Thursday, December 26, 2013


As a student, I have been given temporary access to the website
For those who have never heard of it, it's a website for therapists which features several pre-made worksheets and customizable templates to download and print.  

It targets different scopes of communication including pragmatics, swallowing, reading, fluency, speech, and voice.

Below, I have highlighted some of my favorite aspects of the site!

  • Start to finish games-In therapy I would write target words in the spaces and would use it like a game board.  For example if my client landed on "rabbit" he would have to say "rabbit" 3 times with a good "r" sound to stay on the space.
  • Bingo-Bingo boards have the option of adding pictures or words to the spaces to target specific sounds/words in therapy.

  • Pennies of praise-These sheets are great motivational tools for therapy.  Clients can be awarded pennies for good behavior or accurate productions.  They love placing their pennies on their fun worksheets.

  • I did it!-These are super fun motivational activities! Cut out the animal's head and stick it onto a paper bag. Kids love "feeding" the animals.

TheraEducate: This section includes tons of handouts describing different communication disorders.  It also provides parent handouts that can be given to the parents of clients.

Check out Therasimplicity with a 14 day free trial!

Sequencing with Mr. Potato Head

What you'll need:
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • Camera to take pictures of Mr. Potato Head in different stages of assembly which are then turned into sequencing cards (optional)

Mr. Potato Head is a great way to target sequencing.  Kids love playing with him and it's a neat alternative to using boring sequencing cards.  Sequencing becomes much more realistic and easy to relate to when they are able to physically put it into practice.

Start off by taking pictures of Mr. Potato Head in a sequence.
In the image above I have taken pictures of Mr. Potato Head with feet, arms, eyes, and a nose and mouth.

First, have your client put the cards in order.  Then allow him to reenact each step.  Have him describe what he is doing as he assembles Mr. Potato Head.

1) "First, put I put his feet on"
2) "Next, I put him arms on"
3) "Then, I put his eyes on"
4) "Lastly, I put his nose and mouth on"

To maximize production, I have my client repeat all 4 steps after he has assembled Mr. Potato Head.

You don't necessarily need to make sequencing cards!  Another way to use Mr. Potato Head is to have your client assemble him in his own way (shoes for example, then eyes, then a hat).  After he is done, ask him: "Tell me what you did" and let them sequence on their own "First I put shoes on him, then I added eyes, lastly I added a hat".

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Angry Bird Says

What you’ll need:
  • Notecards
  • Angry Bird cut outs (or other characters to suit your client’s interests)
  • Marker
  • Glue/tape 

My client loves all things Angry Bird.  These easy to make Angry Bird Says cards worked great to target his past tense regular verbs.  

Glue each character on a different card with a verb that you want to elicit.  Have your client pick a card and perform the action.  For example, they may pick a card that says “jump”.  Have your client jump up and down and explain to them that they are jumping.  After, clearly explain “you are not jumping anymore, you are done.”  Then, ask your client “what did you do?” to elicit the verb “jumped.”

Verb Suggestions:

To elicit past tense regular verbs ending in “t” sound:

  • Jump->Jumped (perform action)
  • Walk->Walked (perform action)
  • Skip->Skipped (perform action)
  • Hop->Hopped (perform action)
  • Wash->Washed (use hand sanitizer)

To elicit past tense regular verbs ending in “d” sound:

  • Clean->Cleaned (use hand sanitizer)
  • Call->Called (make hand into a telephone)
  • Open->Opened (open door)
  • Close->Closed (close door)
  • Smile->Smiled (perform action)

To elicit past tense regular verbs ending in “id” sound:

  • Count->Counted (count to ten)
  • Paint->Painted (pretend to paint on a canvas)
  • Lift->Lifted (lift any object or lift out of chair)
  • Rest->Rested (pretend to sleep)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rice Krispie Treats

I have been looking for ways to target past tense regular verbs in an unstructured way in therapy.  My clinical adviser suggested that I make Rice Krispie Treats with my client to target specific verbs.

What you'll need:
  • Microwave
  • Rice Krispies
  • Marshmellows
  • Butter (I used Country Crock)
  • Instructions/targeted verb cards
I wanted to make these easy treats in the microwave so I used the following recipe:

I printed out my own version of instructions with our targeted verbs and accompanying pictures so that the steps would be easy for my client to follow.

Since we have been working on regular past tense verbs ending in the "t", "d", and "id" sounds I chose the following verbs to target:

Scoop ->"t"
Pour ->"d"
Heat ->"id"
Stir ->"d"
Cook ->"t"
Mix ->"t"
Spray ->"d"
Press ->"t"
Slice ->"t"

While we were working on a step I would emphasize what we were doing: "we are scooping butter."  After we finished that step I would say "we are all done scooping" and ask, "what did we do?"  This made it clear that I was looking for the past tense version of the verb that we were targeting.  If my client got stuck I would remind him what sounds we put on the ends of our action words (in this case a "t" sound->"Scooped").

We worked on production at the sentence level, but the activity could easily be modified for sentences or conversation.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Find it!

You’ll need:
Angry bird cut-outs (or other theme) with targets on the back
A room with easy light switch access

First, create your angry bird cut-outs.  (In therapy we are working on the pronouns “he” and “she” so I glued pictures of girls and boys engaging in different activities on the back of the birds.)  Hang up your angry bird cut outs around your therapy room.  Turn off the lights and let your client use their flashlight to find an angry bird.  I sit right next to the light switch in the therapy room so it is very easy to control.  Once they locate a card, turn the lights back on and work on that card. 

This activity is super easy to set up and is a big hit with clients.  They love the idea of “finding” something and being able to have control of the flashlight.  Plus, it gets them up out of their seat and breaks up drilling.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Penny System

I noticed that one of my clients would constantly "get ahead of himself" when attempting productions.  He would blurt out several sounds at once, hoping one of them would be right.  What he really needed to do was slow down and wait for my modeling.

So next session I turned to the penny system.  I used a strip of paper with Sonic the Hedgehog characters on it.  For each correct production a penny was added to the strip.  We didn't  move on to another word until he earned all 5 pennies.  Simple.

The penny system slowed my client down significantly.  He was more thoughtful with his productions and motivated to earn all 5 pennies.  At the very end of the session I told him that I wanted to hear 2 more good productions and he responded with "no, we need 5!"

The penny system works great for clients who need to slow down their production or could a little extra motivation!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Snakes and Ladders

Targets:  I used this game to target sight words.  But like most therapy activities it could be modified to target almost anything: particular sounds, words, questions...

What you'll need:

  • Computer to create the game board
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Dice (I couldn't find any dice so I downloaded a dice app on my smartphone-he loved getting to use my phone in therapy!)
  • Game pieces (I used two small plastic dinosaurs-you could use almost any small object)

How to create:
I created this game board using a table on a Word document.  I made the squares alternating colors that corresponded to a set of colored cards that I printed out.  After printing, I hand drew the snakes in-though you could easily find a snake graphic online to insert (or any graphic for a theme that suits the child's interests).

For long-lasting use I would recommend laminating the board/cards.  You could use the same board multiple times with numerous clients by having different sets of target words/sounds on hand.
How to play: 
Take turns rolling the dice and moving the pieces accordingly.  For each space landed on, have the child draw a corresponding color card.  The child must at least attempt (or correctly produce) the word on the card to keep his piece on the space.  For maximum production, I had my client draw cards for the spaces that I landed on as well.  First one to the top wins!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Starwars Bowling

Short motivational activities are great in between drilling.  And it gives the kiddos a chance to get up out of their seat for 30 seconds (extra necessary for boys).

Bowling can be easily customized to suit the child's interests (superheros, animals, barbie, pokemon, etc.).  My client loved Starwars so I printed out some popular characters and taped them to the pins.

You could also tape sounds/words to the pins-whatever they knock down they have to produce.

What you'll need:
  • Plastic bowling set
  • Printer
  • Paper
  • Tape

How to play: 
Bowling is a quick and easy activity.  Just set it up in the corner of the room and and let the child know that after X number of drill cards he/she will get to have a turn.

"Who can you knock down?" I'd ask.

Needless to say, he loved it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sight Word Stackable Cup Game

Targets: I used the cups to target sight words but you could use them to target anything like specific phonemes, verbs, or numbers.

What you'll need:
  • Dixi cups or condiment cups (I bought condiment cups because they were cheaper and they work just as well)
  • A pen
  • Tape or glue

How to create:
Write directly on the cup or tape/glue strips of paper to each cup (make sure you're gluing it the right way up so that when the child builds the words will be readable).

How to play:
First, I have my client read the word on the cup.  For each word he gets correct, he adds the cup to his tower.  For maximum production I have him repeat all the sight words on his tower before adding another cup.

Activity inspiration courtesy of speechroomnews

Storage Clipboard

This "Dexas No.1 School Clipcase" is perfect for storing papers/pens/other therapy materials.  Light weight and portable, it's ideal for speech therapists on the go-or for those who always seem to have their hands full.

I found mine for 25 cents at a flea market (talk about a bargain!).  On Amazon it retails for  $10.99.  Most clipboards range from around $10 (for the more simple ones) to $25 (for the fancy ones).  It's definitely a worthwhile investment-I can't wait to try mine out!

Here are a couple of different options: