This paper plate craft is SUCH an easy way to target a variety of goals and skills in your speech room, including articulation, apraxia, and phonology disorder. It’s inexpensive, you probably already have a lot of the materials needed, and it’s a useful way to treat speech sound disorders. Plus, your students will love the gumball craft! To learn more about how to prep this craft (spoiler alert: it’s really easy!), keep reading.
How to Make the Paper Plate Gumball Craft
I love functional crafts that will achieve meaningful outcomes for my student’s progress on goals. And, I love crafts that are easy to prep! You don’t need much to make this gumball craft. Here are the supplies I used:
Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. I get a small commission when you purchase using this link.
Have your students decorate their paper plate with circles using the dot markers. Cut out a red shape for the base of the gumball machine. Then, cut out a top to glue on the paper plate. Draw a black hole for the gumball slot or cut out a piece of black paper and glue on the base.
Tips for How to Use the Paper Plate Gumball Craft with Speech Sound Disorders
Use the dot markers to keep your students engaged with their speech sound productions. Have your student decorate the paper plate with dots before creating the gumball craft. To make sure you get lots of repetitions in a session, you can have your students say their sound/word for every dot they make on the plate. Or, you can have your students drill five words/sounds per dot.
Sometimes, if my students struggle with waiting or if they take a long time to make dots, I will drill for 1-2 minutes and then let my students put 5-10 dots on the paper and repeat this until the paper plate is fully decorated.
Speech Sound Resources to Use with the Paper Plate Craft
If you are looking for articulation resources to use while getting those high trials, you can grab my articulation flipbooks. They include word lists, pictures, carrier phrases, and picture scenes for each sound. Use the L flipbook for FREE.
For your students working on speech words at the word and structured sentence level, use my visual sentence starters to help your students get that repetitive practice while creating this craft.
If you need another paper plate craft for working on grammar skills, check out these ideas in this blog post HERE.
Using Your Paper Plate Gumball Craft for Speech Sound Disorders
Once your student has decorated their plate, they can make their paper plate gumball craft. Don’t send the craft home with your student. Keep it for a couple of sessions as your warm-up. Have your student touch the dots on the gumball machine while practicing their sounds.
Or, flip the plate over and have your students write a list of their speech words that you want them to practice at home. You can use my Any Craft Companion Resource to have your friends glue some words to the back of the plate.
Send this craft home with your students for additional practice. You can direct your parents to put the craft on the front of the fridge. This will help remind both the parent and the student to practice the words on the back each day.
I hope that this post gave you a variety of low-prep and easy, yet effective, ideas for treating speech sound disorders on your caseload. My speech students have loved this fun gumball craft, and there are so many different things you can do with it! If you do this craft with any of the students on your caseload, I’d love to hear how you adapted it to fit their needs. Comment here on this blog post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are trying to find engaging lessons for your students with mod-severe disabilities, I have a really fun winter activity that you can do in small groups or for your push-in lesson.
There are so many great snowman books to use with your students, so why not add in a simple paper plate snowman craft to build language!? All you need is a paper plate, a black hat, scarf, and carrot nose for this paper plate snowman craft.
Today, I am going to show you my lesson plan for using snowmen with your mod-severe students and how a simple paper plate snowman craft can create a lot of communication opportunities.
This lesson plan would work well with the Self-Contained classrooms k-4. Use your judgment if your 5-8 Self-Contained classrooms would enjoy this activity.
Pick Your Snowman Book
Most often when I do a whole class lesson, I start by reading a book. My biggest tip for you is that if your students struggle with attention, still include the book time, but shorten what you say on each page. If your friends can only handle one sentence per page, talk about the picture.
I like to model the phrase several times as I show the picture to the whole class.
Here is a list of my favorite snowmen books to use in therapy (Amazon Affiliate links included for your convenience):
Use a read aloud on YouTube if you don’t have a copy of the book you want. If you are going into the classroom and the teacher has a SMARTboard, this is an easy way to read the book. Here is an example with the book Sneezy the Snowman.
Whole-Class Lesson Plan for the Paper Plate Snowman Craft
After I read the snowman book, you can show your students this quick “How to Build a Snowman” video on YouTube, so your students can see what a real snowman looks like.
Then you can have them play “I Spy” with different Snowman Stock Photos. We went looking for items that can be used to decorate the snowman like this red shovel. If you need this Google Slide presentation, it is in my Snowman Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides.
Show Your Students a Real Snowman
You can talk about the verb actions and vocabulary needed to make a snowman. This video also has different versions of snowmen, so you can talk about how they look by color and items they are wearing.
Target Spatial Basic Concepts with a Snowman Popsicle Puppet
As a class, use the snowman popsicle puppets to work on spatial basic concepts. Have your students also say, “Hi,” to the snowman to work on greetings.
You can make things fun by naming your snowman. I named mine Frank. So, the students said “hi” to Frank. Some of my students were very motivated by the snowman puppet.
For my friends that struggle with sitting, I let them hold the snowman puppet during the lesson if they remained seated. The classroom teacher used the snowman puppet to also lead the children to lunch because it was so motivating.
Need this activity for your small groups or whole class instruction? Just click the pink button to download for free.
Paper Plate Snowman Craft Activity for Your Mod-Severe Students
Then, break up your students into small groups. You can either pair students that work well together no matter the skill set or create groups that are leveled by language abilities.
The higher skilled students will be requesting, and sequencing the steps for how they made their craft. Encourage your students to discuss snowman by attributes after the craft is finished.
The other students will be making simple requests with their communication board or AAC device. If you need low-tech AAC books and boards, check out my starter kit HERE.
You can use the visual step-by-step directions for the craft on the Google Slide included in the free lesson plan download to help your students know what to do next. It can also help them with answering comprehension questions about the craft and with retell.
Grab your FREE lesson plan guide below by clicking the pink button.
More Winter-Themed Activities
If you need more winter-themed activities, this blog post has free and paid resources listed by target area for easy planning. What activities do you use with your mod-severe students? Share in the comments!
During the spring and summer seasons, making a FUNctional craft in speech therapy that can be used outside is a great way to keep your students engaged. Windsock craft for kids is just the craft for the busy SLP.
Windsock Craft For Kids
Once you have all the materials for the windsock craft, prep for this craft is pretty easy! Some of my groups I just made the craft during the session. For my groups with younger ages, I prepped parts of the craft, so we could get enough practice in during the session. I have used this craft with LOTS of different ages and all of them loved it, especially my kinder-second grade students.
Materials You Need To Make A Windsock Craft For Kids
Take the construction paper and attach together with tape, glue or a stapler (I used a stapler), so that it looks like a cylinder. You can have your students glue their speech or language stimulus cards to the paper first before attaching.
If you have paint daubers, students can put dots all over their construction paper every time they say their speech sound or language target. Then, after they are finished, they can put the craft together.
Punch holes at the top of the construction paper. Tie yarn or string in the holes. Cut the party streamers into strips. Then, have the students attach the party streamers with tape or glue (I went with tape, it was the less messy option).
Your windsock is complete and ready to use in speech therapy!
Ways To Adapt The Windsock Craft For Speech & Language
Just making the windsock craft is filled with LOTS of language opportunities. For example, your students working on initiation can make requests for the different craft parts. Students have to follow directions with basic concepts such as on, in, around. Furthermore, after student’s finish their windsock craft, you can have them explain the sequencing steps they took to create the craft. You can listen to articulation, grammar and work on adding adjectives while they are explaining the steps for making the craft.
Have students decorate their white paper with paint daubers. Every time they say their speech sound or language target, they can add a dot to their paper.
Students can glue their speech sounds or language targets onto the construction paper. After they finish the craft, they can practice their goals using the pictures on the windsock. I use my Any Craft Companion Pack to adapt this ONE craft for my whole caseload.
Take the windsock outside to teach vocabulary words. I taught my kids the following words as we explored using our windsock: high, low, around, twirl, flutter, fast, slow, and windy.
Have your students show different preposition words using your windsock such as near, far, under, above, below, around, on, in, and between.
Teach turn taking, waiting and thinking about others by only bringing out one windsock to play with. Students have to request a turn using their peer’s name, and wait their turn. You can have students do an action that another student requests the student do to work on thinking about other people.
Here is a video tutorial about how to make a windsock and a fun way to make a “fish” themed windsock. This version is really pretty!
Adapting The Windsock Craft For Your Older Students
Your older students can write a narrative about spring or summer on the white construction paper. You can give them a challenge by providing a list of themed vocabulary words or adjectives to use in their story.
Have your students write sentences on the construction paper. Your students working on grammar can write more complex sentences while your articulation students can write sentences with their target words (perfect mixed group activity right there).
Students can watch this youtube video about how a windsock works. They can share the main idea and details from the video. Pick target vocabulary to discuss from this video and then go test out a windsock outside!
Need More Craft Ideas For Speech Therapy
For those SLPs working during summer, here is a blog post I wrote last year on different summer themed crafts you can do in speech therapy. If you love doing crafts in speech therapy, then check out all of the craftivities I have in my TPT store. You can use one craft with your whole caseload!
Who else has to work next week!? For those of you SLP’s that have to set the alarm clock for the next week, I wanted to share some easy holiday activities for the busy SLP. They should actually be called holiday activities to help the SLP survive the last week of therapy before winter break. I thought the other title sounded a little more professional lol.
The key to getting through the week is to have FUN! This week therapy should be focusing on implementing goals in a natural way. Doing hands on activities in speech therapy builds schema and experiences to draw from when learning language. One important element to good speech therapy sessions is remembering to build meaningful relationships with our students.
Use this week to have FUN with your students.
So, put the data binder away this week and focus on the little people in front of you. I know it is hard to do this when you know you have paperwork to complete before winter break. Just remember that those holiday parties at the end of the week is the perfect time for you to close your door to finish your reports, IEP’s, medi-cal billing and updating therapy logs. Some of our students go home to environments that aren’t the most pleasant, so just remember that a little extra love from you may be just what they need to hold onto during winter break.
Easy Holiday Activities For The Busy SLP
Make a Christmas Countdown Chain! I used my Any Craft Companion Pack to have stimulus items for everyone on my caseload! I printed out the pages I needed, cut the pictures into strips and then let the kids finish cutting them out in the session. My articulation students now have words to practice every day before Christmas. My younger students working on basic concepts got LOTS of practice with the vocabulary words: on, over, and through while assembling. If you have students who are non-verbal/limited verbal, you can work on initiating requests, making comments and sharing feelings about project with my AAC Starter Kit CORE boards. I also included some amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience.
This candy cane craft is in my TPT store for FREE! Print on red paper and one of the templates for an easy and FUNctional craft. This one is perfect for your 3rd-5th graders because it targets word associations, adjectives and antonyms.
Have you heard of the book Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini? It is a cute, fun holiday book to read this week! If you can’t get the book on amazon or your library, then you can use this youtube read a loud video too! Buy some brown pipe cleaners and plastic beads from the dollar store or craft store to make moosetaches. Each time your student says their speech sound 5x, they can string a bead on the moosetache as a Christmas light. If your students are working on describing items, they can get a bead for every attribute they can share about the noun. Naming items in category groups, creating sentences and sharing expected behaviors are more skills you can target!
The Gingerbread Man is a great theme for the month of December! After you have read the book and worked on story retell, describing and grammar concepts, you can play this fun game that I created! I was inspired by Busy Bee Speech’s instagram photo using paperclips with gingerbread man pics. All you need is a Card Deck, paperclips, and a magnetic wand. I printed up some gingerbread men and foxes on colored craft paper (print more of the gingerbread men then the foxes). You can download the gingerbread and fox printables by clicking the yellow button below. Click Here to get the Gingerbread Man Game Printables
Who doesn’t love holiday ugly sweaters!? I push into my K-2 SDC classroom for whole class instruction. My SDC K-2 teacher came up with this fun craft! We had the best time working on lots of skills. She had lots of stickers, pom poms, and extra art supplies and set them out on the floor using art trays. Here is a tutorial about how to make a vest out of a paper bag. During the craft activity, I was kneeling down next to a student asking them questions while they were decorating. Another student tried to squeeze behind me without initiating an “excuse me” or “can I get by?” This clever SLP decided to block the way every time the student had to get more decorations, so we could work on initiating “excuse me”. It was a great natural social communication exchange.
Have you seen the Elf movie? If you have watched my SLP Blogger Live segment on using Elf in speech, you will know that I LOVE this movie!! It is perfect for working on all sorts of language. Most importantly, it is THE BEST for working on social skills. Check out my blog post on how to use Elf in speech therapy.
Need more youtube videos this week? Have you tried using Christmas commercials in speech because they are packed with language skills to target? I like to let my student’s watch a little bit of the video and then pause it. We can discuss making inferencing about the time of the year, where the person is and what the person could be thinking/feeling. We can also make predictions about what might happen next by looking at the clues in the video. You can also work on summarizing the commercial and working on the main idea. Just so you know, you might start crying during some of them lol. These marketers really know how to pull at their customer’s heart strings.
Christmas Commercials Worth Using In Speech Therapy
Well, there you have it! No more fretting about “what will I do all week?” in speech therapy. The key to a great week is cozy coffee drinks, yummy lunches (so get some good stuff), an ugly Christmas sweater to sport and some festive music to listen to while doing paperwork!
Hope you have a great holiday. Make sure you include some “ME” time, so you can reflect on all the blessings of this year. I will keep those of you that are going through a difficult time in my prayers. Lamentations 3: 31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. Keep this close to your heart when you are feeling love. I also love reflecting on Philippians 4:8-9.
Halloween season is the perfect time to pull out some crafts! Ghosts, Frankenstein, witches, candy corns, black cats and spiders all come to mind when I think about halloween crafts. I love seeing classrooms all decorated in festive decor! It makes me want to get in on the fun. The key to finding Halloween crafts for speech therapy is to find templates that have a large empty space. When you have extra space, you can glue articulation and language pictures to the craft!
When I incorporate crafts into my therapy plans, I try to find books, games and additional resources that might fit in the theme I have chosen. It adds just a little more connection to “why” we are doing the craft. I wanted to share some fun Halloween crafts that I have been using in my speech room (psst…..there are some FREE downloads). I included some amazon affiliate links for your convenience.
Halloween Crafts For Speech & Language Therapy
What kid wouldn’t LOVE a craft that shows someone’s brains!? This craft is in my Halloween Craft pack. It has articulation and language stimulus targets, so you can use this with a lot of your caseload! This would pair perfectly with the book Crankenstein! You just need paper fasteners, so you can lift the Frankenstein’s head up and down.
I love this Jack O’ Lantern craft. I paired with the book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything because there is a Jack O’ Lantern head in the story that says “boo boo”! When I prep crafts for my therapy groups, I usually cut out the template and then cut out the craft pieces. I fold the paper 3 or 4 times and cut around the template, so I can get more template pieces in a quicker amount of time. You can grab this craft in my TPT store! (The Frankenstein & Jack O’ Lantern are in the same resource). Spider craft
This spider craft is easy and you can get LOTS of practice in with student’s goals. I just cut a circle for the head with black construction paper and cut 8 strips for the legs. I pick a funny spider face from my craft template at the targets that I want to use from my Any Craft Companion Pack. The student’s fold the strips of black paper back and forth to create the legs. Isn’t it cute? You could pair this craft with a non-fiction lesson to learn about spiders or you can read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.
Black Cat Craft
This black cat craft is great for adding speech and language words because it has a lot of open space. I love bright color I chose for the full moon! You can download this craft template along with the spider and the scarecrow by clicking on the yellow button below. Click Here to download the Halloween Crafts
Magical Cat & Pumpkin
This Halloween craft is in my Any Craft Companion. What I love about it is you can do the craft with just the pumpkin template! If you want to add the cut magical cat you can! Simple or more complex, either way, it is a fun, festive craft.
Scarecrow Halloween Craft
Scarecrows can be associated with Fall, but I also think of scarecrows with spooky Halloween. I love The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything and there is a scarecrow in that book that says “boo”. This craft has lots of space to add words that your students are practicing, which is great getting lots of repetitions! Click Here to download the Halloween Crafts
I hope these Halloween crafts gave you a little inspiration for some fun therapy ideas! I like to do crafts 1-2x a month because it gives everyone a break from worksheets and allows me to engage in more conversation with my students. Crafts can also be a way to progress monitor skills that I have already taught. If you are on the fence about crafts, try my free download and see what happens!