Category: Hands On Therapy Activities

Language Skills with a Dash of Lemonade

Let’s face it.  Kids don’t always want to work on language skills at home.  They want to play their video games.  Text or “Snappy Chat” their friends.  Yes, you read that right…”Snappy Chat.”  If you are lucky, they enjoy reading.  But working on talking, answering questions, describing?  That’s a big NO.  But it’s ok.  Sometimes during therapy sessions, they don’t want to work either.  However, if you are eating or drinking?  You’ve got their attention!

Lemonade Language Activities

That’s where you insert a recipe for a fun hands on, language enriched activity!

Since it’s summer time, and 125 degrees in the shade, lemonade is a great recipe to make!  You can make it easy and use a mix that you add water to.  Or you can get crazy and make it from scratch…you know juice the lemons, boil the sugar.  When I make it at home, that’s my preferred method.  I can’t find my exact recipe but here is one that is very similar to mine.  Nothing beats a good cup of cold lemonade…that the kids HELPED make!  Making lemonade with the kids is a great language enriched task.  Planning the grocery lists, measuring, is the water hot or cold, safety awareness around the stove top…ALL OF THIS SUPER BENEFICIAL to your child’s language skills! 

Have your child get cups ready with ice.  If he is old enough, have him pour the lemonade.  Work on using pronouns like “Pour some in your cup”  “Put ice in his cup” are just a few examples.  As you enjoy the lemonade with your child, talk about the steps you went through to make it.  What did you do first?  What did you do last?  Have your child get paper out  and list or draw the steps.

Describe it!

How does the lemonade taste?  Is it cold?  Does it tastes sweet or sour?  Pull in some science terms-is it a solid or a liquid?  If you have an afternoon open, make different types of lemonade-raspberry lemonade, lavender lemonade, etc.  Pinterest has TONS of recipes!  Then talk about which one you liked best or which is least favorite.  All of this gets your child talking and using those language skills!!!

Now…go make lemonade!!!


Pirate Crafts for Speech Therapy

If you haven’t noticed by now, I freakin LOVE using crafts in my speech therapy sessions!  So guess what?  The pirate themed week was no different!  I actually had two crafts I could switch between, depending on the goals of my clients.

Pirate Crafts for Speech Therapy

Paper Plate Pirate Craft for Speech Therapy

I used this one for my little ones mostly.  It was easy to work on requesting and increased MLU with this craft.  Here’s what you need:  each child needs 1 large paper plate, 1 wiggly eye, 1 sheet of black construction paper, 1 sheet of red construction paper.  Since my clients are all smaller, I cut out everything for them.  The beard and eye patch were cut from the black paper.  A head scarf was cut from the red paper.  The kids can decorate the head scarf if they choose.  My clients did  not and I think the craft turned out just fine.  You can also have the kids color the paper plate a skin tone or leave it alone.  We did not color ours.

Now to start assembling!  I gave choices between 2 pieces (like the scarf and the eye) for some of my younger clients.  Then using the phrase, “I want…” they had to make a request.  We drew a nose on at the end and TA DA!  One cute pirate!


Paper Bag Pirate for Speech Therapy

This craft I paired with “The Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish.”  The kids loved it.  I loved that my older kids questioned the book on each page.  “How did he fit the plank down his throat?  Where did he put the ship?” were just some of the questions.  (Because the old lady swallowing Santa’s sleigh is apparently completely normal!  No one ever questions the old lady!)  I made some small cards that go along with the story.  You can find them here for FREE!  The kids could color them or leave them black and white.  For my artic clients, I wrote their target words on the back of each picture.  The child had to produce the target word correctly 5x before “feeding” it to the pirate.

How To Make the Pirate

Cut out materials like you did above for the paper plate craft…just make them slightly smaller.  I did not make this a puppet so you glue the hat/headscarf at the top of the bag.  The child should be able to place cards in the bag through the top.  I prefer this way instead of cutting out a mouth in the middle of the bag.  My kids will tear their bags too easily!  Glue the beard, eye patch and wiggle eye onto the front of the bag too.  Draw the nose on with a marker.

Pirate Craft for Speech Therapy

OPTIONAL IDEA:  Make the paper plate pirate above as directed.  Make the beard big enough to glue all the story picture cards on to it!

What are some of your favorite pirate activities?!  I’d love to hear them!

Needing some additional pirate themed activities?

Check out this blog post or my TpT store for a speech and language companion to “Pop Up Pirate!”

Sword Fight! Speech and Language Game Companion


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