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

Using “The Mitten” In Speech Therapy

Using “The Mitten” In Speech Therapy

The Mitten book for Speech Therapy

During the winter months, I love using The Mitten in Speech Therapy. It is such a versatile book to target speech and language goals. One reason, “The Mitten” is a great book choice for your students with language impairments is because there is a little illustration on each page showing what will happen next. This gives our students a visual cue to help with comprehending the story.

Today, I wanted to share some ways you can use the book to target multiple goals as well as share about some resources you can use as extension activities. This book is such a classic that you can find it at the library, GoodWill or on Amazon (affiliate link).

Speech Therapy Activities for The Mitten Book

There is research that shows when language therapy focuses on a broad range of skills such as vocabulary, grammar, syntax, narrative skills, and inferencing are linked to showing effective outcomes for student’s reading comprehension abilities. As oral language improves, so does reading comprehension, which is what we want to see in our students.

So, using stories to cover all those concepts is an effective way to plan therapy. You can teach your students tier II vocabulary from the story such as attracted, grumbled, commotion and swooped.

After you read the story, your students can act out the words, use them in a sentence within the context of the story, name antonyms/synonyms for the word and create picture friendly definitions.

the mitten speech therapy ideas to teach oral narration and language concepts. #booksforspeech #speechtherapy #oralnarration #cfyslp #speechies #schoolslp #slpeeps #pediatricslp #winterbooks #themitten
The Mitten Speech Therapy activities to build language #slpeeps #schoolslp #themitten #preschool #preschoolslp #speechtherapy #oralnarration #storyretell #vocabularyactivities #winteractivities #cfyslp #speechies #slp2b #sped #pediatricslp #schoolslp #schoolbasedslp #vocabularyactivities

As you are reading the story outloud to your students, you can conduct think-alouds about the book. A think-aloud is a strategy you can use to demonstrate how you are thinking about the text you are reading. This helps you students to learn the strategies they need to utilize to understand the content they are listening to or reading. You can have your student think-aloud about what the character’s are feeling, making predictions about the story elements and to help your students check to see if they understand what is happening in the story.

Using Sentence Frames with The Mitten in Speech Therapy

The Mitten speech therapy activities for the busy SLP. #slpeeps #schoolslp #speechies #oralnarration #sped #vocabulary #freeprintables #themitten

As you read each page of the story, you can create visual sentence frames that you want the student to use with the book.

By having one or two sentence frames, this helps reduce the cognitive load for your students. It can help your student to expressively demonstrate their grammar or comprehension skills without feeling overwhelmed with what they have to produce.

A simple sentence frame for “The Mitten” could be, “The ___ went inside the mitten.”

A more complex sentence frame visual could be working on inferencing such as “I predict the ______ will _______ because of ______.”

 You can also use this FREE sentence frame graphic organizer to create more complex sentences about each page in the story. 

Place the graphic organizer in a page protector and use it with a dry erase marker. Have you ever tried Ultra Fine Tip dry erase markers? They are the best! You can get them on Amazon (affiliate link). 

Adapt The Mitten for AAC Users

One way you can make this book more accessible to your students using AAC is by adding the CORE and FRINGE vocabulary to your book!

Many of your students with moderate language impairments may need the story simplified to help them understand the main parts. These visual sidekicks from The Language Ladies SLP can help you have the visual supports you need to help improve your students’ grammar and vocabulary.

For your students that are struggling with comprehension and need the book adapted, having those visuals to reference while you are reading can be very helpful to increase engagement. When our students understand the language, they are more likely to be excited to participate.

I just attached the visual sidekicks with Velcro Dots that I got on Amazon (affiliate link).

Mittens Sensory Bin for Articulation and Language

After reading the book, “The Mitten” you can work on describing mittens by attributes such as category group, function, parts, textures, where, etc. 

You can talk about how mittens come in pairs and why you need them for both hands.

This mittens match-up sensory bin resource allows your students to find “pairs” of items that go together such as word-association, antoynms, and categories. This helps build depth of knowledge for words being taught to our students with language impairments.

For the filler, you can use salt, white play dough, cotton balls, white yarn, cutup white straws, or white pom pom balls. 

The Mitten Speech Therapy sensory bin for word associationas #slpsensorybin #sensorybin #preschool #preschoolslp
The Mitten speech therapy sensory bin to work on ca category groups #slpsensorybin #sensorybin #speechtherapy #preschoolslp

The Mitten Free Printables for Oral Narration

If you have students that benefit from hands-on activities, I highly recommend downloading these free printables for, “The Mitten.”

You can use them to help your students with story retell, which is an evidence-based practice for improving vocabulary and comprehension. You can also use these visuals to create a sensory bin. An SLP submitted this sensory bin idea. She used ripped up white paper for filler, and a long piece of string to be the mitten. Then, she placed the printables in the bin and worked on oral narration. 

You can work on the vocabulary word “fit” and “big” while using this free printable art project that can also teach vocabulary.

While coloring the item that can fit in the mitten, you can talk about mittens by attributes as well as the item the child chose to draw. How would you use this free printable for The Mitten in therapy? Share in the comments. 

More FREE Printables for The Mitten to Use in Speech Therapy

Here are some more free printables and activities that you can use with your students to work on language and oral narration with “The Mitten”:

The Mitten Emergent Reader

Jan Brett Story Maps

The Mitten by Jan Brett Activities Flip Book FREE

The Mitten Sequence Cards

The Mitten speech therapy activities to build language in an engaging way for students. #slpeeps #eslteacher #sped #themitten #visualsuppors #literacyinspeech #literacy #speechtherapy #schoolslp

How Do you Use The Mitten in Speech Therapy?

I would love to know what resources or tools you use to incorporate the book, “The Mitten” in your speech therapy sessions.

What skills do you target? How do you use the book in mixed groups? Share in the comments what is working for your students. I would love to add some new ideas with this book.

Monster Speech Therapy Materials That Are Fun!

Monster Speech Therapy Materials That Are Fun!

If you are new to planning therapy around themes, then you will love all the ideas in this blog post. Today, I am sharing about monster speech therapy materials that are fun for your students. I think you will like using them, too!

 

To plan therapy around a theme, you simply pick a topic or a book that you want to use in therapy. Then, you find books and activities that will support your theme. By using a theme, you can heavily target specific vocabulary used with that theme. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

Using monsters as your next theme is perfect for increasing engagement with your students, because most kids seem to love talking about those silly creatures.

Monster Books You Can Use in Speech Therapy

There are a ton of great monster-themed books. You can work on story retell, vocabulary, answering wh- questions, describing, grammar, and social skills using books. I listed some of my faves below and what target areas you can focus on. 

The Color Monster by Anna Llenas is great for teaching emotions.

How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace can target vocabulary and story retell.

Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley is great for students working on simple vocabulary and language.

The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber can be used for social skills and also has opportunities to work on phonological awareness skills. 

Monsters Love School by Mike Austin has a ton of unique verbs to target while reading the story.

Little Shop of Monsters by R.L.Stine has so many great adjectives and describing words to introduce to your students.

 

What are your favorite monster-themed books to use in your therapy sessions? Share in the comments. Please let me know what skills you target, too!

Build-A-Monster Speech Therapy App

 

Making your very own silly monster is very motivating for children! Your students will love creating their own monster using the Sago Mini Monsters App. This app is under $5, so it is affordable for you SLPs on a budget.

 

With this Mini Monsters app, you can target the following skills:

-Initiating requests and comments

-Working on describing skills

-Targeting verbs

– Practicing sequencing steps to make the monster

 Watch a YouTube tutorial to see the monster app in action. How would you use this app in therapy? Let me know in the comments!

 

Target Following Directions and Prepositions with Silly Monsters

Have your students make their own monster puppets with the FREE monster puppet printables in my TPT store. Use popsicle sticks (Amazon affiliate links included) and tape to create fun monster therapy materials.

You can work on following directions and using prepositions with your monster puppets. 

With your monster puppets, you can also work on has/have and “who” questions. Place the monsters on the table and put mini objects next to the monsters. Students can explain what each monster has with a grammatically correct sentences.

Ask your students “Who has ____?” or give clues about an item and have your students identify “who” has the item. 

 

Reinforcer Games For Mixed Groups

When I have a group working on different goals, one way I keep the students engaged is by having a generic game to play in between turns.

If you want to use a monster theme in your mixed group, then you can use this roll and color monster game that is a FREE printable in my store. You just print the sheets and grab a die and the stimulus items your students need to work on in speech therapy. Whatever number the student rolls on the die is how many monsters they get to color. Whoever colors all of their monsters first wins!

Learning Resources has a Twist and Match Monsters game that is great to use as a reinforcer for any goal. You can have some fun describing the monsters as you play, too.

Make Monster Paper Bag Puppets

I saw this paper bag monster puppet idea on I Heart Crafty Things. I thought it would be perfect for my younger students. During the craft you can work on requesting, commenting and the basic concept “on.” Then, your students can use the puppets to work on pretend play, following directions, doing verb actions and more!

You just need paper bags (I found color bags on Amazon), construction paper, scissors, and glue. If you want to use googly eyes, Dollar Tree has packages or you can use these eye stickers that I found on Amazon.

Teach Word Opposites and Adjectives

Work on teaching adjectives with the feed the monster activity. Students can work on describing the items by adjectives, as well as work on verb tenses.

To get some movement going in your therapy room, tape the word opposite monsters around your room. Then, students use the checklist to find the word opposites that the monsters are chomping on. These activities will help your wiggly students stay focused. See the picture below for an example of this word opposite activity! It is all part of my Monster Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides for K-2 students.

Have your students work on initiating communication, describing, and practicing sequencing with this design a monster file folder activity. Kids will feel motivated to participate knowing that they get some say in what the monster will look like. Need these materials for your K-2 caseload? Grab them in my TPT store. There are a lot more tools included, such as a Google Slides presentation, a newsletter home to parents, book recommendations, YouTube video links, and more!

Need More Monster Speech Therapy Ideas?

In this blog post, I shared some other monster speech therapy ideas you can use with your students. My students especially loved making their own monsters with play dough!

What Monster Speech Therapy Materials Do You Use?

Do you have a fave monster speech therapy material you love to use with your students? I would love to know about it! You know I am all about adding new materials to my speech therapy stash. Let me know your favorite material in the comments. 

Using Popsicle Sticks in Speech Therapy

Using Popsicle Sticks in Speech Therapy

Some of my best therapy materials come from affordable things I can find at a dollar store. Have you used popsicle sticks in your speech therapy sessions? They can be a great material that can cover a lot of goals.

And, let’s face it: So many of us don’t even get a budget for speech therapy materials. Plus, we’ve all got bills, so buying a ton of extra fancy materials for therapy isn’t always an option. Today, I want to share all the ways you can use popsicle sticks in your next speech therapy session.

Popsicle Stick Games for Mixed Groups

Zap It is a great game for mixed groups! You can target any goal, and the kids love the game. This game also gets my artic students to practice more trials. Whatever number is written on their popsicle stick, they have to say their word that many times! Check out the game HERE (it has a rule cheat sheet guide).

Play pick up sticks using a set of popsicle sticks. Just write your students’ targets on both sides of the sticks. I try to make sure to pick articulation targets that can also be used for vocabulary instruction. For example, if a child is working on /l/, I would pick lemonade, lion, and lock because we can work on category groups, noun functions, locations, and parts. Or, other students can create grammatically correct sentences using the words.

Popsicle Stick Pacing Boards for Speech Therapy

You can create pacing boards using popsicle sticks. I like using the jumbo-sized popsicle sticks (Amazon affiliate link) for making these. Students can create dots, stars, or other designs with markers. You can also allow students to pick out their favorite stickers to put on the popsicle stick.

Then, you can use them for lots of different goals! Check out my ideas:

-Use as a pacing board for fluency-enhancing techniques

-Identifying how many sounds are in a word

-Creating longer sentences

-Pacing how many times a student has said a sound or a word

Popsicle Stick Puppets for Speech Therapy

One of the easiest crafts to make with your students is making popsicle stick puppets. You can print a sheet of characters, have the students color them, and then attach them to a popsicle stick. The students can work on story retell, pronouns, basic concepts, or following directions with their puppets.

Using Popsicle Sticks with Literacy

When planning mixed group therapy, I tend to use books to plan lessons. I can plan more efficiently while still targeting everyone’s goals. While reading the story, you can give students “jobs” when listening to the story. I cut 3” by 5” index cards in half, write what the students are working on, and tape them to  popsicle sticks.

I tell the students to hold up their sticks whenever they hear their sound or hear a word they don’t understand. Students can remember what they are working on by looking at their “job” on the stick. So, when I call on a student to make a sentence about the story picture, they know what I want them to do.

 

You can also put story grammar element visual cues on popsicle sticks. Hand a few of the story element sticks to each student in the group. While you are reading the book, you can stop and go through the elements of the story. To keep everyone engaged, they have specific elements to recall.

Grab these free story visual cues by clicking the pink button below.

Make Visual Cues with Popsicle Sticks

You can make visual cues for any skill with popsicle sticks! This is an easy way to visually remind your students about what they are working on in speech therapy. Some of my students have moved beyond drill and are working on self-monitoring. I love using visual cues for articulation carryover and for social pragmatics. During conversational tasks, you can visually remind your students about their social behavior. This can help them to remember the social rules or to look around for the non-verbal body language.

 

Grab these free speech sound cues HERE

How Do You Use Popsicle Sticks in Therapy Sessions?

Aren’t these functional ideas great for therapy sessions? My favorite place to stock up on popsicle sticks is at the Dollar Tree. Therapy doesn’t have to always be with fancy toys and programs to be effective. How do you use popsicle sticks in your therapy room? Share in the comments.

Spooky, Crawly Spider Activities For Speech

Spooky, Crawly Spider Activities For Speech

In real life, I am not a fan of spiders, or any creepy insects for that matter. If I see a spider crawl out of a cupboard or found in a dark corner in a bag in the garage, I literally freak out like someone is attacking me!

Can you relate? In our old house, our garage was known to have black widows, so if I saw one of those gnarly things, I went into a panic: hurry, kill it quick! Daddy long legs and small spiders don’t seem to bring on the panic, but when I hear people say that humans actually eat 8 spiders a year in their sleep, it kinda wants to make me gag. Who knows if that statistic is even true, but I don’t really want to think about it at the moment.

Spider activities in speech for elementary SLPs

Anyways, the whole reason I bring up “spiders” is to tell you that it is a great theme to use in your speech therapy room. There are lots of great books, crafts, YouTube videos and activities you can use to work on speech and language skills. As long as they are fake, spiders are allowed in my therapy room. How about you? Today I am going to be sharing about spider activities for speech that can be your October theme–this is especially helpful if your school is not able to plan Halloween activities. If you need some Halloween ideas for therapy, check out some of my previous blog posts for therapy ideas:

Halloween Speech Therapy Ideas

Rollin’ With My Pumpkins

Halloween Crafts For Speech Therapy

Spider Book Recommendations for Speech

There are some really great books with spiders as the main character that you can use in speech. Here are some of my favorites to use in therapy:

Aaarrggh Spider by Lydia Monk (affiliate link) is a great story about a spider that wants to be this family’s pet. It is great for answering comprehension questions and story retell. It also works on perspective taking and how the spider feels verses the family. The spider doesn’t understand why the family freaks out every time they see him.

spider activities for speech using engaging spider story books for kids!

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle (affiliate link) is a great book to work on sequencing and teach verbs such as “spin,” “ride,” “eat,” and “run.” This book is also great for teaching the animal category. You can use the pictures in the book to work on describing the animals by attributes and what they are doing or where they are located.

Spider Activities For Speech

Students can use spider webs while working on their speech and language targets.

Use no prep spider activities for speech to reinforce students in mixed groups.

You can do spider races to work on go/stop (CORE vocab), target the verb “blow”, and teach the basic concept “across”. Read this blog post for more pics and details.spider activities for speech

For your students working on functional communication and language skills, use a Visual Recipe from Live Love Speech to make this adorable spider snack. I loved having the visuals to target wh-questions, and vocabulary. Then, while the kids eat their snack, we tried to get some natural conversation going.

Using Spider Crafts In Speech

spider activities in speech using a fun craft that can be adapted across goals. Use this spider craft to target a lot of goals.

Make a crawly spider in speech. Students can practice following directions while making this spider craft. You just cut out black circles for the head, get the spider face printable on this blog post (free printable), and then cut black strips of construction paper (affiliate link). The students fold the construction paper back and forth to make the legs. You can work on simple sequencing of how to make the craft, practice the basic concepts “on”, “before”, and “after” while doing the craft. After creating the craft, you can work on asking which pictures are near the spider’s head and far from the spider’s head.

Students can glue speech or language targets on the spider’s leg. Keep the spider crafts as decor or use them as the warm up for the next session. Send them home for additional practice. I used my Any Craft Companion Pack to have targets for the craft. If you are short on prep time, have students write their targets using white crayon or colored pencil.

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I love this synonym spider craft from Nicole Allison! It is functional and great for decor/vocabulary review. You just need pipe cleaners, paper plates and the free printables from Nicole (affiliate links included).

YouTube Videos With Spiders To Use In Speech

If you have been following me on social media and my blog for a while, then you will know how much I LOVE Simon’s Cat videos on YouTube. The videos are like a movie comic strip that are non-verbal, so they are very versatile for speech and language therapy. Check out this blog post for more details about how I adapt these videos across grades and skills.

This past week I used these videos with my 4-6th grade students to work on a number of language skills: using the vocabulary word “predict,” perspective taking skills for the characters emotions, thought bubbles, sequencing the video with grammatically correct sentences, connecting words (first, next, last) as well as descriptive language.

Scishowkids makes a pretty good argument about why we shouldn’t be afraid of spiders. This is a great video to discuss main idea and details from a video. You can work on vocabulary tasks with the words “afraid,” “jump,” and “spin.”

 

 

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