Using bubbles in speech therapy

Using bubbles in speech therapy

When it comes to childhood memories, I remember spending many afternoons playing with bubbles. There is just something magical about bubbles that kids enjoy. Bubbles are one of those toys that are great to bring out on a spring or summer day. There are so many great ways SLPs can use bubbles in speech therapy.

Bubbles are also near to my heart because they are affordable for SLPs on a budget! This post is filled with all the ways you can utilize bubbles in your speech room. 

Where Can You Buy Bubbles for Your Speech Room?

 

Buy them on Amazon. If you want containers that are no spill, then here are mini ones (Amazon affiliate link) that hold two ounces of bubbles. Or, you can get a bigger container from Fubbles (Amazon affiliate link) that allows you to have multiple wands in the container. Walmart and Target are always my local go-tos for finding bubbles.

If you are the adventurous DIY SLP, then here is a recipe for how to make GIANT bubbles. Here is another recipe for homemade bubbles. Did you know that you can also make DIY wands with pipe cleaners (Amazon affiliate link)?

It is super esy, and it’s an affordable way to have extra wands on hand for your mixed groups. 

Using Bubbles in Speech Therapy With Preschool Children

Bubbles can be used to target so many skills! Listed below are some of my favorite ways to utilize bubbles.

 

  1. Turn-taking and waiting: Students can practice basic social skill requests and comments while playing with the bubbles.
  2. Play following directions Simon Says: Work on using basic concepts or multi-step directions with bubbles, such as, “Clap your hands and then blow a bubble.”
  3. Use as a reinforcer:  The student has to practice target stimulus items and then gets a chance to blow bubbles.
  4. Describe bubbles by attributes.
  5. Make your own wands as a cooperative lesson for ? in the group, being flexible and engaging with peers.

More Ideas for Using Bubbles With Preschoolers

  1. Tape different cards on the wall: Students can say their word or use a carrier phrase with which picture they want to blow the bubbles near. Have students try to blow the bubbles above or below the cards.
  2. Make your own bubbles with your students: Work on sequencing the steps for making the bubbles. Ask your students wh- questions about the process and have them share their opinions about homemade bubbles versus store-bought bubbles.
  3. Answer and teach simple “Who” questions: Who has the wand? Who is popping the bubbles?
  1. Play Red Light, Green Light with bubbles to teach CORE vocabulary for “stop” and “go.”
  2. Build sentence structures:  The bubble is floating in the sky. The bubbles are under the table.
  3. Bubbles are a great tool for joint attention and teaching cause and effect. Withhold the bubbles or the wand until the student gives you joint attention.

Have A Cheat Sheet With Skills You Can Target With Bubbles

Bubbles can be used as a play-based therapy tool to target all sorts of verbs, language skills, and articulation/phonology. It can be tough to remember all the targets to hit in a mixed group. That’s why I created cheat sheets to help SLPs. You focus on the therapy with the students rather than worrying about the targets you are going to use in the session. Need toy companion cheat sheets? Grab my toy companion cheat sheets designed for Pre-K thru 2nd grade for 14 of your students favorite toys. 

Using Bubbles in Speech Therapy with Older Children

Bubbles can be used with your upper elementary and middle school/high school students as a STEM project or science experiment. You can have your students make DIY bubble wands. They can make predictions about which “wand” will make the best bubbles. Check out this post from Natalie Snyders for more details. 

How Do You Use Bubbles in Speech Therapy?

 

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

Farm Themed Speech Therapy Toys & Materials

Farm Themed Speech Therapy Toys & Materials

Planning therapy around themes can make it a lot easier to come up with ways to cover all the goals in your mixed groups. And if you have a large caseload, finding ways to use one set of materials for a wide range of goals will make servicing your caseload much more manageable.

Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials to Cover Goals in Mixed Groups

How many goals could you cover with this farmhouse toy (Amazon affiliate link)? If you had a mixed group with a student working on reducing the phonological process of fronting, a student working on verb + ing and another student working on following directions, you could cover all those goals with this farmhouse!

For fronting, you could have the student say, “Go _____” with the animals or, “I can see _______” during play. To target “verb +ing,” the students can talk about what the animals are doing. For example, the pig can roll in the mud, the cow can eat grass, and the horse can jump over the fence. Use the animals and farm items to work on basic concepts and following directions. And just like that, your therapy session is planned and that easy to adapt!

Do you need a cheat sheet that would help you remember all the target verbs, questions, vocabulary and activities to do with a farm house? Grab my Toy Companion Speech & Language Cheat Sheets and always feel prepared doing play-based therapy. 

Build Your Personal Material Stash

When I find toys that can be adapted for a lot of ages and skills, it usually becomes part of my personal therapy stash. If I ever move sites or school districts, I want to be able to take the materials that I use all the time with me.

Another toy I use often is my Mr. Potato Head. Check out this post here to see how you can use this toy in therapy. If you need more toy ideas, this post covers some of my most used toys to work on functional language that you can read here.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

Using a Farmhouse in Speech Therapy

Use a farmhouse to work on all sorts of goals! Here are some goals/skills you can target with this one toy:

—Turn taking and waiting.

—Initiating requests and comments. You can also work on joint attention by withholding objects until you get some eye contact and joint referencing.

—Teach prepositions such as in, out, next to, behind, in front.

—Work on verbs such as eat, sleep, run, jump, laugh, feed, play, roll, sit, gallop, drink.

—Answer wh-questions about the animals and farm equipment.

—Describe the farm animals by attributes.

—Create a story working on sequencing, story elements, and grammar structures.

Finding a farmhouse toy that is affordable can be tricky for SLPs on a budget. You can always try Facebook Marketplace and thrift stores for a deal. If you can’t wait, Amazon or Target have farmhouses.

Favorite Farm-Themed Books for Speech Therapy

I love bringing literacy into my sessions. The books have such colorful pictures, so I often use those to help stimulate language. Of course, you can work on story retell and oral narration with farm books, but you can also target grammar concepts, vocabulary, perspective taking (social skills), and articulation/phonology with words from the story.

Here are some of my favorite farm-themed books:

Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

No Sleep for the Sheep by Karen Beaumont

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

If you don’t have time to head to the library or your Amazon purchase hasn’t arrived yet, you can still use books in therapy. Search for book read-alouds on YouTube like Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner.

Farm-Themed Toys for Speech Therapy

Use the Create-A-Scene for the farm (Amazon affiliate link) to work on simple story telling, practice verb +ing, following directions, describing nouns by attributes and answering wh-questions.

You can use the farm animals from Learning Resources to work on lots of skills in therapy. Here are some ways you can use these farm animal figurines: target more/less, plural noun markers, describing the animals, sorting the animals by features (i.e. two legs, tail, four legs, color), CORE vocabulary go/stop and as a reinforcement toy for completing other skills.

I love this puzzle to work on farm-themed speech therapy goals from Melissa & Doug. You can work on word opposites open/close as well as lots of CORE vocabulary such as more, look, what, want, turn, and like/don’t like.

Melissa & Doug also have these affordable farm-themed reusable stickers that come with farm picture scenes. This can be a great way to work on grammar concepts, following directions, and story retell. You can also create mini stories and then work on answering wh-questions for those stories!

Farm-Themed YouTube Videos for Easy Therapy Planning

When I just don’t have a ton of time to plan extensive therapy, I turn to YouTube to help me with planning simple, yet effective lessons. I will use farm-themed YouTube videos to target goals for language.

Here are some farm-related YouTube videos you can use:

4 Reasons Why Cows are Awesome by Scishowkids

Chickens! What, Where, How by AnimalWonders Montana

Fun Farm Animal Facts for Children by Kids Learning Videos

Farm Animal Sounds by Kids Learning Videos is an interactive video to work on what animals sound like. The kids love it!

Some farm sensory bin fillers you can use are popcorn kernels or black/brown beans.

Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials for Push-In Language Support

 

Wanting to bring farm-themed speech therapy activities into your whole class lessons? Check out my Farm Push-In Activities. They are perfect for busy SLPs wanting to use language activities in small groups and push-in lessons for their K-2 students.

You will have materials completely planned for at least two weeks. I include cheat sheet guides, 3-5 station activities, a Google Slide presentation, as well as a newsletter you can send home to parents. When I started push-in support I wanted to find a quick way I could let parents know what we were working on, in hopes that they would help reinforce the same language at home. I read a research article that found students with language impairments need up to 36 engagements with a word before it is mastered! It gave me permission to do themed therapy for more than one week!

Farm-Themed Speech Therapy Materials You Love

What farm-themed speech therapy materials do you love to use in your sessions? I would love to know what is working for your students. Over the years, I have really grown in learning how to adapt materials just from listening to what other SLPs do in therapy. Please share by leaving a comment or emailing me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

Using Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

Using Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

I am always on the hunt for materials that are easy to prep and will help engage my students while they are working toward their goals. A good worksheet or set of flashcards will definitely produce positive outcomes in the therapy room, but my kids seem to produce so much more work when the activity is hands-on.

Letter Stamps Can Increase Engagement

Today, I want to show you how you can use letter stamps in speech therapy. It won’t make a huge mess and will be easy to carry around for you traveling SLPs, or those SLPs who do quick artic in the hallways.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post for your convenience. I get a small compensation when you click on the link and purchase the item.

Where to Find Letter Stamps for Speech Therapy

Last summer, I found these plastic Letter Stamps from Lakeshore Learning and had to have them! You can also snag some on Amazon from Discount School Supply. There is also Mad Mattr dough that never dries out and has a fun consistency. I bought the upper alphabet set that comes with numbers and letters. If you need more playdough ideas for therapy, head to this BLOG POST (it includes FREE mats to use with playdough).

Making Your Traveling Letter Stamp Kit

You will need the set of letter stamps, a pencil box or small container, and playdough or kinetic sand. I put some playdough in the pencil box and was ready for therapy!

How to Use Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

There are several ways SLPs can use letter stamps in speech therapy. Here are some of my favorite ideas for articulation/phonology therapy:

Have your student use the letter that correlates with his/her sound and stamp it each time that he/she producing the sound in syllables or words. I know that not all the sounds match the letters perfectly, but it works for most of them. You can get in lots of drill with this! If you need some stimulus task cards for prevocalic R, r-blends, and vocalic R words, grab this Articulation Letter Stamp Station HERE. I also have a blends version you can grab HERE

More Ways to Use Letter Stamps

You can read words, single sentences, or a story out loud to your student. Your student can stamp his/her sound letter every time he/she hears her sound.

Use the B, M, E stamp letters in the kinetic sand. Say a word to your student and have him/her identify which position your student hears his/her words. This will work on sound awareness and also phonological awareness skills.

Make an Articulation Station

If you are working with mixed groups and need some dedicated time to baseline/progress monitor other students or just need a good solid 10 minutes to teach a new concept to a student in the group, you can create articulation stations with activities that keep the students focused on his/her goals independently. You may need to teach the behavioral expectations when implementing stations those first few weeks. If you need a framework for how to do that, head to this BLOG POST.

Give your students a task card with pictures and the spelling of the words. Have them stamp out each word in the playdough. Then, they have to practice that sound 5 times or write it in a sentence. Then, the student can take those sentences home to practice or use the next session as a warm-up!

Phonological Awareness Activities With Letter Stamps

With the number stamps, you can have students identify the number of syllables in a word for phonological awareness or working on breaking down multi-syllable words.

You can also work on building phonemic awareness by having students stamp out real or nonsense CVC words in the playdough/kinetic sand. Then, have your students work on substituting sounds to make new word combinations. Or have them add or delete sounds to create new sounds.

Using Letter Stamps with Language Therapy

When you are working on describing nouns by attributes (i.e. category, function, size, color, texture, parts, etc.), you can have your student stamp a number for each attribute they share. This will allow them to visually see how many attributes they provided. You can visually and verbally give feedback when they provide more attributes.

Students can identify if a phrase is true/false using the T and F letter stamps.

Using Letter Stamps To Visually Cue Students

For your students working on monitoring social behavior in a group session, you can stamp an E for expected behavior and a U for unexpected behavior during the session. This can visually cue the student to monitor his/her behavior without stopping the lesson. Plus, you will have some data on how often you had to cue them. You can also give the student a social situation and have them stamp E if the behavior was expected or U if the behavior was unexpected.

Share How You Would Use Letter Stamps in Speech Therapy

The best way to get the most out of a material item is to collaborate with other like-minded professionals. That is why I always want to know how you would use a material in therapy. When I have more ideas, therapy feels fresh and new with my groups. If you use letter stamps in speech therapy, please share how you use them in the comments or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

Also, I love seeing therapy pics in action, so feel free to tag me on Instagram with your letter stamps @thedabblingspeechie.

Use Paper Plates to Target Grammar – EBP aligned!

Use Paper Plates to Target Grammar – EBP aligned!

Let’s face it: SLPs are on a budget. And apparently, so are school districts . . . ‘cause they never seem to have any money available for educators to use for materials (this could be a whole different blog post filled with rants).

I know some SLPs get NO money for supplies, which is very unfortunate. That’s why I love having speech therapy activities that are budget-friendly, engaging for students, AND align with evidence-based practice.

Budget-Friendly Grammar Speech Therapy Activities

Today, I am going to share some grammar speech therapy activities that use paper plates. All you need are paper plates, glue, scissors, and markers! Plus, these grammar speech therapy activities will make you feel like a confident SLP, knowing that your lesson is aligned with EBP. Your kids will never know that they are “working” the entire session—which is a dream for the busy SLP.

What’s the Evidence Around Grammar Intervention?

If you want more information about best practices for grammar intervention in speech therapy, head to this blog post for more articles and tips. I always feel more confident about my therapy when I see research backing it up.

Cueing our students with the correct grammar form has shown to improve gains with grammar. In this study below, the researchers looked at using conversational recasting and cueing. Cueing showed more significant gains, but in other studies conversational recasting has also shown to be effective. Click the pink button below to get this FREE verb checklist. 

With the results from another study, the researchers found more gains with grammar concepts when the clinicians used 24 unique verbs in a session with conversational recasting. Conversational recasting  is when the clinician emphasizes what the child said with the correct grammar target. For example, if the child said, “He eat,” the clinician could say, “Yes, he eatsssss cookies.”

I will show you how you can get those 24 unique verbs in a session with my paper plate ideas. After reading this research, I did recognize that implementing this approach could be very difficult for SLPs who have high caseloads and are forced to have therapy groups of 4 and 5 students.

This research helped me to remember that I can target more than just a handful of verbs during a session (what I was previously doing in my drill) and that using a variety of verbs really does help our students with language impairments.

Plante, E., Ogilvie, T., Vance, R., Aguilar, J.M., Dailey, N.S., Meyers, C., … Burton, R. (2014). Variability in the language input to children enhances learning in a treatment context. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 23, 530–545.

This research article found that explicitly teaching the grammar rules to students is effective.

Finestack, L. H. (2018). Evaluation of an explicit intervention to teach novel grammatical forms to children with developmental language disorder. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0339.

Grammar Speech Therapy Activities with Paper Plates

The research shows that children with language impairments make better gains with generalizing grammar markers when provided explicit teaching of the grammar rules. That means we have to teach them the rule for the grammar concept.

So, for example, you can make a paper plate grammar slider to work on noun-verb agreement and present progressive markers.

You can also target past tense “was/were” and past tense regular and irregular grammar markers.

How to Make a Paper Plate Grammar Slider

First, you need to get an X-Acto craft knife, paper plates, markers, and colored paper (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience). Then, you can cut out a two inch colored piece of paper to write the verbs and another strip to write is/are.

With the X-Acto knife, you will need to cut two slits in the paper plate. Allow at least 2 inches for the slits. Then, write your verb targets on one of the papers. Use two strips and try to write 24 verbs. The research also shows that using 24 unique verbs in a session shows significant improvements with language.

Then, slide the strips of paper between the two slits. Now, you can slide the paper strips up and down while practicing different verb targets.

You can adapt this grammar activity to work on pronouns or adding prepositional phrases.

Paper Plate Grammar Challenge

You can also work on grammar targets with a fun grammar challenge using paper plates. You need two paper plates. With your scissors, cut 2-inch slits around the plate. Then, on the other plate, put a generous amount of glue on the middle of the plate. Then, stick the plate with the slits on top of the glue.

Students can flip the flaps as they practice using their grammar target at the word or sentence level. After doing some drills, you can have students do “verb charades” and act out different verbs as an engaging activity. If you need help with coming up with verbs, download my free verb checklist by clicking the button below.

With your marker or stimulus picture items, glue/write your grammar targets on the bottom plate. You could write the verb on the top plate and then the conjugated verb for present progressive, past tense, third person singular, or future tense on the bottom plate.

More Easy-Prep Grammar Speech Therapy Activities

I have these fun visual supports that you can use with playdough to work on building more complex grammar structures. Read about it HERE and get the free printable.

You can also use Simon’s Cat videos to work on LOTS of verbs and grammar. I usually pair these videos with my FREE graphic organizer that you can find HERE.

What materials, books, or resources do you use to work on grammar in speech therapy? Share in the comments. If you make these fun paper plates in therapy, I would love to see pics. Just tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie.

Using Chickens in Your Next Push-In Lesson

Using Chickens in Your Next Push-In Lesson

During the spring months, I love using specific themes to cover speech and language goals. Bugs, farm life, and spring vocabulary are part of my March and April themes. I also love incorporating chickens into my small group and push-in therapy because many kindergarten teachers are talking about newborn animals. Some teachers even raise eggs to hatch into baby chicks! If you are in search of chicken speech therapy activities for your K-2 students, you came to the right blog post.

Small and Whole Class Lesson Support

For my Special Day Classrooms, I do some form of whole class or co-teaching service delivery model. When I plan lessons for my whole class lessons, I definitely re-use those materials for my small group instruction as well. Today, I will be talking about how to implement the chicken speech therapy activities in a push-in format. But, if you don’t currently do a push-in model, you can still use these ideas in small groups. That’s the beauty of planning effective whole class lessons, because they work for small groups too (lesson planning made easy). If you are looking for information about how I set up my push-in lessons, check out this blog post HERE.

How to Structure Your Push-In Lesson

I usually plan a 15-20-minute lesson that I do with the whole class. During that time, I ask that the teacher and aides help support the behavior in the class. One day, I hope to train some of the staff to take data while I teach. #slpgoals

We start the lesson introducing the theme and reviewing behavioral expectations. Then, the teachers and myself run three different stations that last for 10 minutes each.

Behavior Management Tips for Work Stations

When I run push-in lessons, I try to follow the classroom rules and expectations. I also add in visual supports to help my students navigate what they should be doing during each station. I visually break it down into “What my body can do,” “What I do during the activity,” and “How to use my words.”

When it is time to transition to a new station, I set off a timer and use visuals to help remind students when they have to wait/go to the next station. You can read more about teaching behavior expectations HERE.

Chicken Books to Use with Your Speech Therapy Activities

After the stations, I read a book. During this time, I call on students with wh-question goals, emphasize key vocabulary, and try to get my students working on verb concepts to share about what they see in the pictures.

Here are some of my fave chicken books (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):

Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski

Interrupting Chickens by David Ezra Stein

The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley

Whole Class Lesson Ideas for Using Chickens

After I read the book, we do a Google Slide presentation about the theme.

Other activities you can do:

You can do an Anchor chart describing everything about chickens. You can include chickens “can” (i.e. Chickens can run.), “have” (i.e. Chickens have feathers.), chickens “are” (i.e. Chickens are animals.).

We play “Who has the egg?” I print out eggs or baskets and hide the eggs in the students’ hands while everyone has their eyes closed. Then, they open their eyes and students get to initiate a “who” question to a peer or staff member. We play this until all the eggs are found.

I will also put a chicken or an egg on a popsicle stick and work on the basic concept of the week. So, if I choose “above,” I will put the egg above students’ heads and items in the classroom. The students have to say “where” the egg is located.

Station #1 (10 minutes in length): Easter Egg Craft

Use an ice cube tray and put different colored paints in the tray. Attach pom pom balls to clothespins. Students can dip the pom pom balls in the paint to make different designs on the egg. You can work on initiating requests, waiting/sharing, asking friends to pass the paint, and talking about the colors. After the students create their craft, they can talk about what they did first, next, last.

Station #2 (10 minutes in length): Chicken Inferencing

Put the picture stimulus items in plastic eggs. I number the eggs with permanent marker, so I know what items are in which eggs. Use my inferencing cheat sheet to give students clues about “what” is in the egg. You can simultaneously work on taking turns, describing the noun by attributes and the concepts “open/close.”

Station #3 (10 minutes in length): Chicken Crossed the Road

Your students can work on making sentences with correct grammar using these mats. If you have students working on noun-functions or categories, the mats have food, school supplies, and transportation. Sentence frames are included to help your friends have greater success with more complex sentences.

Additional Chicken Speech Therapy Activities

I love using Dinky Doodads to work on skills. They are the perfect size for eggs. Check out how to use trinkets with plastic eggs HERE. You can also make a baby chick sensory bin to work on language skills. Check out the blog post for how to make it HERE (free printables included).

When I use a theme, I try to use the theme for at least two weeks. So, I will interchange some of the activities. At a station, I will bring in toys or games that can work on social skills and functional language.

With this cooperative game Count Your Chickens Game, you can target turn-taking, counting more/less/most, and describing the animals. I love Peaceable Kingdom games because there isn’t a winner or a loser. Perfect for our friends that like to win all of the time!

What Chicken Speech Therapy Activities Do You Plan?

I would love to know how you plan for therapy! If you have some fun chicken activities, share in the comments or tag me at @thedabblingspeechie.

What I love about planning my push-in lesson is that I can re-use the activities in my small group instruction. It feels so nice to have effective therapy plans that I can use across many groups.

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