Making speech therapy activities engaging is sometimes half the battle! It is critical to have a child want to participate and communicate while in speech therapy, especially when working on early communication skills. I have found the key to this is making therapy hands-on and interactive. Here are my go-to tips to instantly make an activity exciting and feel like play…not work! These ideas can easily be incorporated into any activity you already have and are versatile in their uses!
Magnifying glasses are a fun tool to incorporate into any speech activity. Use them while reading books if your student needs help staying engaged. Use them to play “I spy” for language or articulation! I mainly use them with language scenes or picture books to target various language goals – pronouns, prepositions, vocabulary, verbs, sentence formulation, WH questions, etc.
The bigger the better! I have this Learning Resources one. I like using pointer fingers to practice multisyllabic words or to slow the rate of speech in stuttering therapy. Use them in social groups or mixed groups to designate a turn or speaker. Or tape articulation cards or task cards on the wall and have the student point to one to say/complete the task!
Bingo Chips & Magnetic Wand
Bingo chips and the “magic wand” are an easy and motivating tool to use. You can simply use it as a reinforcer or you can play various games with the bingo chips. For example, covering an articulation card after each successful trial with a bingo chip, then picking them up at the end with the wand. Use the chips as manipulators as well, for example, when working on multisyllabic words or working on expanding sentences.
Keep a sensory bin with just the filler available to throw in any activity. For example, hide articulation cards, picture cards, or task cards for the student to find and complete. If you’re working on pronouns, hide toy people. If you’re working on asking appropriate questions, hide trinkets for the student to find and ask a question about. Sensory bins also serve as a great reinforcer and reward!
Unsure what a sensory bin is or how to make them? Read this post!
Incorporating motor breaks can work wonders for engaging a child. Set up an obstacle course with articulation cards or different activity stations around the room. You can even go on a walk around your office/school to work on generalizing the pragmatic language skills your students have been working on. Another idea is to incorporate a dress-up box and put on costumes! There are tons of language opportunities in pretend play and role play.
Thanks for reading! I hope these ideas were helpful.
Do you have a go-to item you use to make activities interactive and engaging?
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