Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Ways to Use Those Articulation Card Decks

We all have a pile of articulation card decks laying around, right? I love using card decks in therapy because it's very little prep for me. But what do you do with them? They are great for kill and drill- just keep flipping cards! But we just can't kill and drill every session. So here are some things I love to do with my articulation cards.

1.) Rock Paper Scissors - we lay down a pile of 5 or so cards between two students or between a student and myself. Then we play a quick game of Rock Paper Scissors. Whoever wins, keeps the cards - after saying the words of course! At the end of the sessions, whoever has the most cards wins.

2.) Matching - this is a pretty commonly used one. Just arrange the cards on a table and try to find matches - memory style.

3.) Speed - Lay out 10-15 cards, picture side up. Then you say the name of one of the pictures on the cards. The students race to find that card first and add it to their pile. When they've collected all the cards, have the students label the picture cards in their pile.

4.) 52 Card Pick Up- Simply toss the cards on the floor and have them grab as many as they can until they pick them all up. Whoever was able to grab the most wins - but each student has to say all the words on the cards they picked up.

5.) War - Each student has a pile of cards. They lay down cards one at a time. Whichever has the word with the most letters wins that round. You could also go by which word would come first in alphabetical order - just be careful if you have one student working on /f/ and one of /z/! But the students have to say the word on each card they lay down. This is great for mixed groups because each child can have a set of cards with their specific sound.

6.) Go Fish – play the game just like you would regular Go Fish, but make sure to have the student correct the speech sound errors he/she makes when asking for cards.

7.) Hide and Seek – hide the cards around the room and have the student look for them. As he/she finds them, have him/her label the pictures. Remember to correct any errors he/she makes. You can change it up by turning out the lights and using a flashlight to find the cards. You can also time this game. How many cards can they find in 1 minute? Keep track and see if they can beat their record!

8.) Roads/Tracks – Help your student lay out the cards to make roads or tracks. You can practice the words as you are laying them down. Then have him/her drive toy cars or trains over the words as he/she says them

9.) Guessing game – describe the picture/word on the card to your child. Have the student guess what you are describing. Remember to correct any speech sound errors he/she makes. You can also switch roles and have him/her describe the item to you.

10.) I spy – Lay all the cards out. Describe one of the cards using the “I spy” format. For example, “I spy something you can eat.” Or “I spy something that lives in a zoo.” Have the student guess what you are seeing. Remember to correct his/her speech sounds as needed. You can also switch roles during this game, too!

11.) Board Games – use these cards while playing your favorite board games. Just have the student practice saying the word on a card before taking his/her turn. I would limit this to 1-2 cards per turn so that he/she stays motivated to play!

I often print out flashcards from Boardmaker in black and white that the students can color themselves. I print out two sets and we spend a couple sessions coloring and cutting them out. Then I send them home with a parent handout that includes many of the ideas I listed above. You can find the parent handout here. It's a freebie!

I hope this gave you a few new ideas to use in therapy! Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Spring Speech Therapy Plans

 Hi friends! We did it! We survived winter! I'm starting to get ready my Spring therapy plans and thought I'd share some of my ideas with you. Hope you can find something useful for your therapy room. 

For no prep speech and language, homework packets, and remote learning packets; I'll be using the following two products. Both are from TpT store and are primarily print & use products.

For articulation therapy, I'll throw in some spinner articulation worksheets. I'll probably use the bug ones in therapy and send the frog ones home for homework/extra practice. 

I'll use these two activities for my sensory bin/interactive articulation activities. 

Flower Garden Speech & Language by The Dabbling Speech

For Parent Communication, I'll use these handouts from Speech Room News for my preschoolers/Kindergarteners. 

I'll use my dicut parent handouts with flower dicuts for my older students. 

I will pair the following games w/ various flashcards, articulation practice, etc to motivate some of my kiddos!

1.) Grow Garden Grow - I'm not even sure where you can find this game. I found mine at a local Goodwill. It has been a huge hit! If you run across this game at a thrift store or yard sale, grab it! It's great!

2.) Giggle Wiggle - This game is always a hit. It does have some pretty annoying sound effects, so be prepared for that! :) But it's great for incorporating some fine motor practice into speech therapy as well. And the kids are super motivated by it. 

3.) Cootie Game - I love cootie. I use it with my kiddos who use AAC. Instead of playing the game, I have them ask for specific body parts to build their cootie. It's also great for answering questions with the AAC device. ("what color?" "do you want a hat or antennas?" "do you want shoes or no shoes?", etc)

4.) Snail Pace Race - Another highly motivating game for my kiddos. You can also sneak in some practice on color words. 

5.) I'll also be doing this frog hop game that I posted about here

6.) And, of course, Let's Go Fishing. As much as I hate this game, it is highly motivating for my kids! 

I also love books in therapy! Here are some that I will be using throughout my Spring unit. 

As far as play based therapy goes, here are some of the items we will be using:

I love this Flower Garden Toy. It is great to work on describing (colors, height, big/little, pointy/rounded petals, etc). I can also use it to target following directions, spatial concepts, turn taking, and cooperative play. I also use it to target asking questions ("can I have a pink flower?"). 

We also do some bug smashing. I just grab a fly swatter and some plastic bugs. The kids can practice hitting the bugs with the fly swatter or stomping on them. It's great for those kids that are working on imitating some basic sounds - ew, squish, ick, etc. I can also work on describing, following directions, waiting, etc. 

I hope you found something fun and exciting to add to your therapy plans. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Book Review: Ten Fingers Ten Toes

 I'm back with another book review! "Ten Fingers Ten Toes - 20 Things Everyone Needs to Know" by Karen Pryor. This book was recommended to me by one of our pediatric occupational therapists. I have attended continuing education events held by Karen Pryor and have always learned so much, so I jumped right in! 

The book starts out with a thorough review of the brain and the principles of neuroplasticity. Then it jumps right in to strategies. It's definitely geared towards occupational therapy and physical therapy - more so than speech therapy. However, I totally expected that! But there are some really great take aways for SLPs, too. If you are working in Early Intervention, you DEFINITELY need to read this book! I learned so many things that I need to be looking for to determine if a referral to OT or PT is warranted. 

I also learned several things that can improve my own therapy. For example, I am definitely not using music enough in therapy. I also added several strategies for engaging multiple brain systems at once to improve learning for my patients. 

The book also gives some excellent information about WHY certain things happen in our brains and with our babies. It left me feeling like I could explain these things to parents more easily and thoroughly. However, I would NOT recommend this book to parents. I feel as though you need some background knowledge in neurology to understand the book. However, I don't believe that the author intended this book to be a reference manual for parents. 

OTs, PTs, and Early Interventionists should definitely add this to their library!