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10 ideas for using a pet hospital toy set in speech therapy

10 ideas for using a pet hospital toy set in speech therapy

Playing with toy sets is one of the best ways for kids to interact with their environments and learn about the things around them without getting into things they shouldn’t. Even more so, kids love animals, which is why pet hospital toy sets can be such a great tool to incorporate into your speech therapy sessions! While acquiring a pet hospital toy set is an upfront cost, there are so many different speech and language skills that you can target while “playing” with your speech students!

 

Where Can I Buy a Pet Hospital for My Speech Room?

There are a few different pet hospital toy sets available online. All of the ones I’m suggesting below can be found on Amazon, but you might be able to find them at stores like Target, too. The links below are Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

  1. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Set
  2. Pet Vet Toy by B. Toys by Battat
  3. Learning Resources Pretend & Play Animal Hospital (This set is good for traveling SLPs that need lightweight materials to transport.)

Toy-Themed Therapy Resources

Need a cheat sheet guide to help you with targeting wh- questions, Tier II vocabulary, articulation, basic concepts, adjectives, and helpful therapy ideas for toys you use during play-based therapy? Grab this Toy Companion Cheat Sheet Guide for Prek-2nd grade and have stimulus targets mapped out for fourteen different toys. 

Using a Pet Hospital Toy Set in Speech Therapy with Younger-Aged Children

A pet hospital set can be used to target so many speech and language skills! Listed below are some of my favorite ways to engage children in these skills:

  1. Work on sequencing steps for cleaning a cut, wrapping a broken bone, grooming the pet, or doing a check-up.
  2. Work on CORE vocabulary with AAC to work on open, close, go, stop, need, want, my turn, and your turn.
  3. Work on following directions with basic concepts and prepositions.
  4. Put mini trinkets in the doors of the vet hospital that have students sounds, vocabulary, etc. The animals can open the doors to find what is in their space. Students can work on building grammar sentences, working on sounds, describing vocabulary, and answering wh- questions.
  5. Put items behind the doors to work on inferencing.
  6. Compare/contrast the different doctor tools and/or animals.
  7. Your animal is sick! Think of all the things and items they enjoy that you can do with them when the animal is healthy again.
  8. Work on story retell and have the child tell a story to their sick animal.
  9. Your new puppy or kitten just got his/her shots and is ready to come home. Make a list of all the things you need to buy for home. Talk about the noun’s functions.
  10. Make an animal obstacle course for the animal to enjoy after they are feeling better. Work on following directions, sequencing, and verb actions. 

How Do You Use a Pet Hospital Toy Set in Speech Therapy?

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

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.

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.

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