Storybook Manipulatives Hack

I love using storybook manipulatives to help bring a story to life, but buying them already made can be really pricey and creating your own can take for.ev.er. Here’s a quick and easy hack that solves the problem. I bought doubles of classic fairytale board books at my local Dollar Store (yes, you need doubles, but they’re a DOLLAR). Next, take a deep breath because we are going to deface books. Using regular scissors, cut out the primary picture on each page (you need double copies of the book so you can get both the image on the front and

Read More »

Basketball Themed Speech for March Madness

I cannot express the passion for basketball that a lot of my students, make that North Carolinians, have. March with its nearly constant game action thanks to March Madness often has me adopting an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude. Here are a few of the activities that will be going on in my room. Trashcan basketball is a no brainer and can be used as open-ended reinforcement for any skill. Whether you simply toss crumpled paper into the trash, buy a hoop to mount on the trashcan or go all out on mini basketballs and a hoop

Read More »

Working on Pronouns in Speech

I love a little mailbox.  I have a couple for the holidays and a bunch more for Valentine’s Day. Recently, I picked up a little mail set from the Target Dollar Spot and I’m thinking I need want a more generic mailbox for that. Lately, I’ve been working on pronouns. Over and over on pronouns. Personal pronouns and all the possessive pronouns too. You can pop into the Dollar Tree and pick up boxes of little Valentines with all of the popular characters on them. I grabbed Disney princess, Paw Patrol and Justice League. Put a label on three mini mailboxes

Read More »

Setting Boundaries with Parents

Does Balance Seem Elusive? While it’s tempting to throw yourself into involved productivity regimes and distract yourself creating pretty schedules with “family” and “work out” allocated primary spots, the issue isn’t time management.  It’s boundaries. In my experience, boundary setting is particularly tough for those in caregiving professions and particularly for women. And while boundary setting is tough, it’s a learned skill. One that gets easier over time and pays huge dividends in your mental health. A few general tips: Be straightforward in your delivery. Maintain eye contact and project a calm demeanor. Breathe! Expect you may need to repeat

Read More »

Games to Develop Theory of Mind

There are a number of classic games to develop theory of mind. Have you ever picked up a student and had them launch into the middle of a story, usually a movie or show they’ve watched, but you can’t follow it because you have no frame of reference? Theory of mind is the understanding of another person’s perspective, emotions, knowledge or beliefs and that they may not match your own.  This includes the ability to recognize that our experience gives us unique information and we need to accommodate this difference in our communication. Sometimes this means filling in information a

Read More »

Re-purposing and Recycling Holiday Debris

As we move into the last week before winter break, I wanted to offer a few reminders about items you might want to save to use in therapy during the months ahead or to hold on to for next December. Wrapping tubes: Those thick cardboard tubes that wrapping paper comes on make for exciting tube tunnels for Hot Wheels cars year round! The wider ones are also good storage for posters or other large paper items. Bubble wrap: Here’s a quick way to transform a sheet of Super Duper artic words into something a lot more motivating—simply place it on

Read More »

Using Wind-up Toys in Speech (Beyond “More”)

Wind-up toys and speech therapy go together like peanut butter and jelly (or chocolate and wine, depending on your leanings).  But often therapists who see students older than toddlers/preschoolers tend to pass these mechanical gems by because they assume that they’re best suited for “more” and other basic communication requests. Not even close! Wind-up toys are one of my go-to activities for all ages because they offer a brief, real-life animation.  Here’s how I use them: Vocabulary: You can find seasonal wind-up toys especially for Halloween, Christmas/winter and spring that allow for a memorable, interactive experience. Match the wind-up toy

Read More »

Sweet Gingerbread Activities for Speech and Language

Gingerbread themed activities in the speech room allow you to incorporate a seasonal theme in December that isn’t holiday specific. In my room, I’ve planned these fun treats: Candy construction: I found this set from Learning Resources which is basically an adorable candy version of Tinker Toys. I’ve transferred all of the pieces to a large Ziploc bag and hidden the box and directions for later storage because I plan to use this with my friends working on social skills. I already know they can follow a construction plan (can they ever!) and I’d like them to work on planning

Read More »

Tossing Games: A List of Seasonal Ideas

One of the easiest activities to have going in your room year-round is tossing games. Open-ended reinforcement for any skill, I use tossing games on days when we have just a couple of minutes at the end or if I don’t have something particular planned (which especially happens when I’m working someone else in on a cancellation) or if what I did plan isn’t really working out and now I need to pivot to something that makes us feel more successful or if we have an open day where I don’t want to start a totally new goal right before

Read More »

6 Ideas for Engaging Older Speech Students

Blogs and Pinterest are loaded with adorable ideas for sensory bins and games targeting our preschool and elementary aged kiddos, but what about those older speech students? While some might argue that at that point they need to really buckle down and master those concepts or sounds independently, I’m not sure that the ideas are mutually exclusive. I’m an adult and one with a pretty traditional learning style, but I’ll definitely stick with lessons longer—and try harder—if I’m enjoying myself along the way.  The nice thing is adding some excitement to older speech student sessions is really low prep. Stage

Read More »

Storybook Manipulatives Hack

I love using storybook manipulatives to help bring a story to life, but buying them already made can be really pricey and creating your own can take for.ev.er. Here’s a quick and easy hack that solves the problem. I bought doubles of classic fairytale board books at my local Dollar Store (yes, you need doubles, but they’re a DOLLAR). Next, take a deep breath because we are going to deface books. Using regular scissors, cut out the primary picture on each page (you need double copies of the book so you can get both the image on the front and

Read More »

Basketball Themed Speech for March Madness

I cannot express the passion for basketball that a lot of my students, make that North Carolinians, have. March with its nearly constant game action thanks to March Madness often has me adopting an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude. Here are a few of the activities that will be going on in my room. Trashcan basketball is a no brainer and can be used as open-ended reinforcement for any skill. Whether you simply toss crumpled paper into the trash, buy a hoop to mount on the trashcan or go all out on mini basketballs and a hoop

Read More »

Working on Pronouns in Speech

I love a little mailbox.  I have a couple for the holidays and a bunch more for Valentine’s Day. Recently, I picked up a little mail set from the Target Dollar Spot and I’m thinking I need want a more generic mailbox for that. Lately, I’ve been working on pronouns. Over and over on pronouns. Personal pronouns and all the possessive pronouns too. You can pop into the Dollar Tree and pick up boxes of little Valentines with all of the popular characters on them. I grabbed Disney princess, Paw Patrol and Justice League. Put a label on three mini mailboxes

Read More »

Setting Boundaries with Parents

Does Balance Seem Elusive? While it’s tempting to throw yourself into involved productivity regimes and distract yourself creating pretty schedules with “family” and “work out” allocated primary spots, the issue isn’t time management.  It’s boundaries. In my experience, boundary setting is particularly tough for those in caregiving professions and particularly for women. And while boundary setting is tough, it’s a learned skill. One that gets easier over time and pays huge dividends in your mental health. A few general tips: Be straightforward in your delivery. Maintain eye contact and project a calm demeanor. Breathe! Expect you may need to repeat

Read More »

Games to Develop Theory of Mind

There are a number of classic games to develop theory of mind. Have you ever picked up a student and had them launch into the middle of a story, usually a movie or show they’ve watched, but you can’t follow it because you have no frame of reference? Theory of mind is the understanding of another person’s perspective, emotions, knowledge or beliefs and that they may not match your own.  This includes the ability to recognize that our experience gives us unique information and we need to accommodate this difference in our communication. Sometimes this means filling in information a

Read More »

Re-purposing and Recycling Holiday Debris

As we move into the last week before winter break, I wanted to offer a few reminders about items you might want to save to use in therapy during the months ahead or to hold on to for next December. Wrapping tubes: Those thick cardboard tubes that wrapping paper comes on make for exciting tube tunnels for Hot Wheels cars year round! The wider ones are also good storage for posters or other large paper items. Bubble wrap: Here’s a quick way to transform a sheet of Super Duper artic words into something a lot more motivating—simply place it on

Read More »

Using Wind-up Toys in Speech (Beyond “More”)

Wind-up toys and speech therapy go together like peanut butter and jelly (or chocolate and wine, depending on your leanings).  But often therapists who see students older than toddlers/preschoolers tend to pass these mechanical gems by because they assume that they’re best suited for “more” and other basic communication requests. Not even close! Wind-up toys are one of my go-to activities for all ages because they offer a brief, real-life animation.  Here’s how I use them: Vocabulary: You can find seasonal wind-up toys especially for Halloween, Christmas/winter and spring that allow for a memorable, interactive experience. Match the wind-up toy

Read More »

Sweet Gingerbread Activities for Speech and Language

Gingerbread themed activities in the speech room allow you to incorporate a seasonal theme in December that isn’t holiday specific. In my room, I’ve planned these fun treats: Candy construction: I found this set from Learning Resources which is basically an adorable candy version of Tinker Toys. I’ve transferred all of the pieces to a large Ziploc bag and hidden the box and directions for later storage because I plan to use this with my friends working on social skills. I already know they can follow a construction plan (can they ever!) and I’d like them to work on planning

Read More »

Tossing Games: A List of Seasonal Ideas

One of the easiest activities to have going in your room year-round is tossing games. Open-ended reinforcement for any skill, I use tossing games on days when we have just a couple of minutes at the end or if I don’t have something particular planned (which especially happens when I’m working someone else in on a cancellation) or if what I did plan isn’t really working out and now I need to pivot to something that makes us feel more successful or if we have an open day where I don’t want to start a totally new goal right before

Read More »

6 Ideas for Engaging Older Speech Students

Blogs and Pinterest are loaded with adorable ideas for sensory bins and games targeting our preschool and elementary aged kiddos, but what about those older speech students? While some might argue that at that point they need to really buckle down and master those concepts or sounds independently, I’m not sure that the ideas are mutually exclusive. I’m an adult and one with a pretty traditional learning style, but I’ll definitely stick with lessons longer—and try harder—if I’m enjoying myself along the way.  The nice thing is adding some excitement to older speech student sessions is really low prep. Stage

Read More »