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.
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:
Work on sequencing steps for cleaning a cut, wrapping a broken bone, grooming the pet, or doing a check-up.
Work on CORE vocabulary with AAC to work on open, close, go, stop, need, want, my turn, and your turn.
Work on following directions with basic concepts and prepositions.
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.
Put items behind the doors to work on inferencing.
Compare/contrast the different doctor tools and/or animals.
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.
Work on story retell and have the child tell a story to their sick animal.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
Turn-taking and waiting: Students can practice basic social skill requests and comments while playing with the bubbles.
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.”
Use as a reinforcer: The student has to practice target stimulus items and then gets a chance to blow bubbles.
Describe bubbles by attributes.
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
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.
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.
Answer and teach simple “Who” questions: Who has the wand? Who is popping the bubbles?
Play Red Light, Green Light with bubbles to teach CORE vocabulary for “stop” and “go.”
Build sentence structures: The bubble is floating in the sky. The bubbles are under the table.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 thisfarmhouse 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 outthis 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 canread 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.
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 theCreate-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:
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 email@example.com.
My students are very engaged by tiny trinkets. When I pull out the trinkets, my student’s are motivated for the speech or language activity! I have used dinky doodad trinkets to target a lot of different speech and language goals. And, I love that younger elementary and older elementary students like using them. When you can find resources that can be adapted across a lot of goals and ages, you seriously have a therapy material winner.
What are your favorite toys, games or materials that really give ya that bang for your buck? You know, those resources that cover a lot of needs on your caseload that you use all the time? I would love to know in the comments, so I can add them to my therapy stash. Today, I want to share about how much dinky doodad trinkets have become one of those bang for your buck resources. They are very versatile and kid approved.
Ways To Use Toys With Dinky Doodads In Speech Therapy
Use Mr. Potato Head, little people, stuffed animals or the students in your group to work on pronouns with dinky doodads! For more ideas on how to use the toy, Mrs. Potato Head, check out this blog post.
Let the students pick out 5-10 items that they want. Then, line up the items among the he/she toys. Each student can pick which item they want to talk about. For example, “She has the egg.” This will work on “pronoun markers” and “has/have” simultaneously. Or you can target answering basic “who” questions. Who has the corn? Who has the egg?
Go on an egg hunt and stick trinkets inside the eggs. After the kids find the eggs, they can sort the items by categories using my FREE category visuals. You can of course hide these trinkets in different types of containers. Plus, you can work on the basic concepts in/out with a sentence frame “The _____ is in the egg.” If you need more ideas for working on categories and struggling with where to start in therapy, I have a great blog post with lots of tips you can see HERE.
Make A Dinky Doodads Speech Therapy Sensory Bin
Make an “I Spy” sensory bin! There are a lot of different ways to use this sensory bin. One way is to make an articulation station activity. Seriously, this is probably my most used sensory bin and was the easiest to make once my dinky doodad order arrived!
You can also use this “I Spy” sensory bin to work on category groups and noun function. Or you can use the sensory bin as an articulation station. While you are working with other students in the group, have your students look for trinkets with his/her sound. Then, they can practice using the trinket in a carrier phrase. Need this articulation mats? Click the pink button for your FREE set. My second favorite sensory bin to use is my treasure hunt bin. I use kinetic sand and hide the dinky doodads in the sand. Check out this post to read more.
For more language ideas on how to use this sensory bin and to grab this FREE category game, check out my post I did HERE. I would love to see your sensory bin in action! You can always tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie and use the #slpsensorybin to inspire other SLPs.
Create Sentences With Dinky Doodads To Build Language
I will use my speech and language sentence strips with dinky doodads. You can have your students practice his/her sounds with specific sentence frames that have the student’s sound such as “Brendon drew a picture of a/an ________”. The sentence strips also contain compare/contrast visuals that I use to work on describing similarities and differences.
Her companion also has sheets to work on a lot of other skills in therapy!
How Do You Use Dinky Doodads in Speech Therapy?
I would love to know how you are using dinky doodads in speech! You know I am all about adding therapy ideas to my speech toolkit, so share in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, I want to share how to use beach balls in speech therapy. Don’t you love using toys/materials that are easy to find and under $5? I do. During this time of year, you can find beach balls at most stores, especially places like the Dollar Spot or Dollar Tree. Most kids love playing with balls. Beach balls are light weight and won’t likely break something.
Beach Ball Crafts For Kids
I saw this idea for a beach ball craft for kids on pinterest from Glued To My Crafts and thought it could make a great speech therapy activity!
Beach Ball Language Therapy Ideas
Work on visually showing your students how conjunction words connect two sentences together.
Take your therapy outside and go on a language challenge! Place the beach ball in various locations on the playground. Before the students can pick it up, they have to make a sentence about the beach ball such as “The beach ball is on the steps.”
Work on answering “who” “what” and “where” questions with the beach ball. Some of my students with more significant language impairments struggle with understanding the meaning of the question words. I start with teaching these question words in very simple and visual ways. For example, you can use the students in the group and have one student hold the beach ball. Then, you can ask “Who is holding the beach ball?” If your student needs support even with the choices, you can visually cue the student.
Put velcro dots (amazon affiliate link) on your beach ball and put articulation pics, category pics or any vocabulary words on the beach ball with velcro. You can put my FREE category visual cards on a beach ball with the velcro dots. Have the kids name category items as they take the pictures off the beach ball.
Use Beach Balls To Increase Functional Communication
Use a student’s communication device or low tech communication boards to target CORE vocabulary. You can target MORE, GO, ON, OFF, WANT, LIKE while playing with the beach ball.
-Throw the beach ball back and forth working on my/your turn with CORE boards.
-Throw the beach ball “up, down, over, under” or against the wall in your speech room.
-Teach different verbs with the beach ball such as “throw”, “toss”, “roll”, and “hit”.
-Play bowling with the beach ball to work on “up/down, again, all done.”
Play Beach Ball Simon Says
I love using the game Simon Says to teach “verbs” and “basic concepts”. It is also great for teaching basic turn taking in conversation, following another person’s plan and initiating communication.
Beach balls and pool noodles are great materials for having students demonstrate “basic concepts”. In the picture below, I show how you can use pool noodles and a beach ball to show “between”.
Beach Balls in Speech Therapy – Ideas From Other SLPs
SLP Natalie Snyders has three easy ideas for how to use beach balls in speech therapy that you can check out HERE.
Need an idea for your social skill groups? I love how Crazy Speech World made this fun conversation activity with a beach ball that you can check out HERE.
What are your Beach Ball Speech Therapy Ideas?
I would love to know if you have any speech therapy ideas using beach balls? Share your idea in the comments below.
Need more speech therapy ideas for specific materials/toys? Here are some more blog posts I have written on specific toys or materials: