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  • Mandi Schaumburg

Give Your Therapy Toys More Purpose

Give Your Therapy Toys More Purpose with toy companions for speech therapy. I teamed up with Meredith from Peachie Speechie last year to write about how we use game companions in speech therapy to make common board games more effective (read that post here), and this year we want to talk about about toy companions.

I love using toys such as Mr. Potato Head, legos, animals, food, etc... in therapy and have for years. I decided that I wanted a more structured way to use these toys for specific articulation and language objectives. This is why I started creating toy companions with the same theory I used for game companions (students will relate to the toys, which translates in greater engagement for learning). Disclaimer: I still use toys in natural play with my younger students (play therapy). My toy companions are targeted at school-aged students to create a structured and FUN therapy experience for specific articulation and language objectives.

Meredith from Peachie Speechie feels the same way and has created some really fun toy companions. This is what she had to say about it:

"I love using toys in therapy because it is an easy way to motivate and encourage my students while still targeting their speech and language objectives. Toy companion products can be sent home for additional practice with parents. They provide just the right amount of structure to a play activity, making sure that goals are being targeted while the kids are having fun."

We wanted to share some of our favorite toy companions that can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers from us and other SLPs. There are links to FREEBIES too! (Click on the name to see it in TPT)

Articulation Racing Mats by Panda Speech (Language version available too).

This activity was designed to be a simple, no-prep activity to target articulation using toy cars. This version includes the following sounds: Initial/final p/b/m (for bilabials and final consonants), final t, d, n (for final consonants), initial/medial/final: k, g, f, v, l, s, z, sh, ch, th, lblends, , sblends (sp, st, sm, sn, sk, sl, sw, mixed), pre-vocalic r, er, or, ar, air, ear, & rblends. I also included blank open-ended pages. The students will practice a word, place the car over it, and race it towards the included finish line!

Potato Builder Speech by Peachie Speechie

These no prep worksheets are perfect for young students working on articulation skills. The student will dot or color the circles each time they practice the target word. When they complete all of the circles, they get a part of the potato man to build! This version includes common articulation targets in various positions of words. There are also pages for different syllable structures (great for apraxia).

These are low prep companion mats to use with those little flippy frogs (the ones you push down on the back of and they jump). It also comes with a pond and lily pad to make it a fun game. Your students will love seeing how many frogs they can get in the pond. It comes in an articulation and language version. The articulation version includes commonly targeted phonemes. The language version includes a variety of objectives for elementary aged students.

These no prep worksheets are perfect for young students with apraxia. They come in different vowel shapes and number of syllables. These worksheets pair with simple shape sorter toys. This is also great to target fine motor skills at the same time. Includes: • VC (vowel consonant) shapes: 1 page • CV (consonant vowel) shapes: 2 pages • CVC (consonant vowel consonant) shapes: 3 pages • CVCV shapes: 2 pages • CVCVC shapes: 1 page • CVCVCV shapes: 1 page • 3 syllable words: 2 pages • 4 syllable words: 1 page

Earn Your Bricks BUNDLE by Panda Speech (articulation and language mats).

These mats are a toy companion to the popular building brick toys that many SLPs have in their speech room. You can use any size or shape brick you want! The bundle includes articulation mats for commonly targeted phonemes and language targets for elementary aged students (available separately too). The student will practice words, collect bricks, and then is rewarded by getting to build whatever they want!

These mats pair with farm toys and play dough (play dough optional). Students will use the toys to pretend to eat the grass or hay on the mats while practicing articulation. The play dough adds another fun element to it that students enjoy. This pack covers commonly targeted articulation sounds.

This is a FREE download to work on sounds in isolation. The student will use a car or their finger to trace the road and practice the sound at every stop sign. Simple, no prep, and FUN! It covers the following sounds: P • B • M • T • D • F • V • K • G • L • R • S • J • SH • CH • TH

Peachie Speechie found a way to use the spinner craze to get maximum practice in speech therapy. This packet is genius. The student places a spinner on the page and they try to practice all of the target words before it stops! I used this last year and just having the spinner present in the session motivated my students! She even has graphics and templates available for this as well. Her packet covers the following: • Initial P • Initial K • Medial K • Final K • Initial G • Medial G • Final G • Initial F • Initial R • Medial R • Final R • R Blends • Initial L • Medial L • Final L • L Blends • Initial S • Medial S • Final S • S Blends • Initial SH • Initial CH

Many of us have those craft pom poms laying around. I decided to turn mine into a toy and make a toy companion for it! This is a SIMPLE way to practice articulation that kids LOVE. You will need small cups (like dixie bathroom cups). The student will line up the cups over the target words and toss pom poms in the cups. When one lands in a cup, remove it and practice the target word. Keep tossing until all the cups are gone. Available in a language version for elementary aged students.

This is an interactive way to get your students on the floor driving cars and practicing articulation. You create articulation roads (low-high prep options included). It covers the following sounds: , G, S, Z, F, TH, SH, CH, L, R, S blends, R blends, L blends. So much fun!

This packet pairs with trains and wooden train tracks to target common phonological processes treated in therapy. It covers final consonant deletion, stopping, velar fronting, and cluster reduction. It includes visual cues that are themed for the activity. Students love trains! I use this when I do train themed lesson or when reading the book Old Tracks New Tricks.

Here is a FREE download that was made to go with the Fisher Price Piggy Bank (you attach the labels to the coins). It covers the following: actions, basic nouns, summer vocabulary, adjectives, body parts, and emotions. A great FREEBIE if you own this toy.

Who doesn't love bubbles? I always have bubbles on hand in my therapy room. This packet is awesome because that is all you need (bubbles!) Here is what it comes with: *Bubble Flipbook (lower grades) *How Bubbles Work Passage/Questions (upper grades) *Bubble Experiment *Bubble Foam Activities *Bubble Target Practice (for any skill) *Articulation Bubble Practice *Following Directions with Bubbles *Personal Space with Bubbles *Bubble Tags for summer break

Need a structured activity for your wind ups? Wind Up Artic was designed as a simple mat for your wind up toys to travel on. The student will practice the words they pass over as they travel across the mat. This works best with the slow moving wind up toys. If you only have the fast moving kind, have the student place the wind up on each circle and practice the word. After they have practiced all the words, put the wind up toys at the start line and race them!

Have you found any more toy companions? If you have I would love to know about them! Leave me a comment! If you have a toy that you think we should make a companion for, leave it in the comments!



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