Year round speech therapy activities are the best because you can use them anytime - summer, winter, fall, or spring! You can use them when there isn’t a holiday to celebrate - or with your preschoolers and kindergarteners who don’t celebrate!
Non-holiday themes are also perfect for the budget-conscious SLP! You get a LOT of bang for your buck with your games, toys, speech therapy materials, and books because you can pull them out two (or three or four) times during the school year!
If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know that I love any resource that can target a tonne of goals. This is my round up of tried and true resources for a pets theme in speech therapy. As always, there are books, songs, hand-on activities, gross motor activities, games, toys, and distance learning resources.There is even a pet themed language assessment listed!
Some Pets: This story is a must for a pet theme. The bright and colourful pictures feature a huge variety of animals - which makes it great for describing, and following directions. It is also one of my favourites for final consonants Listen to the story on Youtube HERE.
What happened?: This book lends itself to working on wh-questions. On each page an animal gets hurt. You can ask, “who got hurt” and “what happened?” Your students will love ‘fixing’ the animal by giving them a band-aid (keep those little hands busy in sessions is key to successful therapy!) It also comes with a BOOM card if you are still in teletherapy!
Gimme a Bone!: This hands-on repetitive book is perfect for targeting bilabials (all the puppies have bilabial names and want to eat bones!), Possessive ’s, matching, and requesting. Your students will love to choose a bone for each pet while getting a tonne of practice on their goals. It is available as a BOOM card or PDF.
Diggin' Dogs: Not only do I love to play this game the way it is intended, but the magnetic bones and puppy noses are perfect for sensory bins, hide and find activities, and play routines.
Barrier Games: Barrier games are one of the easiest ways you can target spatial concepts and following directions. Simply have two copies of the scene and pieces. Each person takes one set and you either go back to back, or set them up on a platform so you cannot see each other’s set. Take turns giving directions to create identical scenes. It is such a fun and natural way to target language in a playful way!
Hape Family Pets: I say this all the time about so many toys, but this is one of my favorite toys. The reason I love this toy is because there are so many pieces! This allows for so many opportunities for language.
I loved this toy so much that I made my Play-Based Assessment to accompany it! (Don’t own the toy? Don’t worry! The assessment includes manipulatives you can use, as well as norms and elicitation through play ideas!
You can target/assess:
Possessive ’s: Match the food, bowls, and homes to each animal and discuss which animal it belongs to.
Verb Tenses: Play with the animals and make them do different actions. You can talk about what they WILL do, what they ARE doing, and what they already did.
Compare/Contrast: Compare and Contrast the different animals/food.
For more ideas make sure to check out my Play Based Assessment.
Critter Clinic: This is the cutest toy for any animal themed unit. You can target:
Core words: In, out, and open.
Describing: Describe each animal as you put it in/take it out.
Following directions: Give the animals a check up using the included vet tools. Give the child specific directions to follow.
Requesting: Cue the child to ask for a particular color of key by pointing or using words.
Puppies and Playdough: Some stuffed puppies and playdough are all you need to target just about every language goal. Your students will have fun creating different sized and coloured bones for the different stuffed puppies. An easy way to incorporate aritulcation and phonology therapy is to name the puppies to include the child’s target sound/pattern. This simple pairing is also a perfect activity to use if you have parents in your sessions because most families have stuffies and playdough at home, so they can use this speech therapy activity at home!
GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITY
Animal Action Cards: These animal action cards are perfect for a movement break, charades. They are a great addition to group therapy, since everyone can have a turn acting like an animal.
Use them to target a variety of goals, like:
Verb tenses: Talk about what you are doing while you are doing it.
Vocabulary: There are some less common verbs featured that you can use to teach verbs.
These super simple songs have repetitive lyrics, which make them perfect for little learners. You can use them to work on animal sounds, word shapes, verbs, and simple vocabulary.
Vet BOOM Card: When the Pandemic hit, I wanted to figure out a way that I could still PLAY through a screen - especially with my kiddos who struggled to play.
This BOOM deck features a number of ‘warm up’ scenes. The child can learn/practice different simple play routines that they can then incorporate into playing with the open ended scenes (or toys!).
Need therapy ideas? No problem! I included ideas for speech sounds, expressive language, receptive language and more.
Feed the Pets: This opened ended deck includes a list of target words, sorted by that you can use to target speech sounds in a fun and natural way.