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How to Use Opening Toys in Preschool Speech Therapy

Are you looking for some low prep speech therapy activities that you can use during speech therapy for kids? I am sharing how you can use some of my favorite toys for speech therapy to target a variety of speech and language goals!

If you work with your preschoolers and toddlers, you know that they love SURPRISES!

Toys that open are great for adding the element of suspense that kids love. Puzzles with doors, houses with doors, and fillable objects (like Easter eggs) are all perfect for targeting a huge variety of speech and language goals in your therapy sessions!

You can use toys that open to target:

* Verb Tenses: Talk about if you WILL open the item or if you OPENED it.

* Describing: Take turns talking about what you found in each item. I like to use visuals to remind my students all the different ways we can talk about an item. I use my Language and Behavior Visuals!

* Wh- Questions: Ask the student who, what, when, and why questions about the item they found.

* Spatial Concepts: Have the student find an item in a particular area. For example, open the middle door, open the egg that is closest to you.

* Phoneme blending: Take turns opening items. Instead of saying the name of the item, tell the child the sounds in the word and see if they can blend them to make the word! For example, I found a c - a - t. What did I find?

* Categorizing: Hide items that belong to different categories (e.g. clothes, food, animals). When you find each item, have the child sort it into its category.

* Intonation: For your little ones with Apraxia of Speech, hide different animals and people. Ask your students to label the items using the voice of the item. For example, high and quiet like a mouse or loud and low like a lion.

* Speech Sounds: Hide items that have the student's target sound in the item. Use magnets, mini objects, or stickers!

You can use opening toys to target other goals - all that you need is a little creativity!

If you are looking for a companion to pair with the popular opening toy, Learning Resources Counting Surprise Toy, make sure to check out this Toy Companion for Speech Therapy. It includes visual supports, structured tasks, loads of play based therapy ideas and so much more!

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