Tag: Langauge

Using Coins To Grow Language

How much spare change do you have laying around at home? In jars, on top of the dryer, on the nightstand, maybe in the bathroom…you know you have it. Sometimes, it is not very much. Other times, it’s enough for a Dr. Pepper and vanilla ice cream cone at Sonic during Happy Hour…completely hypothetical! Why not use that spare change at the bottom of your purse to encourage your little one’s language skills? Not we are not talking, toddler age. They are still putting too many foreign objects in their mouths. But your preschooler? Ideal for this activity! Here are some ways to use coins to enrich language!

Tips for Using Coins for Language Skills

Basic Sorting: Early categorizing skills can be reinforced here! Sort quarters and pennies for the easiest task. For a little more challenging task, have him separate nickels and dimes. Use the quarters to teach “big,” and the dimes to teach “little” if you are sorting those.

Coin Value: It’s never too early too teach the value of coins. Consistently reviewing it will only help when it comes time for them to start school. They will be one step ahead in math when this concept comes around!

Basic Comparing: Lay out some change and ask your child to build towers with the coins. Stack all the quarters in one tower. All the nickels in another, and so on. Then, talk about which stack is the tallest, shortest, which are the same. Instead of stacking the coins, your child can line the coins up. Afterwards, talk about which line is longer, shorter, etc. Group coins together and work on concepts like “more,” “most,” “less,” “few,” and “same.”

Presidents: No, your child does not know George or Abe. But they can! Little ones are like sponges. They soak up everything we say! If you don’t believe me, stay something negative about a family member in front of your child. Then, see how many shades of red you turn when sweet little Susie repeats that same comment to the said family member! SPONGES!! Talk about who is on the quarter, nickel, dime and penny. Maybe even find a cute book about one of them on Amazon.

So, I’ve given you my tips on how to coins to encourage your child’s language skills. Nothing fancy. Nothing expensive. Just plain old coins that sit in the console of your car, forgotten.


Need some tips? How about this one?

Speech Therapy Theme Review: Presidents and Money

During Presidents week, I modify my speech therapy lessons so that I can use {ALMOST} the same theme all week long.  I connect presidents to money for my younger clients.  For my older clients, we talk about presidents and money.  The little ones don’t quite understand elections, voting and Presidents.  But they know what money is!  So using money makes it a little easier to talk about presidents.  The older clients that are in school talk about all the election and voting stuff…which saves me from explaining it during my speech therapy sessions.


“Duck for President” by Doreen Cornin is definitely a favorite!  The kids recognize Duck from the other story I read during my farm theme (“Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type”). This is the story of Duck climbing his way to the top of the leadership ladder. But as President, Duck realizes life was easier on the farm.

The other picture book I like to use is “A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln.” This book is better for elementary kiddos who have at least heard of Abraham Lincoln and know a little about him. It is a simplified story of his life.

Now, since I work with a lot of preschool clients, neither of these books are appropriate for them. So, I made an interactive book about money that is simple. I like to use it for matching and answering simple “what” questions. The book comes with a sorting activity (quarters and pennies) and a spatial concept booklet for the kids to make. You can also find another simple book in my TpT store as a freebie. “Copper Penny, Copper Penny” is a simple text booklet that follows the rhythm of “Brown Bear.” It also can be used to introduce coin amounts in the simplest form.

Activities for Speech Therapy

Most of the activities used this week will be with the money theme. The kids can sort the plastic coins I have. The set of fake money I have is from Melissa and Doug. Besides the interactive book set, I have a set of vocabulary mats and an articulation packet of activities in my TpT store.

Piggy Bank Vocabulary Mats for Speech Therapy

Presidents and Money Articulation Packet

I have a toy similar to this one below. The kids love it! We can work on the concepts “in” and “out,” requesting “more” and “open,” colors, animals and following direction…just to name a few targets.

The last activity I am sharing with you today is the cherry tree craft. All you need is a brown lunch sack, green construction paper and this freebie of cherries! Print the cherries on red paper or have the students color them red…totally up to you! Write target words on the cherries. As the student says a word correctly 5x, he can place (NOT GLUE) the cherry on the tree. After all the words have been said, take the cherries off and place them inside the bag. Instant homework!!

What other activities do you like to celebrate President’s Day?

Speech Therapy in the Home: Using Valentine Cards

Every year, I always have leftover Valentine cards. There’s 20 kids in the class but the Valentine card companies package the cards in quantities of 32.   I’m pretty sure it’s a conspiracy of some sort but I digress. Anyway, what should you do with those leftover cards? I have some ideas for you! That’s code for easy tips for speech therapy in the home, moms!!!

Ideas for Speech Therapy Home Practice

  1.  Articulation:  Is your little one working on beginning /k/ words?  Write some of those words on the extra valentines.  Place them in a bag, basket, bucket, etc so that your child can pull the cards out and practice the words.  Easy enough!
  2. Describing:  Use the card as it and have your child use describing words to tell about the picture/character.  For older kids, write different household objects on the card and have them describe the object.
  3. Spatial Concepts:  Take some of the valentines and “hide” them in a room.  Have your child find each card and tell you where they found them using position words.  For example, if you put one under the coffee table, the child should use “under” in his sentence.
  4. Sorting:  Whether you have one box or 4, have your child work on sorting skills.  Tear the cards apart and group them according to the picture.

These are just a few ideas for parents out there. I often have parents ask me what types of activities they can do in the home to carryover the skills. My answer is always “KEEP IT SIMPLE!” Families are busy with different schedules, homework and other obligations. You also need to keep it cheap! There is no need for parents to spend a ton of money on activities. Use everyday objects and routines to enhance your child’s speech and language skills!

Needing some more tips for home practice? Try this one!

Speech Therapy Theme Review: Valentine’s Day

This week, we are all about hearts, pink, red and love in speech therapy! I have a few different books that I use in speech therapy during this week. There are so many great ones out there so it’s hard to pick just one! I can’t pick just one activity to use either. I have several that I enjoy using in therapy. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the idea I posted a few days ago about using the adorable felt envelopes from our favorite dollar bin too. Keep reading to see more ideas!

Valentine Books for Speech Therapy

Years ago, I worked with a diagnostician that was once a kindergarten teacher.  Even though she had been out of the classroom for many years, she kept all of her books and activities.  That’s where my favorite Valentine book came from!  She brought this adorable little book for me to use in speech therapy sessions at the kinder/Pre-K level.  I instantly fell in love with it!

The copy I have is called “Four Valentines in a Rainstorm.” Now it is called “The Day It Rained Hearts.” This is such a cute little book about a girl who catches some hearts in the rain. She uses the hearts to make Valentines for her friends. Each one is specifically designed just them.

Here are the craft activities I used for this book.  One is for articulation while the other was using for kiddos working on verbs.

Of course, another favorite is “The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose.” You cannot forget about the old lady who swallows all things Valentine!

Another cute Valentine book is “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!” The mouse is almost as popular as the old lady in my speech therapy sessions! I like this one for my young preschool clients.

Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! (If You Give...)

 A new addition to my Valentine theme is “The Berenstain Bears Valentine Party”. This book is cute because it is a” lift the flap” book!

The Berenstain Bears' Valentine Party

Speech Therapy Activities

There are TONS of fun activities on TpT!!! SLP Tree has an adorable activity for grammar! “Bad Grammar Valentines” works on discovering the grammar mistakes in Valentines and correcting them. I have been using this game for a couple of years. The kids enjoy it and forget they are working!!! Small Talk SLP has another great activity that I use with my older elementary clients. It is a critical thinking activity that gives a profile of an imaginary character. The student must use the clues to choose the right valentine for the character.

My store has two sets to help plan your Valentine therapy. There is a quick print articulation packet that includes open ended activities and a craftivity! The other set is good for your preschool clients. It includes an interactive book, make & take spatial concept book (good for elementary!!) and a sorting activity (works on big and little).

Valentine Quick Print Articulation Activities

Interactive Heart Activity Set for Speech Therapy

What activities do you use for Valentine’s Day?

Using Mailboxes in Speech Therapy

We’ve all seen those cute little mailboxes in the Target Dollar Spot or our favorite dollar store. I know I walked by them a couple of years ago, not sure what I could do with it. Don’t worry…before I checked out, I walked back to pick up 3 (or maybe 5!) These little mailboxes are FANTABULOUS (yes, you read that right!) for speech therapy. Like so great that they can be used year-round!!! So why don’t you have one in your therapy stash? Here’s some ideas to use them in your awesome speech therapy sessions.

Ways to Use the Mailbox in Speech Therapy

  1. Basic Requesting/Simple Vocabulary: Place some plastic animals in your mailbox and close it.  Make sure to do this before your session so the child does not see the animals.  It adds an element of surprise!  During your session, shake the mailbox so the child hears that something is in there.  Prompt the child to say “open” if they do not spontaneously produce it.  Pull an animal and work on naming the animal with the child.  Keep repeating the process until all the animals are out!  As you are taking them out and putting them in, you can also work on these concepts with your special SLP magic!
  2. Articulation: This idea is super easy!  Just put your artic cards in the mailbox.  Have the child pull a card and practice the word.  If you are working with a group of students working on a mix of sounds, you may need more than 1 mailbox.  Be sure to label them with a post-it so kids know which mailbox to pull from.
  3. Basic Concepts: This is another crazy easy idea.  Using just your mailbox and LITERALLY any object to work on basic spatial concepts.  Give directions like “Put the cat UNDER the mailbox” or “Take the dog OUT of the box.”
  4. Grammar Sort- Write past and present tense verbs on notecards.  Specify one mailbox for past tense and one for present tense.  Have the child sort them accordingly.  You can also do this with singular and plural nouns.

In addition to these fun ideas, I am sharing a couple of fellow SLPs “kick butt” products that are great for these little mailboxes!!

Ms. Gardenia’s Speech Room has a great little newsletter freebie (if you are signed up this month-February 2018) that will get kids talking! I plan on using it next week to get my older clients talking as well start the session…kind of like a warm-up! Cut the question cards up and place them in your mailbox. Have a child draw a card out and either (1) answer it or (2) present it to the group for discussion.

Ashley over at Sweet Southern Speech has an adorable category game that is made for these mailboxes! You need more than one box (but not as many as 5!!!!!) as you will have the kiddos sorting. Super cute and easy to do.

Don’t forget that you can also use these adorable mailboxes for a community helper unit (Think MAIL CARRIER!!!).