Stuck in a Rut? My Favorite Speech Therapy Activities That Do NOT Require Board Games or iPads

**In honor of the end of the school year, my articulation mad-libs bundle is on-sale! Because I know we all need some no-prep, print and go activities up our sleeves during the crazy, hectic last days of school! **

I have a love-hate relationship with articulation therapy. Here’s a little pro’s/con’s list I’ve made in my mind:

Pro’s:

  • Easy to plan (or make up on the fly as you go….)
  • Easy to track data
  • Students typically make quick progress – yay!

Con’s

  • SOOOOOOO BORING.

And I am NOT talking about apraxia or cleft palate or any of the complicated speech disorders – those kiddos keep me on my toes. When it comes to plain old artic – occasionally there is that tricky student and then I’m googling and researching and using my brain a TON to figure them out. But 99% of the time, my brain is on auto-pilot when my students are practicing their sounds. I’ve got those placement cues memorized and could give a visual/verbal model in my sleep. Scaffolding articulation therapy is easy-peasy and I can hear the difference between a “good” /s/ and lateral airflow standing on my head with my eyes closed.

Don’t get me wrong – with all the complicated kiddos on my caseload, paperwork demands, and million other things to do, it’s refreshing to have a straight-forward case once in a while. But that doesn’t mean articulation therapy should be boring. Here is a list of my favorite ways to spice things up in the speech room (because I can’t play Candyland every. single. day.):

*Sometimes the best way to make things interesting is simply to get OUT of the speech room. Some of these activities are best done outside*

  • Hopscotch – place stimulus pictures on each square or write words with sidewalk chalk
  • Scooter race – race to a picture (or again, write words on chalk outside)
  • Up and down the slide – I’ve found it works best to have students say the target sound at the top of the slide and then they are rewarded for a correct production by going down the slide
  • Madlibs – such a great way to get semi-structured conversational practice!
  • The box game – was anyone else obsessed with this game as a child?  Tons of practice opportunities and as an adult, I still think this game is fun!
  • Jenga – invest in a set (or the generic”jumbling tower”) and write your most common target words on the blocks
  • Literacy-based sound practice – I LOVE using books in therapy and my students love it, too! Speech Sprouts put together an awesome list of storybooks sorted by target sound
  • Literacy extension craft activities – once we’ve read a book and practiced the target sounds from the text, I love doing extension craft activities to continue practicing the target sounds in a less structured context. This always allows for more spontaneous productions and self-monitoring opportunities. No Time for Flashcards has a great list of 25 crafts paired with popular books to get you started.
  • Countdown Chains – I like to do this craft in December to countdown the days until winter break, but you can create chains to countdown to anything exciting – summer break, halloween, or a family trip your student is looking forward too. I love sending these home as a carry-over and home practice activity. Just have students glue a target picture or write a target word on each link of the chain.
  • “Flashlight” hide and seek – my students LOVE this one! We tape stimulus pictures all around the room, grab our flashlights, and hit the lights. Whatever word we find with our flashlights, we practice! So simple and motivating!

Sometimes I get in a rut and end up doing flashcard drills, iPad apps, and board games, but I try to mix things up to keep my students interested and motivated. What are your favorite articulation activities? Have you tried any of these? Do you have any fun, creative ideas? I’m always looking for new ideas – leave me a comment and let me know!

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