Feed the Monster Prop for Speech Therapy

Feed the Monster Prop for Speech Therapy

The ONE thing you need for your monster theme is a feed-the-monster prop! By having an easy-to-adapt-themed therapy prop, you can increase your sessions’ engagement without reinventing the wheel for activities in each mixed group session. Plus, this DIY feed the monster-themed prop is cost-effective to make! If you want to know where you can find more themed props, check out this blog post

Supplies You Need To Make Your Feed the Monster

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post. Here are the supplies you need to make your Monster:

Mini trashcan – I found one at Dollar Tree before, but if they don’t have one, you can get this set on Amazon.

I have also found this one, or the container store has a mini trashcan.

Googly eyes – There are usually googly eyes at Dollar Tree, but you can also find these on Amazon or any craft store.

Pom pom balls and pipe cleaners

Hot glue gun

Open Ended Activity Idea With Your Feed the Monster Prop

Get some eyeball ping pong balls from Dollar Tree during the Halloween season and use them to feed the monster. After every turn for any speech or language goal, your students can feed the monster an eyeball. You can also feed your monster mini trinkets or put cut-up index cards face down with numbers written on them. Then, you can have your student pick a card at each turn, and they get to feed the monster that number of eyeballs or earn that amount of points. I am sure if you have smaller play food, you could also feed that to your monster! Check out the visual sentence strips in my store to get high trials at the word or sentence level. They have sound-loaded carrier phrases to help get lots of trials.

All the BEST tips for how to use a DIY feed the monster prop in speech therapy!

Themed Therapy Monster Language Activities for Push-In

If you work with prek-2nd grade students and need some monster-themed language activities for small groups and push-in therapy, this monster lesson plan guide will save you time and stress! Plus, your students will dig into all the activities and not know they are working hard to build their language skills. 

Tips for Adapting This Themed Therapy Prop in Speech Therapy

All the BEST tips for how to use a DIY feed the monster prop in speech therapy!

The beauty of this monster prop is that you can feed him ANY flashcards you have on hand. It’s the best mixed group activity. Each child in your group can have their cards to feed the monster. If you are looking for Halloween-specific cards, there is a set in my TPT store using Halloween vocabulary to target grammar and language goals with grammar flashcards.

You can also give your monster food items and then discuss the item by adjectives such as sweet, sour, hot, cold, etc. In the monster push-in lesson plan guides there are flashcards and sentence strips for this activity.

For your students using AAC to communicate, there are a LOT of CORE words you can target while using the monster prop. While using the eyeballs, mini trinkets, small play food, or flashcards, here are some ideas for CORE words to target:

“what” – ask “what did the monster eat?”

“put” and “in/out” – while putting the eyeballs or items in and out of the monster’s mouth

“eat” and “like/don’t like” – to talk about what the monster is eating and if he liked it or not

“more” and “all done” – to feed the monster more or have him say he is all done with eating.

What CORE words would you use during this activity? Share in the comments.

If you need some low-tech AAC flipbooks and visuals, check out this resource

How Would You Use this Monster Prop in Therapy?

Let’s share some other fun ways you would use this monster prop in therapy! Drop your ideas in the comments!

For more monster-themed therapy ideas, check out these blog posts:

Digital Monster Activities for Teletherapy

Monster Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Check out this blog post for monster-themed activities that are FUN

Monster Activities for Speech Therapy

All the BEST tips for how to use a DIY feed the monster prop in speech therapy!
Leaves Preschool Activities – Hands on Ideas for SLPs

Leaves Preschool Activities – Hands on Ideas for SLPs

Working with preschool-aged students who need some engaging leaves preschool activities?

Well, you came to the right blog post!

When working with the younger crew, we want to find ways to spark their curiosity, and most often, that means ditching the traditional drill tasks and pulling out hands-on activities.

DIY Falling Leaves Hands-On Activity

Easy leaves preschool activities to use in your play-based speech therapy sessions!

To work on labeling the colors of the trees and the essential concept word pair on and off, make this DIY falling leaves hands-on activity. Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience.

You need the following supplies:

Colored cardstock
Jumbo popsicle sticks
Velcro dots
Fall colored pom pom balls
Pincher tool (optional)
Styrofoam square (get from packaging, or you can order some here.)

Your students can work on putting leaves on and taking them off and target the verbs put, fall, drop, pick, and gather. Naturally, use this to get high trials by having your students practice their speech targets for each pom pom ball they put on or take off the tree.

How would you use this DIY leaves activity? Share in the comments of the blog post.

Leaves Preschool Activities for Pretend Play

You can create a dramatic play activity for kids to pretend to pick up fallen leaves off the ground. Buy fake leaves, a basket or container, and a plastic rake. Your students can work on sequencing the steps for raking the leaves, targeted verbs, vocabulary, and answering “who” questions. For example, you can have students take turns raking leaves and ask, “Who has the rake?” 

Leaves preschool activities that will keep your students engaged during your speech therapy sessions.
Leaves preschool activities that will keep your students engaged during your speech therapy sessions.

Here is a list of other variations to do with the leaf raking activity:


  • Have a race to see how long it takes to rake the leaves
  • Throw some leaves in the air and see how many they can catch with a basket. The number of leaves is the number of words the child has to practice.
  • Teach students vocabulary such as collect, toss, pile, pick, dump, fall, gather, carry, drag, scoop
  • Add painter’s tape or a blanket on the ground. Have your students try to rake the leaves onto the blanket. When all the leaves are on the blanket, they can try to fold the blanket and then dump the leaves into a container. You can problem solve if leaves fall out or if the blanket is too big, how to ask for help. 

Movement Activity With Leaves

Cut up colored construction paper into the form of a leaf. You can put different numbers, directions, verbs, or any speech or language target. Hide the leaves around your room. Tell your students that leaves have fallen off the tree around your room. Carry a container while students find the leaves. You can work on basic concept clues, and then when they see the leaf, they can practice their speech sound the number on the leaf.

What Leaves Preschool Activities Do You Use With Your Students?

If you have any fun leaves preschool activities you do in your speech therapy sessions, share them in the comments. If you need more fall-themed therapy ideas, check out these blog posts:

Preschool Leaf Lesson Plan for Co-Teaching

Engaging Fall Themed Speech and Language Activities

Fall Sensory Bin Ideas to Make Therapy Fun!

10 Fall Themed Sensory Bin Fillers

Preschool Leaf Lesson Plan for Co-Teaching

Preschool Leaf Lesson Plan for Co-Teaching

Working with the Prek-2nd grade population can be hard to plan your co-teaching lessons because there are a LOT of goals to juggle. That’s why you can format your themed co-teaching sessions in a way that gets the adults in the room to participate. Check out this blog post for ideas on structuring your push-in or co-teaching lessons.

Today, I wanted to help you with a leaves preschool lesson plan that you can adapt for small groups and your whole class lessons.

Although the leaves lesson plan is for your preschool-aged students, you can also adapt the activities with K-2 grade, especially with your self-contained classrooms.

Books for Your Leaves Preschool Lesson Plan

Have a preschool leaf lesson plan for your small groups and whole class speech therapy sessions!

On the carpet, you will want to do a leaf-themed book. Here are some of my favorites (Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience):

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger (has repetitive text)
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro

As you read the leaf book, pair verbs with iconic gestures to help increase engagement. An iconic gesture is a movement that resembles the word.

Visual supports for language and story retelling goals are super handy in your sessions. I created this easy-to-prep story retell visuals resource for the old lady series. You have a printable or digital option! Check it out HERE.

Themed Therapy SLP Membership Makes Planning Lessons Easier

When planning themed therapy activities for your Prek-5th grade caseload, overwhelm immediately sets in as you try to find engaging materials to use with your students.

You either become burnt out trying to prepare lessons or feel lost with how to cover all the speech and language goals.

To make themed therapy planning easier, join the Themed Therapy SLP membership. We take lesson planning off your plate so you can enjoy doing therapy. Check out the October months with a fall, spider, and pumpkin theme for your elementary caseload. 

Movement Activities for the Carpet Time

Don't stress about planning a preschool leaf lesson plan for your speech therapy groups! This one is done for y ou.

If you co-teach in a classroom with a SMARTboard, you can do a leaf song. Here are a few fun songs:

Season Song for Kids by The Learning Station
The Leaves on the Trees by The Kiboomers
Why Do Leaves Change Color by Super Simple Songs
Autumn Leaves are Falling Down by The Kiboomers

Check out this video from Miss Nina for some movement ideas to use with the Autumn Leaves are Falling Down.

During carpet time, you can also play Simon Says fall-themed verb charades.

Station Activities for Your Leaves Preschool Lesson Plan

When co-teaching, you want to utilize all the adults in the room to maximize small group instruction.

If you have instructional aides, you can break students into three groups and have one to two teachers as floater teachers.

Otherwise, you can do one tabletop activity and have students at tables with similar goals, students who get along or based on levels of scaffolding.

Here are three leaf-themed language activities you can plan:

Make a leaf sensory bin and throw in your favorite mini trinkets for students to find under the leaves. You can add a mini rake to make it feel like you are raking leaves. I tend to put mini trinkets with my students’ speech sounds related to their language goals. You can read more about dinkydoodads on the blog HERE.

Another variation to this bin is putting fall-themed vocabulary words hidden in the leaves and going on an “I spy” hunt. The fall vocabulary printables are included in the fall-themed push-in language lesson plan guides.

At another station, students can make a falling leaves craft. It’s super easy to prep, and you can do it with any craft supplies you have on hand. You can do it with pieces of construction paper, tissue paper, or paint with Q-tip. If you love easy prep crafts, I have a blog post specifically with fall ideas!

Gather some leaves outside at your home or school and use them to make a leaf rub with crayons. You can also use the leaves to discuss attributes such as color, size, texture, shape, function, etc. With a ruler, you can talk about length, work on quantity of more, less, or equal, and explain why leaves fall off trees during the fall season. 

Want more themed co-teaching lesson plan ideas?

I often share co-teaching lesson plans on my Instagram @thedabblingspeechie

You can look at the highlight reel to find the most seasonal ones!
And if you need some more themed lesson plan ideas, here are a few that you can check out:

Apple Theme Preschool Co-Teaching Lesson Plan

All About Me – Likes and Dislikes

Sound Push-In Lesson Plan

10 Fall-Themed Sensory Bin Fillers

10 Fall-Themed Sensory Bin Fillers

Raise your hand if fall is your season!

The fall weather, food, and accessories are what I love most about fall.

And the other thing I love about fall is making fall-themed sensory bins to go with my fave books.

In this blog post, I will share my top ten best fall-themed sensory bin fillers to help you figure out what to put in your themed bins.

What Makes a Sensory Bin Filler?

If you are new to using sensory bins, check out my page with all the details HERE.

Your sensory bin filler is the part of the bin that provides the tactile experience for your students. When your students touch the fillers in the container, it will alert the senses to the different textures. The filler portion of the sensory bin is the foundation for the experience!

Check out this blog post with 10 fall-themed sensory bin fillers for your speech therapy bins!

Top Five FAVE Fall-Themed Sensory Bin Fillers

  1. Popcorn – this filler is excellent for farm-themed bins or if you want to stick flashcards or printables in the container because they will stay in place!
  2. Fake leaves- you can often find these at Dollar Tree during fall, but they are also on Amazon. You can read more about how to use these in a sensory bin HERE.
  3. Orange and yellow shredded paper – I found mine on Amazon, but any craft store will have it. Shredded paper creates a texture that makes it easy to lay props on top of the paper.
  4. Orange, red, yellow, and green pom pom balls can be your bin’s leaves. Check out this blog post for how you can create this engaging leaf bin! You can reuse the red and green pom poms to make an apple sensory bin. Check out the details HERE
  5. Acorns – if you live near an open space where acorn trees grow, you can collect some and use them in your bins. And, there are always fake ones you can buy! This set on Amazon has a variety of mini pine cones, acorns and leaves. 

Themed Therapy Fall Sensory Bin Companion

If you need fall-themed sensory bin materials to use with your fillers, check out this fall-themed sensory bin companion. It comes with a variety of printables related to fall vocabulary that also comes with cheat sheets so you can use them in mixed groups with ease!

More Fall-Themed Sensory Bin Fillers

6. Plastic Mini leaves – these can be great for adding some texture and color to your bin.

7. Green dried lentils – use the lentils as a grass filler or just to create some texture at the bottom of the bin. Then, layer with some fake leaves or other filler elements.

8. Oatmeal – is a taste-safe option for your students who put things in their mouths. This can be a great filler for an apple pie sensory bin.

9. Hay or raffia – if you are doing a pumpkin, farm, or fall festival type of bin, this filler works perfectly! To add to the bin, you can usually find mini fake hay bales at craft stores during the fall season.

10. Dye dry pasta – when you aren’t sure what filler to buy, use some leftover pasta and dye it orange, yellow, brown, green, or red to add to your bin!

Need More Fall-Themed Ideas for Your Speech Therapy Caseload?

If you need some more ideas for sensory bins, check out this post for an apple theme.

This blog post will also find more great fall sensory bin examples. 

For your language groups working on receptive and expressive noun functions, you can make a fall bin specifically for that goal!

Best S-blends Games for Speech Therapy

Best S-blends Games for Speech Therapy

Sometimes our students with speech sound disorders are NOT digging our drill and kill activities.

And, if our students aren’t motivated to practice their speech sound goals, progress suffers.

What if I told you that there are games that are sound loaded to help you embed a LOT of practice with your student’s goals?

In this blog post, I will share the BEST s-blends games to get high trials in your speech sessions.

Tips for Targeting S-blends With Games

When you pull out a therapy game, you want to find ways to use the game pieces to target s-blends before playing, during, and after the game is over.

One of the easiest ways is to have your students practice a set of words or phrases before taking each turn.

Or, you can have a list of s-blends related to the game to have your students say while playing.

I pull out my toy and game cheat sheet to help me remember s-blend targets to use with a game. It helps save so much brain energy and keeps therapy moving along.

Here are the best games to use in speech therapy to target s-blends!

S-blends Game #1 – Yeti in My Spaghetti

Get high trials in your speech therapy sessions with s-blends games listed in this blog post!
The title alone of this game makes it great to use in therapy! You can use several sound-loaded carrier phrases listed as follows:

  • Grab a spaghetti
  • Stay on top!
  • Slippery spaghetti
  • Keep steady!

You can also name your yeti a name with an s-blend consonant cluster you are trying to target with students.

Using Greedy Granny to Sneak in Some Practice

Because you have a spinner with this game, you can have students say, “I need to spin” or “Time to spin” before each turn.

Some other s-blend words that you can infuse into the gameplay are listed as follows:


The s-blends game you probably play often!

Candyland has a lot of s-blend words that occur on the game board. You can target stuck, spaces, sweet, swamp, step, stone, snowflake, and swirl while your students move along the board.

Each turn, you can have students practice their s-blend words for the number of spaces they moved. For example, if they picked an orange card and moved up five spaces, they could practice five words. For every turn, you can have them say, “I stepped on the orange square.” or whatever color they landed on the board game.

S-blends Game #4 to Use in Speech Therapy

The chutes and ladders game has lots of s-blend opportunities. If they land at the top of a chute or bottom of a ladder, you can have them practice their s-blends 10 or 20 times, depending on your rule. But if you need to embed s-blend words into your student’s turns, here is a list I came up with that would work well:


This game makes it so easy to target s-blends

To get more trials with Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, you can have students earn an acorn for every production. Once they have all their acorns, you can play the game.

Then, during the game, you can have them use phrases such as “Spin me something good!” or “Stay away, sneaky squirrel.”

If you have a plush squirrel, or a squirrel mouth printable, you can have your students practice their s-blends while feeding the squirrel the acorns. You can have your students say, “Here’s a tasty snack.” or “I snatched an acorn for you.” as they feed the squirrel.

All of these s-blends games have a cheat sheet to help jog your memory when you are in therapy with your students. The entire resource has pre-selected targets for speech and language goals! Check it out here.

What games do you love to use to target s-blends?

If you can’t tell, I love using games to adapt in therapy for speech sound disorders. That’s why if you have a game that you love to use to target s-blends, let me know in the comments.

Keeping our students motivated to practice their speech sounds can be much easier when we find something they love! Get more therapy ideas for getting high trials in this blog post.

Apple Sensory Bin Ideas for Early Elementary

Apple Sensory Bin Ideas for Early Elementary

During the fall season, a great theme to plan for your speech therapy caseload is an apple theme!

Your students can relate to apples because they are snacking on them, baking with them, and enjoying sweet drinks like apple cider!

Today, I will share all my best tips and ideas for making an apple sensory bin. Using a sensory bin after reading an apple-themed book can be a great way to keep your students engaged while also working on vocabulary from the theme.

Apple Sensory Bin Filler Ideas

Apple sensory bin ideas for your speech therapy caseload!

Here are some of my favorite apple sensory bin fillers (Amazon affiliate links):

Shredded red or green paper
Red or green pom poms
Dyed dry pasta red or green

Must-Have Apple Materials for Your Bin

One of my favorite finds is these plastic apples. You can add them to a sensory bin, set them up as a dramatic play apple stand, or hide them around your speech room. I love that I can use my apple-themed verb and vocabulary set from the Themed Therapy SLP membership by printing four to a page. Check out a demo on my Instagram.

Need some apples to throw in your bin? Use these fake apples from Michaels. They are just the right size to be thrown into a sensory bin!

To make an apple orchard, you need toilet paper rolls or dixie cups. You can see more on Instagram. Cut slits on both sides, print out some apple trees and slide the trees onto the toilet paper roll. You can then add those to your bins. If you need printables for apple trees, the ones in the picture are from the Themed Therapy SLP membership.

Get inspired with apple sensory bin ideas for speech therapy!

Apple-Themed Speech Therapy Activities for Prek-5th Grade

If you don’t want to stress about planning themed therapy, join the Themed Therapy SLP membership. It’s designed to take lesson planning off your plate so you can enjoy your speech therapy sessions. Join here!

How To Use These Apple Sensory Bins in Speech Therapy

Easy apple sensory bin ideas for speech therapy!

One of the BEST ways to use themed sensory bins is to pair them with a book. You can reinforce all the vocabulary or use the bin as a story retell prop kit. If you want to see an example of a story prop kit, check out the one I shared about Apple Trouble.

For the apple orchard sensory bin, you can drop the pom poms in the dixie cups or the toilet paper rolls. You can work on in/out, up/down, fall, pick, gather, eat, bite, etc.

Furthermore, you can turn it into a game where the student rolls the die and sees how many apples they can pick.

For the bins with the plastic apples, put mini trinkets with your student’s sounds, and work on inferencing by putting small picture cards inside and having students guess. Before putting the apples in a bin, have students find all the apples that fell from the tree. Put them around your room and give receptive language commands to reinforce spatial concepts.

When students select a plastic apple in the bin, you can target open/close, in/out, look, what, find, etc. Have your student work on placing the apples in and out of a basket and other basic concepts.

When using the apple sensory bin with the fake apples from Michael’s, put your favorite speech or language flashcards in the bin with paper clips attached! Then, your students can select the cards with a magnetic wand. Have your students put their flashcards on the table. Give your students clues for items; they can cover them up with a fake apple when they find them.

How Would You Use These Apple-Themed Sensory Bins in Your Sessions?

SLPs have the best tips and ideas for maximizing the use of material with students. Considering your speech therapy caseload, how would you use these bins to work on goals? Share in the comments to help give SLPs more ideas for re-purposing these themed bins.

Need more apple-themed ideas? Check out these blog posts:

Apple Co-Teaching Blog Post

Apple Activities for Middle School

SLP Winter Survival Kit Waitlist

winter-themed materials


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