When I speak to graduate students about to enter the schools each summer I always try to teach them my favorite way to do therapy. For me the best way to do therapy is to find a toy or book and use it all day with every student on your caseload. No one has time to plan separate materials for groups that are back to back all day.
Today I want to start a new series that shares different ways to use items found in your therapy closet.
1. Five Senses
We are working on the 5 senses! I added velcro pieces and had the kids complete this chart before we play.
Then we filled out this worksheet so the kids could take something home to show mom and dad! I don’t have the permission to share these files, but feel free to re-make your own. I also can’t share them on Boardmaker Share because they are in PPT and the file isn’t compatible.
2. Vowels. I have one sweet apraxic student who is working on imitating vowel sounds. I pulled out my camera phone and we practiced saying ‘eeeee’ (as in ‘cheese’) while we snapped pictures of our dressed up potatoes. We got about 50 repetitions in one session! It was awesome!
3. Same & Different. These mini figures are perfect for talking about same and different! Just change one thing and ask your student to identify it. Our school curriculum has a whole week were we talk about the differences between us so this was a biggie for my guys!
4. Categorization: Grab your bucket of toys and have the kids sort into categories. Clothes, body parts, etc.
5. Action Words: Those spuds can do a ton of things! Call, walk, break, fall, etc. Get those potatoes moving!
6. Articulation: Carrier phrases are the perfect way to work on articulation. You can also name the spud with your child’s target sound. Frank, Sally, Leo, Koko and more!
7. Social Scripts. Potato heads are a great way to act our social scripts with your students. Make a mommy and a child potato. Talk about safety routines, getting ready for school, going to the grocery stores, etc. Play is a great way to teach your students the social routines and scripts they are missing.
8. Body Parts. This one is a no-brainer but using the spuds to work on body parts is a simple way to measure receptive and expressive language.
9. Following directions. I love these toys working on following directions. Take it to the next step and have your student give you directions for building.
10. Negation. I’ve got a couple kiddos working on identifying what is ‘not.’ This is a great activity because I can prompt them to ‘hand me the hat that is not green.”
Those are 10 of my favorites! How do you use potato heads in speech therapy?
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