“Feed Me” games for speech therapy are classics because they:
- are easy to set up
- engage kids for a long time
While they are most often used for articulation trials, they can be used for a wide range of language goals too. Ready to add a “feed me” game to your speech therapy room? Let’s get started!
What you need
At it’s most basic, you’ll need something that “eats” and food to feed it, but that leaves space for a lot of creativity!
As an Amazon affiliate, I may receive a small commission if you purchase products through my links. There is no additional charge to you!
Hand puppets: Puppets give you a very wide range of options that can be tailored to your own preferences or the interests of your little ones. Dinosaurs and cute animals are always popular. Cookie monster is a classic choice. Or choose one that matches your school mascot! HABA makes an option that has a “belly bag” so the puppet can “swallow” small objects. While the opening may not work for everything (think cards), it will handle miniatures.
Younger students usually prefer the soft puppets. If you work with older children, you might want to invest in a couple of those somewhat creepy latex hand puppets. These are usually more realistic looking and often come in dinosaur, shark and other “extreme” characters.
Table top or desk top garbage cans: While these aren’t the cute feed me characters you might expect, little ones are endlessly fascinated with garbage cans with swinging lids. Amazon has a wide assortment of options and you’ll find them at Target and dollar stores as well. I’ve had several students over the years who are really into trash and recycling. This set is similar to one I have.
Tissue boxes: A quick search will show you a bunch of tissue box “puppets” that can be used for feed me games. This inexpensive option allows you to print any face you choose, cut a large mouth opening and attach it giving it lots of flexibility too. The drawback here is that it’s a hassle to store and a little fragile.
To solve the problem, I started gluing the picture to a thick piece of cardboard. The easiest is to use the back of a notebook pad or the piece they slide into colored paper packets, but you can also cut the size you need from an Amazon box. Cut about a two inch “leg” on either side and a hole for the mouth. Slightly bend the legs backwards to make a standing tripod and there you go! Not only is this MUCH easier to store, but it’s much sturdier. You can set a basket or bowl behind the mouth if you need to (might be helpful if you’re feeding miniatures) but it’s not necessary. I sometimes tape a Ziploc bag upside down to the bag of the character to store matching cards (you have to do it upside down or the opening will be too narrow to make it useable).
Want to try this hack yourself? Grab a free copy of this adorable howler monkey and a set of delicious bananas here.
How to use Feed Me games
The magic of making something disappear, which seems to be the allure of feed me games, makes it a perfect activity for things that are a little mundane and that you need to do a lot. Anyone else thinking articulation trials?
Articulation trials are the most common feed me activities! Try feeding articulation miniatures or cards.
Looking for some characters and themed articulation cards? Check these out!
But don’t stop there! Use your feed me character to target a host of language goals:
Categories: Have your character only eat one “kind” of food, let’s say furniture. Put a pile of mini objects or cards with a combination of furniture items mixed into an assortment of animals, foods, etc. Have your student(s) sort and feed furniture only. Maybe they only like to eat appliances for dessert.
Concepts: Gather a group of object pairs in two different sizes to have your student work on big and little. Assign one size to the character, “oh, he’s only eating big things today.”
Colors: Gather a bunch of objects in different colors and then choose one that the character is eating today. “He only eats green things on Tuesdays.”
Or try a phonemic awareness task!
Have your students find objects or cards that start with a particular sound. Or have them match rhyming pairs (ex. log, dog) because your puppet only eats things in pairs.
Don’t forget to grab your monkey freebie!