free printables Archives - thedabblingspeechie
Mystery Word Game Your Kids Will Love

Mystery Word Game Your Kids Will Love

This week we played a REALLY fun word game that targeted LOTS of describing skills.  I even found a way to adapt it for some of my articulation students.  Word games for kids are the best way to get engagement with vocabulary building.  When you say “game”, the kids feel like they are having fun and not realizing how much thinking they are doing!  This word game also incorporates inferencing and critical thinking skills.

Word Games For Kids- Mystery Word

 

speech therapy language games for mixed groups

I used picture cards from my HedBanz Game (amazon affiliate link) to help my younger students think of a noun for the mystery word.  There are also these really cool Learning Resources Basic Vocabulary Photo Cards (amazon affiliate link included for your convenience) that would be awesome to use as well!  For my older students, we just brainstormed without pictures.

I made a detective game board to keep track of each player’s points.  You can assign one of the students to be the “points keeper”. These Reusable Dry Erase Pockets are amazing because I only have to print one game sheet to use over and over.

How to play the game

To play this word game, the clinician and/or one of the students in the groups is in charge of choosing a mystery word. Pick a word and write it down where the students cannot see it.

Then, give clue #1 to the group.  So if we picked “donut”. Clue #1 would be “dessert group”.  Each student can take a guess of the mystery word item.  Praise the students who make a “smart guess” for guessing a word that is in the correct category.  Quiz the students if a guess such as “pizza” would be a smart guess and why it would or would not be a smart guess. Give clue #2 such as “You eat it.  You can deep fry it.  You can put frosting on it.”  Allow for students to make a guess.  If a student’s smart guess is correct, then they would earn 4 points.  Continue giving clues until someone in the group guesses correctly.

The person with the most points at the end of the session wins!  Have the student describe the noun in complete sentences after the mystery word has been revealed! 

I adapted this game for my students working on /s/ by having them say the carrier phrase “I guess the item is……….” to work on final /s/.  With my /r/ students, I only picked words that contained /r/! How could you adapt this game to make it funcitonal for your mixed groups? Share in the comments.

speech therapy language games for mixed groups

Use this Speech Therapy Language Game in Teletherapy

speech therapy language games

You can also use this game digitally in your teletherapy sessions using the Google Slides™ presentation included in the free download (click the pink button above to grab.)

You can use the Mystery Word Game as your weekly warmup lesson. Pick a word of the week and students can what the word is based on the clues. Or, you can create many mystery words and have it last as a digital game for weeks!

The Google Slides have linked buttons, so it is easier to navigate the Clue slides during the game. If you are wanting techy tips on how to use Google Slides, check out this YouTube tutorial with all the tips!

Watch the YouTube video below to see how to add images to the Google Slide presentation.

I would love to see your games in action! Make sure to tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie

This game should increase that engagement in your sessions and you don’t have to feel guilty that you are playing a game because it is working on their goals!

Looking for more Google Slide Game Templates? My digital speech and language Google Slide templates include as a Memory, Tic Tac Toe, and 4-in-a-row templates so that you can customize for your caseload. Check it out in my TPT store (there are also templates included to help you plan therapy, organize your materials digitally, and make digital speech and language folders for your students. 

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

‘I Spy’ Speech Therapy Home Packets for you K-2 caseload

'I Spy' Speech Therapy home packets to support students with distance learning. Use this 'I Spy' around the home to build speech and language skills.
'I Spy' language game for parents to use with distance learning in speech therapy. Coach parents each week with a new type of game.
'I Spy' around the home speech therapy game for parents to use during distance learning.

If you love the idea of sending home movement types of speech and language resources during school closures, then this extended ‘I Spy’ Speech Therapy Home Packets will serve your students well. This full version has additional types of games such as ‘I Spy’ colors, shapes, adjectives, outdoors, rooms of the house, categories, and noun-functions. There are visual supports for your students with Autism or significant language impairments, so they can participate with more success using this game. 

'I Spy' speech therapy game to send home to students. Each game set has parent handouts to guide the parents through the activity as well as ideas for ways to expand the game to work on speech goals.

Click the image above if you need a resource that is easy to prep for a bulk of your caseload, engaging for kids, and makes coaching parents a breeze during this stressful time. You don’t need to add more work to your plate to create customized lessons when you have this resource in your speech therapy stash! 

Interactive Category Activities To Build Language

Interactive Category Activities To Build Language

Have you had a student on your caseload with category goals? Do you feel limited with the amount of resources you have for teaching categories? Wonder where to start therapy? Incorporating interactive category activities to build language skills is a great way to approach vocabulary development. Teaching categories is very relevant to the child’s vocabulary development.

category activities for speech therapy to build language skills.

Why is teaching categories important?

Teaching categories in speech therapy is important for vocabulary development. When we teach vocabulary words in “groups”, SLPs can create schema for the students to understand those words. Grouping items provides a familiar setting for students to organize and understand words. As a student puts words in “groups”, they learn to associate others words for that specific group.  Someone with typically developing language may associate waves, sand, seagulls, beach towels, sand castles with the group “beach”. When students know the category group nouns belong in, they have one more way to describe that noun. An apple is a fruit. A shirt is a piece of clothing. A bus is transportation item.

Learning Categorization Skills Can Be Difficult For Students With Language Impairments

  • Visual cues and prompts help with categorization.
  • Physically manipulating and touching objects can make a categorization activity more meaningful.
  • Rules must be meaningful and relate to a categorization activity.
  • Self-talk can is a strategy that helps with organization in categorization activities.

Assessing Your Student’s Category Abilities

Assessing your student’s category abilities can help you determine where to begin in speech therapy. When you are doing an initial assessment, you can definitely find some of these areas of weakness with our standardized assessments. Once I determine eligibility for services in the areas of a language disorder, I look to see what subtests the student scored poorly on. I will give some informal assessments to gather some baseline data for writing goals in the areas of vocabulary. Knowing category groups is important for later describing and defining vocabulary words.

 

How to plan and organize your therapy for teaching categories

It is important to get a baseline of where you student is performing with his/her understanding of word relationships. If you are finding that a student isn’t able to name categories independently, you can gather other information by assessing sorting skills and matching identical objects and pictures.

  • Match identical objects and pictures
  • Sort a group of objects or pictures into two identical sets
  • Sort a group of objects by one feature
  • Choose an item to match a given category description or name
  • Sort into 2 and 3 categories
  • Name categories
  • What doesn’t belong and why
  • What goes together and why
  • Name multiple items of a given category
  • Express similarities and differences

Considerations When Deciding Where To Start With Teaching Categories

Some of our students may struggle with understanding category groups because they have NOT experienced the vocabulary in real life. If your student hasn’t been to the beach, then your student may not know to associate bucket, umbrella and boogie board as items in the beach category. This may be a factor when picking which categories to target with students. Taking baseline assessment can really help with narrowing down where to begin. Based on your probes, you can see what category groups your students understand and don’t understand. Also, consider introducing those early developing categories such as shapes, colors and food for students struggling with the concept of categorizing.

category activities to build language and vocabulary in speech therapy.

How To Decide What Level To Start With Students

Let’s say your student is able to sort a group of objects or pictures into two identical sets with 80% accuracy without any prompts. When you asked them to sort a group of objects by one features, they needed visual cues at 40% accuracy. Since mastery is below 80% accuracy, sorting items into groups by one feature probably is a good place to start in therapy. As your students increase their correct accuracy, you can move to harder category activities, or change the group objects to new category groups.

Category Activities To Build Language

category activities to build language

All About Category Flipbooks– I created two category themed flipbooks for my caseload last year. The first one comes with 20 different category groups and 15-20 stimulus visuals to help with naming items in a category. This first book can be paired with any language lesson and can also be used to have the students follow directions such as “put a circle around all the red fruits”. The second book comes with interactive activities that work on matching items that go together and determining which items do not belong.

category activities to build language

No Prep Category Activities– If you are a busy SLP that doesn’t have time to prep, these activities are interactive and just print n’ go. You can do cut n’ glue for what belongs, “I spy” coloring sheets for categories and coloring the correct items in categories with a 3 and 4 item field.

category activities to build languageFREE category visuals– Many of my students need visual supports when learning categories. You can grab these visuals in my TPT store and use them for bean bag toss games or for sorting items onto the visual cards.

Check out my “I Spy” sensory bin that I use to work on categories as an extension activity after I do direct instruction. Click the pink button below to grab the free category printables. Want to know how to make an “I Spy” sensory bin? Head to this post

Categories Language Cards– Category sorting tasks requires a lot of pictures! These are helpful and on amazon (affiliate link included)

With students who are exhibiting moderate-severe deficits with their receptive and expressive language skills in the areas of categories, breaking down word-relationships is important for your students to understand the skill.

I created leveled category activities to help me collect accurate baselines of what my students CAN do when understanding word-relationships. This has helped me plan achieveable therapy activities, take better data and know how to plan as my students progress. Here is the Leveled Up Basic Categories and Leveled Up Early Elementary Categories

 

Category Activities With Apps

Categories From I Can Do apps-I love using this app to get baseline data for how students are currently doing with identifying what doesn’t belong and which items go together.

Smarty Ears Go Together APP– This app works on categorization through matching.  You can also have the students explain why the items go together after matching them up!

Smarty Ears Categories Learning Center– This app is great to have because it has different levels to use, so you can differentiate for your students. As your students progress in the categorization levels, you can make things more difficult!

What resources do you have that you really love for working on categorizing?

New Ways To Play Go Fish In Speech Therapy

New Ways To Play Go Fish In Speech Therapy

The game Go Fish is a staple game for the busy speech pathologist. Kids love the game and you can adapt it to meet so many goals. Today, I want to share some new ways to play Go Fish in speech therapy.

 

True Confessions From This SLP

Want to know something? I can only play Go Fish so many sessions before I might go out of my mind! The kids absolutely love the game, but the redundancy of having to play it group after group after group drains my energy and enthusiasm. So, I try to play Go Fish during those busy times of the year when therapy planning time is cut in half. I also try to stagger when I play Go Fish, so that isn’t my lesson plan for an ENTIRE day.

 

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

New Ways To Play Go Fish In Speech Therapy

My first way you can spice things up with your Go Fish playing is to create “character” names for each student. For my social skills groups we just did it to get them laughing and initiating with peers during the game.

I was Taylor Swift because in a different life I was a pop princess. My kids were dying of laughter every time someone called them by their new “character” name. It increased engagement for my kiddos that don’t always want to initiate with peers. The next day, my SDC teacher told me that the kids could not stop talking about Go Fish. During our end of the year party, one of my students that needs prompts to initiate communication, came right up to me and said, “I want to play Go Fish today.” I would love to know how this twist goes in your therapy room! Tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie and share your story!

Go Fish Speech Therapy- New ways to make this game come to life for your students in speech therapy.

Adapt the name cards to have your student’s target sound in the name!

For your articulation students, you can pick names that have their sound like Mr. Magee for /g/, Mrs. Flamingo for /l-blends/ and Mrs. Ridiculous for /r/. The crazier the better!

Work on Voice Volume & Tone of Voice

For your social skill students that need to work on using the appropriate voice volume in social situations, you can have them work on asking for cards with different voice volumes. You can also adapt this to work on changing your tone of voice to match certain emotions. I used my voice volume visuals from my Behavior Visuals For Students With Autism to help my students identify and model different voice volumes during Go Fish.

Bring in funny props for Go Fish In Speech Therapy

Who doesn’t love having goofy props around? #idontlookcrazyatall

Allow each student to wear the fun prop when it is their turn to ask a peer for a card. This is just to keep the session motivating and fun! I think this could also help some students understand their role during the game. The person wearing the big sunglasses is asking, while the other students wearing crowns are waiting their turn.

Click Here to get the GO FISH Conversation Script

Sentence starters

Strips for Articulation, Fluency, Grammar, Language and Social Skills

My Featured Items

Categories

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