Easy Summer Crafts For Speech Therapy

Easy Summer Crafts For Speech Therapy

You either love or hate crafts as an SLP. While I am not a fan of messy crafts that involve glitter and expensive craft supplies, I am down to do crafts that help my students stay engaged. And, if you can use the craft as a functional therapy tool, it’s a go for me! Try these easy summer crafts for your speech therapy sessions when you need to find engaging activities that pair well with a summer-themed book.

The summer crafts in this blog post require minimal supplies that you can afford or hopefully find in your school supply room.

Craft Supplies You Need for Summer Crafts

Here are the things you will need (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):


Some of the crafts featured in this blog post are from the summer crafts for the speech therapy set.

Beach-Themed Crafts for Speech Therapy

If you are doing a beach theme, make a kid buried in the sand craft! You will have one craft template and can print targets for your speech or language goals. Every student does one craft in your therapy sessions but has targets for practicing their goals.

Easy planning for you and keeps students engaged! And they can take it home for home practice.

Ocean-Animal Crafts for Speech Therapy

There are LOTS of fun low prep ocean animal crafts that you can pair with your favorite books. This craft is fun because you can glue targets on the inside of the craft and then use it to work on basic concepts and with your pretend play activities. For more ocean-themed craft ideas and books to pair with them, check out this blog post

Easy summer crafts to use in your speech therapy sessions to cover goals and ideas for how to use as therapy props!

Summer Crafts That Pair Well With The Summer Season

Easy summer speech therapy crafts that will keep your students engaged in the session!

Making a sun with a paper plate or just with construction paper is perfect for summer because it’s hot outside! You can have students glue or write words on the sun rays or on the back of the paper plate.  If you are working on summer weather concepts, you can write activities you can do when it is hot outside. Or, write down things that are hot and cold!

For more ideas for how to use this sun craft, check out the REEL on Instagram.

You can also make a lemonade craft or easy tissue paper or paint crafts for a summer 4th of July BBQ. Check out the pictures below. The lemonade craft is part of the summer crafts for speech therapy resources. And, the watermelon and fireworks low prep crafts are from the summer push-in lesson plan guides

S’mores Craft For Speech Therapy

LOTS of kids are eating s’mores over the summer whether they are camping or having backyard firepit hangouts. This is an easy craft to do and pairs well with a camping theme! Need this template? It’s part of the summer craft set

Books to Pair With These Summer Crafts for Speech Therapy

Beach Day by Karen Roosa has fantastic pictures! After reading this book, I had my students create a beach theme, and then they got to sprinkle natural sand on their craft with Elmer’s glue. You can read about it HERE!!

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen is a great little story about camping. You can read about some of my camping-themed therapy ideas that I did last year.

When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore is a fabulous beach-themed book! You could create a sandcastle or dragon craft with this book!

Alex and The Amazing Lemonade Stand by Liz & Jay Scott look like a fun read! I just ordered it. It would go perfectly with my Ice Cold Lemonade Craftivity.

Easy summer crafts for speech therapy that you can use with mixed groups and your favorite summer books!

What Summer Crafts Do You Love to Use With Your Summer Themed Activities?

What crafts do you love to use for the summer season? If you have one that is easy to prep and engages your students, share it in the comments! As always, tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie if you use one of these crafts so I can see what you are up to in your speech therapy room. 

3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

3 Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy

When you plan a themed therapy unit, one of the best ways to keep the engagement up in your speech therapy session is by pairing a themed book with an extension activity.

An extension activity reinforces or reviews concepts from the theme or book that you just read. So, that can include sensory bins, an informational YouTube video, a game, a writing assignment, task cards, or a craft!

Themed crafts can be an easy way to plan your mixed groups or whole class lessons. Today, I will be sharing three ocean crafts you can use in speech therapy. 

Craft Supplies You Will Need 

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

For these ocean crafts, you need basic supplies, which means it is nice on your wallet! You may find some or all of these things in your school supply room. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

  • Glue
  • Streamers (Dollar Tree)
  • Paper plates (Dollar Tree)
  • Cardstock
  • Acrylic paint, water color paint, or dot markers
  • Plastic eyes (optional, you can draw in with a marker or cut out with black construction paper)
  • Markers

Ocean Crafts for Speech Therapy That Work on Goals

When it comes to crafts, you want to consider the prep time needed to make the craft. If it isn’t too complex and targets many goals, then the craft is worth the prep.

To make this “Who is hiding in the seaweed?” you print off the template in the ocean language lesson plan guides. Then, print the verb and vocabulary seaweed strips on dark green and light green colored cardstock or white cardstock.

Students can paint their ocean animals with dot markers or watercolors. Then, your students can glue the seaweed pieces to hide their ocean animals. During the craft, you are working on the concepts on/off, colors, turn-taking (only have one glue per table so students can share), and “who” questions. Students can practice the verbs or vocabulary on the seaweed before gluing it on.

You can put it on a bulletin board or send it home for additional practice.

Have simple ocean crafts for speech therapy that you can use for whole class instruction or mixed groups!

Books That Will Pair Well With This Ocean Craft

Have easy to prep ocean crafts for speech therapy to use in your whole class lessons or small groups.

This craft pairs well with the following books:

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck 

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

Crab Craft To Use in Speech Therapy

This crab craft has a lot of possibilities to be used as a therapy tool after your students create it!

It would help if you had a paper plate, red paint, and construction paper. Print out your ocean images or pictures of your student’s speech words. Have ocean-themed vocabulary words to glue on the inside of the crab included in the ocean language activities unit. Or, you can use the Any Craft Companion to print out speech or language targets.

Your students will paint the plate red and cut out crab legs with red construction paper. Glue the speech or language targets on the inside of the craft. Once the paint is dry, students can use the crab to catch things with their mouth. So, pull out your flashcards and have your students feed the crab the cards after practicing. Or, your students can follow directions with their crabs!

Watch the Crab Craft Tutorial on YouTube

Books the Would Pair Well with the Crab Craft

There are several crab-themed books you can use with this craft. Here is a list of them:

You’re a Crab!: A Moody Day Book by Jenny Whitehead

The Brave Little Crab by Beth Costanza

The Happy Snappy Crab by Tiger Tales

If you want to have visual supports with this craft to use on the SMARTboard or laptop, you can get access to Visual Themed Crafts in the Themed Therapy SLP membership re-opening summer 2022. You can get on the waitlist HERE so you don’t miss any details. 


Jellyfish Ocean Craft for Speech Therapy

With this jellyfish craft, you can work on basic concepts and follow directions after you make it!

The blue streamers can help your students understand the verbs “sway’ and “float” while moving the jellyfish craft up, down, high, low, right, left, and around.

Cut a paper plate in half and either paint or glue blue construction paper to the plate. Then, cut out blue streamers to be the jellyfish’s tentacles.

Students can write their speech or language words on the back or use the Any Craft Companion to glue them on the craft.

Books to Pair with This Jellyfish Craft

You can use Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae because it features a jellyfish in the book. If you are looking for some books specifically with jellyfish in the storyline, check out these:

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

I am Not a Fish! by Peter Raymundo

Jellyfish (A Day in the Life: Sea Animals) by Louise Spilsbury

If you are looking for more craft ideas to use in your speech therapy sessions, check out these easy paper plate craft ideas!

3 Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

3 Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

Remember when we were all learning how to use Facebook for the first time (then learning it again when it changed! Oh the confusion!). If you are a new themester SLP, it’s possible you’re feeling just as overwhelmed learning a new style of therapy with your caseload. What’s great about themed therapy is you can easily take a single theme and use it across a lot of different ages and goals. This will help you streamline your planning and take the overwhelming out of planning. 


If you’re feeling like choosing a theme is like a buffet, there are so many choices that it makes it hard to pick just one, then this blog post will definitely help you narrow down choices.

What to Do When You are Lacking Inspiration for Your Next Theme

If you are struggling with what theme to do next, check out this blog post where I share 30 of my TOP fave themes for therapy. Plus, you can grab a FREE themed therapy idea guide for easy planning. It comes with an editable themed therapy planner to help you keep notes on what you did in therapy. Check it out HERE

Three Tips For Using Themes Across Your Caseload

 If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

The first thing you will want to think about is picking a theme that is going to be interesting for your younger and your older students. When you pick a theme that’s interesting for multiple age groups, you will cut down on a ton of your planning time. When you use this strategy, you only have to pick one theme you want to do with your upper and lower elementary students.

For example, a camping theme and a plant life cycle theme will be relevant and interesting for your younger and older students. Check out how to adapt these themes here and here.

Tip #2 Use One Themed Therapy Activity to Target Many Goals

It can be easy to tell yourself that you need a different activity to specifically target each of your student’s goals. This is the #1 to increase your planning time. The beauty of themed therapy activities is you can pick one themed activity that is open-ended enough to target a ton of goals.

To do this, you prep one activity that can be adapted for the different skills you want to target depending on the students you are working with. With less individual activity prep, you can plan engaging lessons efficiently. Check out this penguin sensory bin or this windsock craft for example of how you prep one material or activity for a wide range of goals.

 If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

#3 Tip: Re-Use Materials Week After Week

If you are struggling with themed therapy planning across your elementary caseload, check out this blog post with 3 tips on how to streamline your themed therapy planning.

Reuse, reuse, reuse! Don’t be afraid to use the same materials week after week. Switching up the materials slightly will make them feel novel to your student and will be very easy prep work for you. For example, when using themed vocabulary or verb cards such as the ones in the seasonal grammar and vocabulary sets, you can use magnetic wands to make it different.

In one session, you put different amounts of magnetic chips under the cards and the student who gets the most chips at the end wins. In the following session, add themed game cards (hint: check out the blog post for the free printables) to the task cards. Lay them out on the table and have students select. If they get a popsicle, for example, they get to keep it. But, if there is a sun behind their card, they lose a popsicle. Whoever has the most at the end wins.

How do you adapt materials so that you can reuse them? Share your best therapy tips in the comments.

Ready to Start Experiencing the Benefits of Themed Therapy?

If you are spending a painful amount of time planning for your caseload at school, after school, and at home, then I have great news for you! A Themed Therapy Planning How-To Course for the Busy SLP is now available until March 17th. You can earn clinical maintenance hours for your ASHA and state license while also becoming a rockstar at efficiently planning themed therapy for your Prek-5th grade caseload. Want to learn more about joining? Check out all the details HERE


7 Places to Find Props for Your Themes

7 Places to Find Props for Your Themes

Looking for a way to level up your students’ engagement during your themed therapy lessons? Look no more, themester SLP! I LOVE incorporating themed therapy props into my lessons, and my students love using them. A themed therapy prop is a toy or item that relates to your theme or the characters in your theme-related books. For example, when doing a snowman theme, I always love using the book, “Sneezy the Snowman.” So, I decided to find a plush snowman toy to use as a themed prop for story retell. You can read this BLOG post to learn how to make your own snowman story prop kit

Before you go looking for themed therapy props, keep in mind that you don’t need to break the bank to make your theme a success. Many times you can use items you already have from toy sets or household items as a prop for the themed activity. 

Some of the product links in this blog are my Amazon affiliate link. Whenever you use an affiliate link, I will earn a commission from the product at no additional cost to you!

How Can the Themed Therapy Prop Be Used in Speech Therapy

There are tons of ways you can use themed therapy props across your lessons. Here are just some of my favorite ways to incorporate props into speech therapy:

  1. Use your small toys and items as story props while you read your themed book. Check out how I used a hedgehog for the book Apple Trouble here
  2. Props are a great way to act out verb actions with your students. 
  3. Use the themed therapy prop to demonstrate basic concepts. For example, these penguin figurines and styrofoam for showing on top, bottom, on/off, next to, behind, in front, first, and last (will send link to that blog post when done.)
  4. Answer “what” and “where” questions with the props. If you have a turkey, you can put items in front of the turkey and ask the students, “What is the turkey holding?” To see more ideas for using a turkey in your sessions, check out this post.

7 Places to Find Props for Themed Therapy

  1. This may sound crazy, but you must check out the dog sections at Ross, TJ Maxx, or Amazon. I found the St. Patrick’s Day dog toys at TJ Maxx and this fun squirrel log toy on Amazon from Zippy Paws. Because I LOVE doing a squirrel theme every year, it was worth the purchase for me.
  2. Oriental Trading Company has tons of small toys and items that will be perfect for your themed therapy props! This is where I found my plush snowman (Amazon also has lots of great plush toys).
  3. Beanie Babies – You can find a LOT of characters for books or themes like ocean animals, pets, or arctic animals. Plus, you may be able to borrow some from your own kids stash!
  4. Kohl CARES has great character plush toys that go with some of your favorites like the caterpillar for “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, which is great for an insect theme.
Increase engagement using props to your themed therapy activities! Check out all the places to find themed therapy props.

5. Get ready to Thrift! Thrift stores can be an affordable solution for finding themed figurines or plush toys. Just recently, I was able to snag a bunch of puppy plush toys for my dog-themed unit.

6. Join and scour some Mom Facebook Groups – Join some local mom Facebook groups and put a post out for some items you may be looking for using in therapy. When you add that you are an SLP and need it for kids, I bet some mom’s will clean out their closet for you!

7. Give the Dollar Tree and 5 Below a visit. You can look at these discount stores for toy props to use with your themes. If you have students with special interests such as Peppa Pig, you can find some Peppa props from 5 Below. Have Peppa participate in the themed play unit, like taking care of pets. Or, Peppa can go visit the penguins! Dollar Tree always has seasonal props for holidays and times of the year. For example, in the spring, you can always find props and items for your insect themed unit

Want help with Planning Your Themed Therapy Sessions?

In need of some more tips on how to plan themed therapy lessons for your elementary caseload, I want to invite you to a FREE LIVE webinar training where I share a simple framework to help you plan your sessions efficiently. No more analysis paralysis when it comes to figuring out what you will do in therapy!

 Increase engagement using props to your themed therapy activities! Check out all the places to find themed therapy props.

Where Do You Find Props for Themes?

Do you have a favorite source for themed therapy props? Let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from other SLP’s and learning about new places to look for fun toys for my students!

5 Year-Round Preschool Themes

5 Year-Round Preschool Themes

You’ve heard me talk about how awesome themed therapy is for managing your caseload…but let’s be honest real quick. Using holiday and season based themes can get redundant and just a tad boring for us SLP’s. A great way to keep therapy fun for your students and you is to switch up your themes! These 5 year round preschool themes are perfect for changing up your theme routine – they’ll even work perfectly for your early elementary students!

Themes Relevant to Your Students Daily Lives

1. Community Helpers – Our students interact with community helpers on a daily basis. From the mailman, to the firefighter, to the librarian, a community helpers theme will provide a natural context for your students to learn about neighborhood and city members. Check out my community helpers unit for everything you will need to fit this theme into your school year. I love using the community helpers theme with my students, which is why I’ve included it in my Themed Therapy SLP membership!

2. Food – Food is a great year-round theme that will help you cover tons of language skills with your students. If you’re looking for a great way to incorporate play therapy into your lesson plans, food is the perfect theme to use. Your students interact with food related vocabulary every single day, which makes it super meaningful and important to your students.

Beyond vocabulary you can target categories and sub-categories (ex. baking, breakfast, lunch, dinner, fruits/veggies, dessert, snack, etc). Don’t forget to check out my tips on how to use play food in your therapy here! If you have a cookie baking set, but you’re unsure how to use it in a variety of ways, then I got you covered! Check out my cookie baking blog post for ideas you can easily incorporate into your therapy.

Year-Round Theme That is Great for Pragmatic Language

3. Kindness/friendship theme – You can do this theme any time of the year, but it’s really great for February and back to school season. You can discuss character traits of kindness, and it is easy to adapt with books, toys, and activities. You can also make these FREE kindness activity wallet crafts to discuss how to show kindness.

Animals and Dinosaurs are Great for Themed Smashing

Need some ideas for year-round preschool themes that will help you plan engaging speech therapy sessions? Check out these 5 year-round themes to do anytime throughout the school year.

4. Animals – You can really hit a lot of goals while describing animals and categorizing them by pets, land, water, or body parts. Plus, they go great with a LOT of play therapy toys, so you can incorporate them easily. When using animals as a theme, you can also theme smash or build off a previous theme! For example, if you did a theme about chores, your next theme could be about taking care of pets. Or, it could be specifically for how to care for dogs.

As the year goes on, you can do more animal themes such as ocean animals, arctic animals, zoo animals, birds, or pets. LOTS of these animal themes are part of the Themed Therapy SLP membership  (get on the waitlist for when it re-opens.) If you’re in need of some language activities for dog a unit, grab my lesson plan guide for that theme in my store. You can also check out these Boom cards for how to wash a dog to target those sequencing skills with your students.

5. Dinosaurs – Kids LOVE playing with dinosaurs. They are the coolest creatures to talk about any time of the year! If your students have a special interest in dinosaurs, you can also theme smash by having the dinosaurs crash the party with other themes. For example, if you are doing a winter theme, have the dinosaurs build a snowman or go skiing down the slopes. Plus, dinosaurs are great for syllable counting, verb actions, describing, and a prop for teaching basic concepts. Check out my dinosaur push-in guide, which is perfect for your whole class groups or the stations you’re running with the teacher.

Need some ideas for year-round preschool themes that will help you plan engaging speech therapy sessions? Check out these 5 year-round themes to do anytime throughout the school year.

Need Support With Planning Themed Therapy Sessions?

If figuring out how to plan themed therapy sessions is like trying out a new Pinterest recipe for the first time, I have good news for you! A Themed Therapy Planning How-To Course for the Busy SLP is coming on March 8th. You can earn clinical maintenance hours for your ASHA and state license while also becoming a rockstar at efficiently planning themed therapy for your Prek-5th grade caseload. Sign up for the waitlist HERE.

What Year-Round Themes Do Your Students Love?

I would love to know what year-round themes your students love to participate with in your sessions? What do you do in your session that they love the most? Let me know in the comments because SLPs are always on the lookout for new strategies and tools to add to their therapy sessions.

Many of the themes mentioned in this blog post are GREAT for using longer than a week. Check out this Real Talk SLP podcast episode on why using a theme for 2-4 weeks can help you and your students!

Need some ideas for year-round preschool themes that will help you plan engaging speech therapy sessions? Check out these 5 year-round themes to do anytime throughout the school year.

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