleigh, NC.

What is your favorite PD or conference you attended?

I would love to know what relevant PD you have attended to help spread the word to other SLPs. Share in the comments or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com

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