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How to use water play in Speech Therapy

It might be a bit messy and a quite a bit wet, but using water in speech therapy is SO fun!

It might be tricky to bring water inside your therapy room but I’m going to share some fun and easy activities (and speech therapy goals you can target) that involve water and will keep your students - of all ages - engaged!

  • Rescue the animals: Throw some plastic toys in ice cube trays and rescue them using warm water! Even older students love this. You can make predictions about what will melt the ice the fastest, compare and contrast different animals that are in the ice cubes, discuss the sequence of making and melting ice!

  • Mini water guns: Some mini waters guns and a chalkboard can be really fun! I have done this activity inside, with garbage bags under the chalk board, but I would recommend this as an outdoor speech theory activity! You can draw something on the chalkboard (usually I use something the child is really interested in) and then try to spray it until it’s all gone! This is a great way to target verb tenses, speech sounds (make the target something with the target sound), and concepts (close, near, far).

  • Use a bath tub: Home visit? Fill the tub! Set up a fishing activity using bath toys for your student and take turns catching fish in the tub. Work on turn taking, early vocabulary, pre verbal skills, and more! You can also have fun targeting. th words for speech therapy (bath, bathtub, bathroom, there, this).

  • Story Retell: Five Little ducks is a great story to pair with a tub of water and some rubber ducks. You can use a tub of water and toys to retell a story that involves water to target your story retell goals for speech therapy!

  • Mix Colored Water: A little bit of prep time before hand for a lot of fun! I would personally use this speech therapy activity for older students, but you can use it with kids of any age! Place a few drops of food colouring in a little bowls of water. Use spoons, pipettes, or droppers to mix the drops from different bowls in a new bowl to make a new color. Target concepts (some, none, a little, few), predictions (what colour do you think it will make?), following directions (add two drops of blue and then two drops of yellow). Added bonus - this is also a fine motor activity!

  • Bucket filling: Have one big bucket full of water and several other smaller buckets that are empty. Use a shovel or small pail to fill the other buckets! Talk about the concepts full and empty, and work on sentence expansion!

  • Ocean Sensory Bin: Throw in some water toys, buckets, soap, plastic ice cubes for a fun hands on learning activity! This is one of my favorite ways to target pretend play, sentence expansion, imitation and requesting

  • Water Balloons: Incorporate water balloons in speech therapy by using them in a relay race! Balace them on a spoon, throw them on a target, jump on them - the possible are endless. You will be able to model so many verbs (and verb tenses)!

  • Wet Sponges: If you have an outdoors space - you have to try this! Cut up some sponges and throw them at a target (or in buckets). Kids LOVE this. There gross motor activity for speech therapy allows you to work on concepts (fast, slow, up, down, high, low, hard, fast, wet, dry), expanding MLU, and requesting.

If you’re a themed loving speech therapist, you can use any of the following washing activities in your themes! Don’t like themes? Use them anytime!

All you’ll need is a tub, soapy water, a sponge or a cloth!

  • Wash the animals: Draw ‘dirt’ on animals using erasable markers or use mud to make the animals dirty. Have fun washing the animals using water! Target body parts, following directions, sequencing, concepts (wet, dry, dirty, clean), and describing. Use this during any zoo, farm, ocean, or pet speech therapy theme. This is also a great way to teach pronouns in speech therapy (wash him, give it to her) and s words for speech therapy (face, splash, mess, sponge).

  • Wash dishes: A perfect pretend play activity for speech theory that can be used during home visits or during a cooking or food theme! Bonus: Make a snack first and then wash up after yourselves!

  • Wash Cars: An easy activity for a transporting theme in speech therapy. If you’re really brave, you could bring in some dirt to make mud and really scrub those vehicles clean! This isa great way to target r words in speech therapy: car, ready, road, rim, scrub, gear, tire!

I hope you find these activities for speech therapy helpful!

Make sure to download this freebie with therapy ideas on it for future reference by signing up for my email list (link below)!


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