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Top Toy for Older Students in Speech Therapy

I’m sharing one of my favourite toys for older kids in speech therapy. Despite popular belief, you can effectively and effiencitly PLAY with older students. This toy was such a hit in my last speech therapy session, that I knew I had to share it with you. You can target so many IEP goals - and you could use this fun toy with kids of all ages.

So, what is it?

It’s called a Fingerling. There are different types - monkeys and dinosaurs are my favorites. In my session, I was working on increasing MLU and the CVCV target ‘Dino’. Well, I will tell you that we got in SO MUCH practice. My student was SO motivated by this toy.

So, how does this toy work? Essentially, you do different things and the dinosaur reacts. For example, if you pet it’s head, it will make a noise. If you lay it down, it will fall asleep. You can also ‘train’ it to be a tame dinosaur.

Clearly this makes it a perfect toy to target following directions. You can ask the child to do different things to the dinosaur. You can also work on:

  • Predicting: Ask the student what they think will happen if they X. (e.g. what do you think will happen if you clap?)

  • Expanding MLU: Because the dinosaur reacts in different ways to different actions you can easily target two + three word phrases such as mad Dino, happy Dino, loud Dino, quiet Dino, mean Dino, sleeping Dino, roaring Dino.

  • Adjectives: Talk about the dinosaur. Talk about his bumps, spots, sharp teeth and more.

  • Verbs: Since the dinosaur does so many things, you can talk about his actions. For example, roar, sleep, move, and blink. (This also lends itself to working on verb tenses!).

  • If/Then Statements: Talk about what happens IF you do something.

  • Cause/Effect: Ue with younger students as a Cause + Effect Toy.

  • Body Parts: The dinosaur moves different body parts and has sensors on different parts of his body. You can talk about the parts while playing.

This is such a fun toy for older students (and younger students). I have seen them at Walmart and on Amazon!

Need a handout with some toy ideas for different stages of play? Make sure to grab this freebie from the Email Subscriber Exclusive library! (You'll get the password when you sign up for the email list! Sign up at the bottom of this page!)

Adapted from: Johnson, J. E., Christie, J. F., & Yawkey, T. D. (1987). Play and early childhood development. (F. Wardle, Photographer). Scott, Foresman & Co.


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