Category: Language Tips

Use “Wreck this Journal” in Speech Therapy

My daughter bought a “Wreck this Journal” several months ago at a book store. I really did not know much about them. Then, she asked for another one for Christmas. So, I started looking at them. Man!!! How cool would these be to use in speech therapy?! Yes, even as a mother, I look at EVERYTHING from an SLP viewpoint. “How can I use this in therapy?” crosses my mind probably 10x a day (and that is on the low side). And OF COURSE, I bought her more than one!

Back to the journal…these things are so cool! If you are not familiar with them, they work like this: each page tells you something to do with the journal or that page. For instance, the page pictured below, asks the child to fill the page with circles they find. As you can see, my daughter found a bottle cap, a button, a coin and a sticker from Target.

Here’s Why I Love Them for Speech Therapy

I think these would be fun for speech therapy, especially for older elementary kids up to middle school. It would be a great conversation starter as well as a fun activity for students to complete. Give each student a page or complete the page together in the group-either way it will be beneficial.

  1.  Descriptions:  Several of the pages includes describing words such as “Place Sticky Things Here.”
  2. Being Observed in the Environment (which can lead to conversation!!) since there is a page that asks you to document time in a new environment
  3. Categories: Write down all the street names in your immediate vicinity.
  4. Asking Questions/Making a Request: Get this page stamped by someone.

These are just a few ways you could use these books in speech therapy.  There are several books to choose from.  Your book may not have the same prompts as the one I used here.  Spontaneous conversation  is a major added bonus that comes with completing the tasks in these books.

Tips for Enriching Language with Halloween Candy!

It’s Halloween!  It’s probably #2 on the scale of “The Best Day of My Life” that every kid has.  And all you can think about is, “What the heck am I gonna do with all that candy?”   Well, you are in luck.  I just happen to think about writing this post just for parents (and SLPs) like you!  Not parents like me…one year we paid our kids to NOT go trick or treating.  But you’re a good parent and you took your kids wandering through neighborhoods at night, asking strangers for candy.  Here’s how you can use that candy to enrich language skills.

Tips for Enriching Language on Halloween

I posted my first You Tube video today with a few tips that I will mention in the blog post.  If you want to check it out, I would love it!  Don’t feel like you have to though!:)

Language Tip 1

This was my first tip in the video.  Categorize the candy.  Sort according to type (Snickers, Twix, Kit Kat all in their respective groups), ingredients (no peanuts vs peanuts, chocolate vs fruit flavored), or size.  Talk about which group has more/less.  What you don’t realize it you are not only helping language, you are helping math skills too!

Language Tip 2

Compare and contrast the candy.  What are the differences between a Snickers and a Starburst?  How are they the same?  Which candies are close to the same?

Language Tip 3

Sort Skittles, Starbursts or M&Ms according to color.  This is great for the little ones!  Work on naming colors, grouping colors, requesting (such as “I want purple.”) and SHARING!  Once they are all sorted, count!  Practice counting even if it is only to 10!

Language Tip 4

Using the candy to work on pronouns.  This is a great activity for two or more kids.  “She has a Twix.”  or “He has M&Ms” are great ways to use pronouns in context.  Find other ways to work in “him,” “her” or “me” such as “The Hershey’s belongs to her.”   Have fun and make it natural!

Language Tip 5

Use that bucket of candy to work on longer utterances!   Have your child make a request such as “I want Snickers please” or “Can I have Twix please?”  Have them tell you what they are eating like “I am eating M&Ms.”  Bonus points for the correct verb!!!

This is an articulation tip!  Have a kiddo working on “s”?  Have him pull a piece of candy from his bucket and say the name of the candy!  Doesn’t have an “s”?  No worries, use the phrase “I see a Kit Kat.”


These are all pretty simple to use ideas really require little planning.  Hoping everyone has a safe and fun night!

Need some more tips for enriching language?  How about this one for family outings?!


Springtime Obstacle Course for Speech Therapy

Obstacle courses are so much fun in speech therapy! When I worked in the schools, I LOVED doing them…yes, like super big puffy heart loved them! I don’t do them much in the home setting because it’s just too hard to drag all that stuff from house to house.  Parents, don’t think this is just for speech therapists!  You too can set up an obstacle course at your house to help your child work on language skills!

Spring Time Obstacle Course for Speech Therapy

Setting Up the Obstacle Course

It’s really pretty easy to set up the course.  Think of spring time things such as rain boots, umbrellas, flowers, bugs, mud puddles, rabbits, and rainbows.  Decide if you want to set it up outside or inside.  To prep my school speech therapy sessions, I set it up inside my room.  With each object you’ve chosen, decide how you will incorporate it.  For instance, if you have rain boots, set them apart for each other and have the child go “BETWEEN” the rain boots.  Maybe you chose to use that big mud puddle in the front yard…use it to teach “around” like “go AROUND the big mud puddle.”  Now set your course up!

Using the Course for Speech Therapy

Walk through the course with the child (or children).  As you go, tell them what they will do at each object.  When you get to a stop, you can give the direction and then ask the child (or children) to repeat the direction {for listening purposes}.  Asking them to repeat the direction also gives them the chance to use the spatial concept in context.  Then they can do it!

Here’s an example:

“We will start at the flowers and step OVER them.  Did we step on the flowers? (Children should respond with “No, we went OVER them.” or something similar to use the concept)    Next we will walk AROUND the mud.  Did we walk through the mud? (Wait on child’s response).  Walk UNDER the umbrella. Step quietly BESIDE the bunny so we don’t wake him.  Oh no, I see bugs!  Let’s step ON the bugs!  Go BETWEEN the rain boots and we are finished!”

Articulation Twist

Need to work on articulation too?  At each item, tape a target word for them to practice before moving on.  It’s that simple!

If you are doing the course inside, cut a mud puddle from brown paper and use fake flowers.  Use your imagination and have fun with it!  Get the kiddos involved with making the course too!

What would you add to the course?

Needing a fun theme idea for spring?  How about baseball?

Easy Fridge Fun for Language Skills

If you have kids at home, chances are good they are constantly in the fridge!  Why not turn the fridge into a “language hub?”  We have a set of alphabet magnets on our fridge.  Both of my kids (15 and 10) love to create new phrases with the letters.  They have to get creative with the spelling since there is only 1 of each letter.  It’s always interesting to see the new message, especially when Dad gets in on the fun!

Easy Fridge Fun for Language Skills

You don’t need a alphabet set for this idea!  You can just use notecards, a marker and a magnet.  If you have a dry erase board on your fridge, that will work even better!  This idea is geared more for school age kids who can write (but not necessarily spell correctly).  If you choose to write the word instead of using a picture, you need to make sure your kiddo can read.

To Prep The Activity

Have your child go through newspaper ads/sale ads and cut out pictures.  The Sunday paper is the best choice for this.  If your child is artsy, they can draw pictures instead of cutting them out.  In the picture above, I had some extra stickers sitting around so I used those.  Put one picture for each notecard.  Now you are ready!

To Use The Activity

Tell your child in order to get in the fridge, they must come up with 2-3 things about the picture.  It can be what is it used for, what it looks like, colors, size, category, etc.  The idea is to get your child describing objects accurately.  They can write them on the notecard or they can verbalize them to you.  Change out the pictures as needed.  It might be changed everyday or every other day, totally depends on you!

To gear it more for the preschool age, just have your child name the objects as you are getting their juice or milk from the fridge.

Hope this was an easy idea to use at home!


Speech Therapy Tip: Flashlights & Language 

Last week, I wrote about how to use flashlights for articulation practice. The post was meant for speech therapists as well as parents. Now we are talking language and flashlights during speech therapy! This one can be set up similar to the articulation post but depending on what the child is practicing, it may look different. To see how to set up the activity once the cards are ready, read Flashlights and Articulation.

Speech Therapy Tips with Flashlights

VOCABULARY: Cut out pictures from magazines of foods, toys, animals, clothing, etc. You could also use stickers! Stick each one to a notecard.

ANTONYMS/SYNONYMS: Write a word on each notecard. You determine how many you want to practice. Place them around the room. Each time the child shines the light on the card, he has to give the opposite (or a synonym if that’s the skill you are practicing).

REGULAR/IRREGULAR PAST TENSE VERBS: Write the PRESENT tense on each notecard. When the child shines his light on the card, he has to give the past tense AND put it in a sentence!

REGULAR/IRREGULAR PLURALS: Set it up just like the verbs above.

DESCRIBING: Set it up just like above for vocabulary. EXCEPT the child has to give you 2-3 describing features when he shines the light on the card. TWIST: You give 2-3 features and the child has to find it!

Love the ideas but need a handy dandy handout to give to parents?  Here ya go!

Speech Therapy Tips for Parents

Did you try any of the ideas?  How did they work for you!