Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Parking Lot Sight Word Game

I use this game to target sight words...but it could be used to target several other speech-language topics.

What are sight words anyway? Sight words are commonly used words that young kids are encouraged to memorize.  Memorization of these simple words will help with reading down the road.
What you'll need:
  • Toy Car
  • Parking lot board (feel free to drag the photo of my board into a word document or create your own!)

In Therapy:
Tell your client a sight word and have him "park" his toy car into the correct parking space.
Example below:

Say the word "and"

Have your client park his car into the "and" space

This activity is super easy to create and kids love it!  A great way to get them to start memorizing their sight words.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

We targeted past tense regular verbs with these fun thanksgiving turkey cupcakes!

What you'll need:

  • Cupcake mix (and other ingredients per instructions on packet)
  • Frosting (I used chocolate)
  • M&Ms (for the eyes)
  • Candy corn (for the feathers and beak)
  • Cupcake liners
  • Cupcake holder/paper plate
  • Knife to spread the frosting

You'll need to bake the actual cupcakes in advance (unless you have access to an oven and lots of time with your client in therapy)

Note: Due to time constraints in therapy, I actually baked, frosted, and decorated most of the cupcakes in advance.  My client frosted and decorated only 2 cupcakes in therapy, allowing  time for maximum verb production.

In Therapy: 
I guided my client in decorating his cupcakes.  I would give him an action to perform, containing a verb, for example "frost the cupcake".  After he performed the task I would ask him "what did you do?" to elicit a past tense verb response ("I frosted the cupcake").

Below are the steps that we took to decorate our cupcakes, including the different verbs that I elicited:
  • We washed our hands before starting   
  • He scooped the frosting onto his knife
  • He frosted the cupcake
  • He then opened the bag of M&Ms
  • And poured the M&Ms onto a paper plate
  • He dropped the M&Ms onto the cupcake for the turkey's eyes
  • Then he counted 5 candy corn from the bag
  • He placed the candy corn on the turkey for the feathers and the beak
  • He tasted a cupcake!
You get the idea...there are countless opportunities to target past tense verbs here!

This was a great hands on activity that helped my client really grasp the idea of past tense verbs and allowed him to put them into practice in a practical way.

He brought the cupcakes to snack-time after our session and shared them with his classmates.  They were a hit!

Piggy Bank Verb Game

I used this game to target past tense regular verbs...but it could be easily modified to target sight words, specific sounds in words, or other verbs.

What You'll Need:
  • Paper dollar bills with verbs written on the back
  • 3 paper pigs (labeled "t", "d", and "id" for the three regular past tense verb endings)
  • Tape or sticky tack

Create fake money out of green paper.  Write target words on the back of each dollar.  I was targeting regular past tense verbs so I wrote words such as "look", "walk", "call", and "start".

Create piggy banks out of pink paper. Since my past tense verbs fell into 3 categories, verbs ending in the "t", "d", and "id" sounds, I made 3 piggy banks.

Before therapy, "hide" your dollar bills around the room as shown below.

Attach your piggy banks to the wall or a white board.  Label them if necessary.

How to Play: 
Let your client search the room for a dollar bill.  Once they find one have them produce the verb on the back ("walk"-> "walked") and place the money in the appropriate piggy bank.

For a fun twist, write "bankrupt" on the back of a few of the dollar bills.  If your client selects a "bankrupt" dollar they must empty one of their piggy banks.

This activity is super easy to set up and clients love the idea of collecting something of value and storing it in their piggy banks.  I have found little games like these to be great motivators for kids, instead of having to use actual prizes or food.