Category: Hands On Therapy Activities

Nerf Guns and Speech Therapy

In honor of my son’s birthday, I thought I would take one of his favorite things and use it for speech therapy.  He loves his Nerf guns as most boys his age do.  But Nerf guns could also be a super motivating item to use during therapy…as long you establish rules and keep the chaos down!


Nerf Guns And Articulation

One easy way to use Nerf guns in speech therapy to shoot paper cups.  Take a stack of cups (get the cheap ones!) and write target words on them.  Place them on the table or shelf.  Have the child produce the target word correctly 5x before “shooting” the cup.  This idea can also be used in the home as a parent/child activity!

Another way to modify this activity for a group working a variety of sounds is write numbers on the cups instead of words.  When the child shoots a cup, he has to produce a target word number of times on the cup.  You can use this freebie in your sessions for a little drill practice too!

Nerf Guns and Language

You can use Nerf guns for a variety of language goals during your speech therapy sessions.  If you are working in a group, you can address “my turn,” “his turn”, “your turn,” work on pronouns and turn taking skills.  The child can stand somewhere in the room and shoot a dart.  Then, using spatial concepts, tell where the dart is located.  (HINT:  Again, great ideas for parents!!)  You can the language portion of the freebie to work on categories.

Take the cup idea above but tape pictures to the cups.  Have the child describe the picture he is going to shoot.  To address opposites or synonyms, write a word on each cup.  The student has to give the antonym/synonym before shooting the cup.

You don’t need a big expensive toy for this activity.  Go to your local Walmart or Target to pick a small dart pistol like this one!

Nerf Guns and Speech Therapy

How else would you use these popular dart guns?

Poppin’ Speech: Parent Tips for Practice at Home

**Please remember to provide adequate adult supervision at all times with ALL fireworks!  Please remember-do not throw the poppers at people or animals.**

Independence Day is upon us.  With that in mind, I have a fun way for parents to work on speech and language skills while popping it for 4th of July.  It’s real simple…you need “Pop Its” and sidewalk chalk.  A nice concreted place would be nice like the porch or sidewalk.  You can find these “Pop Its” at any firework stand but I found mine in the dollar bin at Target for just $1!


So your kiddo has been working hard in speech therapy.  No speech on a holiday?  No problem!  Using sidewalk chalk, write target words on the concrete area.  You can practice as little as 5 or as many as 10.  It’s up to you!  Now give your child a “pop it” and have him choose a word to pop it on.  He must say the word 3-5x correctly before throwing it.  When you are finished, just wash the concrete off or leave it for the next day!  If you have a little one that you are not comfortable with throwing the “Pop Its,” then he can still choose the word and practice it.  But you throw the “Pop It” at the word.


You can use the same set up as above but use language concepts.  Is your child working on opposites or synonyms?  Write words on the concrete.  Have your child give the opposite or the synonym before popping.  Maybe they are working on irregular past tense verbs…write present tense verbs (ex-eat, go, sit) on the concrete.  Your child must give the past tense form before throwing a popper.  You can do the same with regular past tense verbs, plural nouns and irregular plural nouns.

Have fun with it!!  Be please to remember to use SUPERVISION at all time with fireworks.  This activity is not recommended for young children.


Inexpensive Ice Cream Speech Therapy Activities

If you are wanting another “cheap ideas” post for speech therapy, you are in luck!  Today, I am bringing you some cheap ideas to do during an ice cream theme! (You can read my theme review here.)  You can use these to address articulation or language.  I try my best to keep them open ended.  All (or at least most) of the materials you can pick up at the Dollar Tree.

Ice Cream Activities for Speech Therapy

Popsicle Sorting for Speech Therapy

This idea ended up being a bigger hit than I thought!  I spent a total of $2 on a popsicle maker and a bag of beads.  Make sure the bag had the colors of my popsicle maker.  I chose one with bright colors like pink and lime green.  It worked great!  I started the activity by placing a bead in each compartment.  They had to find matching beads and put them in the correct spot.  Easy enough!  We worked on colors, increasing MLU and early category skills.  Each time the child found a bead, he could tell me the color or use a phrase such as “I see a {pink} bead.”  If they chose a bead that did not belong, we would talk about it.  “Is that bead green like the others?” might be a question I asked.

Popsicle Sorting For Speech Therapy

Ice Cream Pompoms

I used this next activity to work on quantity, counting, following directions and colors.  Since many of my little ones have difficulty counting to 5, I only worked on numbers 1-5.  You could go up to 10 if you needed.  I set the ice cream cones (brown triangles with numbers written on them) out first.  In the container are different colored pompoms.  I made sure to have enough to meet each number.  So at least 5 of each color.  Then I gave a direction such as “Find 1 pink ice cream scoop.”  I waited for the child to find one pink pompom and place it on the first cone.  Then we talked about the next number and he was given another direction.  We continued until all 5 cones had matching ice cream scoops.

Ice Cream Language Activity for Speech Therapy

Describing Popsicles

I used this activity for my language clients and fluency clients.  They both loved it!  I had a pack of bright colored paper and popsicle sticks. Then I cut the shape of a popsicle out of the paper.  Make sure to cut two so that each child has a front and back side of the popsicle.  The client had to make a request for their desired color of popsicle stick and the designs.  I had squares, circles and lines cut from assorted colors of paper.  Each time the child wanted a shape, he had to ask a question as well as using the describing word (in this case, a color word) in the correct place in the question.  “Can I have a pink circle?” might be asked in order to receive a pink circle.  All the shapes were glued onto the popsicle.  Once completely decorated, the two sides were glued together with  the stick in between.  After it was complete, we worked on describing the popsicle the child had just made.  Fluency kiddos had the same job but they had to complete each task with smooth speech.

Popsicle Describing for Speech Therapy

Articulation Cones

This idea is very similar to ice cream pompoms above.  However, instead of numbers on the cones, I wrote target words.  The child said a word correctly 5x, then placed an ice cream scoop on that cone.  You could easily turn this into an art project.  Take piece of construction paper and turn it lengthwise.  Glue the cones at the bottom of the paper.  Glue a pompom (ice cream scoop) each time the child says a word correctly 5x.  Then send it home for extra practice!

Articulation Ice Cream Cones for Speech Therapy

Now you have several fun ideas for your speech therapy sessions this summer!  Ice cream is the perfect theme for the summer.

You can also check out my articulation packet for ice cream week here!

Sweet Treats for Articulation- Ice Cream Artic Activities

Picking Flowers in Speech Therapy

I have seen this little idea for fine motor all over Pinterest. I said to myself, “Self, that’s pretty darn cute. I need to make that for my toddlers and young preschool clients. I know I can use it in speech therapy.” So that’s what I did! Of course, I went to my favorite Dollar Tree to buy all my supplies…all $4 of it!

Flower Speech Therapy Activity

I have to admit when I made this little activity, I had no idea the language I was going to gather from it.  Do you ever plan a craft or game for therapy and then, during therapy, have waves of genius hit you?!  That’s what happened here!

First, I found a strainer (not super happy with this one but it worked great).  I really wanted a green strainer but oh well!  I picked bright spring colors for my flowers.  I cut the flowers from the stem so that they were all individual stems.

Flower Activity in Speehc Therapy

How to Use in Speech Therapy

  1. Requesting:  Have all of the flowers on floor beside the strainer.  Have the child request a flower to “plant.” I have kiddos of varying ages and abilities so requesting may go from “more flowers” to  “pink flower please” to “May I have the pink flower?”
  2. Color Labeling:  This one is pretty simple and can go with requesting above.
  3. Color Identification:  Place all flowers in the strainer.  Tell the child to pick a “purple flower” to work on identifying colors.
  4. Articulation Reinforcement:  Child can “plant” a flower each time he produces a target word correctly 5x.
  5. Regular Past Tense Verbs:  As the child “plants ” a flower, he can say “I PLANTED a purple flower.”  Or, if all the flowers are planted, he can say “I PICKED a white flower” as he pulls the flowers out of the strainer.
  6. Spatial Concepts: “In” like “The flower is IN the ground” and “out” like “the flower is OUT of the ground” are starters to work on spatial concepts.  As the child plants the flowers, he can work on “beside” or “next to.”  He can tell you “the white flower is BESIDE the pink flower.”
  7. Categories:  Once all the flowers have been picked, group the flowers according to color or type.

So this cute little activity that has been floating around Pinterest as a fine motor activity has also become a great language activity!  Now grab your $5 dollar bill and head to Dollar Tree!

Need more flower ideas?  Check out my theme unit review!

Here’s the “Flower Power” packet of speech and language activities from my Tpt store!

Cheap Fun Frog Ideas for Speech Therapy

A couple of weeks ago we talked about frogs in speech therapy.  I had already written up my theme review at the time I came up with these cute little ideas.  So I decided to write a separate short post about the cheap frog fun I found at the Dollar Tree!  That means you can find all these fun ideas for at least $1!!  Cheap and easy fun that can easily have language and articulation built in?  Awesome, especially this time of year!

Frog Ideas for Speech Therapy

Frog Jumping Game

You can buy the ENTIRE game for just $1!  I happen to find it in the toy section.  Panda Speech has a great little artiuclation game companion that you could use with it!

Frog Activity for Speech Therapy

Feed the Frog

This one is pretty easy and maybe the most expensive (like I spent all of $3 on this one!)  I bought a 2 pack of small containers (food storage section) with a green flip lid and 2 packages of plastic bugs (toy section).   At first, I drew eyes and facial features on with a marker.  That’s because I made it 5 minutes before I went in to see my client.  Now that I have more time, I glued wiggly eyes and a tongue on.  I will be switching this tongue from a construction paper one to a felt one.  Once your frog is ready, get out your plastic bugs.  I worked on following directions, colors, the concept “in,” irregular past tense verbs (“ate” as in “the frog ate the fly” as well as reinforced articulation drill.

Frog Activity for Speech Therapy

Swatting Flies

This is my last cheap activity and it’s CHEAP!  I found this cute frog fly swatter at the dollar store (yes Dollar Tree!)  This is all you need besides this freebie! (This freebie targets /r/ blends at word level.)  If you work with groups, you could use more than one swatter.  I see kids individually so I just bought one.  Print the freebie.  Laminate and cut out the flies.  Lay the flies on the table, floor or tape them to your wall/dry erase board.  Choose a target word/skill, and have the child practice it.  Then they can swat the fly!  It’s a great reinforce and (depending on how you set it up) gets the kids up and moving!

Frog Articulation Idea for Speech Therapy

Now go grab all the materials you need to make these activities!!  You won’t need much money!!