Speech Language Play

Expressive/Receptive idea for a group activity April 18, 2012

In honor of the guest post that will be up on Speech Bop next week, I want to continue talking about a group therapy. My current graduate student and I have been working on perfecting a group activity for a mismatched group with very different goals.

In the group, we have 2 students: the first student has difficulty listening and attending, and the second has difficulty formulating sentences and with word finding.

This activity is simple to put together and helps both students target their goals while working together.

The basic premise is: every student gets the same coloring sheet, and each takes turns giving their peer a direction. The student who has difficulty formulating sentences/finding the correct words, has visual supports and a word bank of sorts, whereas the student who has difficulty attending to the directive needs to listen to the directive and ask for clarification from his peer.

By the end of the session, the students are taking turns, and I as a therapist can take a bit of time to write down session notes.

One difficulty that I have encountered: sometimes students don’t want to color their picture in the way they were directed to by a peer. A solution to this is that the students are making the pictures for each other, so “you have to tell your friend how you want your picture colored, and then you can trade pictures.”

I have created a couple of simple sheets that can be laminates and reused again and again.

This is the basic template: (click on the image to download it)


The color coded columns and blocks help kids put the pictures from the word bank to to corresponding spot in the sentence strip at the top. I would suggest color pictures be put into each column.

I put together a simple spring planting activity with the images put into it the sentence strip page. I copied the pictures from “speaking of speech” http://www.speakingofspeech.com/AugCom_Materials.html which has simple Boardmaker boards sorted by group/category that would cover most early education topics. I also added the corresponding coloring sheets that could be used. I suggest printing 2 copies, cutting out one of the pages into each individual icon, and using Velcro to make this sheet reusable.

Hope this has been helpful! Happy Spring!!! (Or Summer as it has been close to 80 degrees here in NYC the last few days).


Let’s play with trains-Review April 11, 2012

Filed under: Language — speechlanguageplay @ 5:52 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Atech Let’s play with the trains!

This app for iPhone, iPad touch or iPad is a great free beginner app. It has a simple cause and effect interface that no matter where a child touches or draws a train track will appear. once a line or squiggle is drawn, it is soon followed by a variety of trains with really cool train sounds.


Something I like about this app is that it doesn’t have too many options so when using it for a reinforcement activity the kids can take a quick turn without obsessing over specific features.

There are several options that can be controlled:

  • A picture of the scene can be posted on twitter (not sure why this is needed):bird in the lower right hand corner
  • The background can be changed (great for conversations and where the trains are and where they are going):arrows in the lower right hand corner
  • Clearing the tracks to start again:garbage can in the lower right hand corner
  • Pause: bottom right hand corner
  • Info (in app purchases to remove adds, and download all their other apps): “i” in the top left corner

All of these option are tiny on the iPhone/IPod touch, and hard to manipulate by little fingers. However, the Ad on the bottom of the screen  is quite easy to activat


e by little fingers. I would suggest purchasing the app to remove the In App Ads or to turn on airplane mode, so that little fingers don’t access the appstore or twitter.

Overall this is a great app, and a lot of fun for kids 2-6 yrs of age.



Free Articulation Cards

Filed under: Articulation — speechlanguageplay @ 11:34 am

With the plethora of materials out there, it’s sometimes hard to weed the good from the bad, or to be selective so I don’t get overwhelmed with the amount I have to print out/laminate/distribute.

I have been reading a great blog by a mother and SLP who works with her own children to improve thier articulation. She was frustrated with the lack of simple articulation cards, so she went out of her way to make her own. http://testyyettrying.blogspot.com/

She has been kind in sharing all her hard work, making the lives of the many overworked parents and SLP’s easier. The great thing about all of her artic pictures is she include the words at the phrase and sometimes sentence level so kids who can read can use longer utterances to describe the pictures and for the ones who can’t the therapist can model the simple phrases. I also appreciate that with some of the sounds she explains which groups of words within a sound page are easier and which are progressively harder. I give these card sets a big THUMBS UP!!

I have been using her articulation sheets in the past few weeks with a child who has difficulty lifting her tongue and producing sounds using the tip of her tongue. My student really liked that she could draw on the sheet of pictures (easily printed as needed), put stickers when she mastered the correct placement and that she could take home the sheet to show her parents what she could do. She was so motivated by having something of her own that she said each work with an attempt at correct placement 10x each.

These pages have been much more motivating than fun deck cards because my student has ownership over the page, as opposed to fundecks which stay in school.

A great idea I found for using these pictures is a mini shredder, so that my students can shred the pictures of sounds/words they have mastered. I originally found this idea at http://www.activitytailor.com/blog/?p=638 and you can buy this shredder at http://www.etsy.com/listing/79543213/mini-japanese-paper-quilling-shredder?ref=pr_shop

Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas from:





The “U-Play mat” October 2, 2009

Filed under: Parent-Child Interaction — speechlanguageplay @ 9:14 pm
Tags: , ,
U-play mat with picture cards inside

U-play mat with picture cards inside

The U-play mat is a “U” shaped mat with pockets that can be used for improving speech, language, and pragmatic skills.  It looks like a simple mat, but it is actually a great way to engage a child.  Moreover, it takes the child away from the television, and without having all the bells and whistles that many toys have nowadays.  Overall,  using the U-play mat is a very good way to increase attention during regular day-to-day play.  It is used on the floor and entails putting different picture cards into the pockets, while working on different skills during play with the child. The deck of cards that are used are colorful, appealing and look quite child-friendly.  Neverthless, I am sure that  you can use any deck of of picture cards (e.g., to work on a specific sound, to introduce the child’s favorite character (e.g., Dora, Elmo), etc.). The U-play mat website recommends that the child sits on the inside of the “U,” and that the parent/therapist/sibling sits just on the outside facing the child; however, for a fun twist, once a child can master a skill, depending on the child’s age and abilities, I would turn the tables and let the child be the “teacher.”  This mixes up the skills necessary for the activity and changes up the routine, thereby giving the child new experiences to help faciliatetheir cognitive development and growth.



Speech Language Play Therapeutic Services September 13, 2009

I are starting this website to help parents, professionals, and students. I will be providing reviews, websites, and current information about the field of Speech-Language Pathology, as well as closely related fields. Please do not hesitate to contact me, should you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.