Fun With Familiar Games

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Do you ever have students light up and say “Oh! I’ve done these before!” when you pull out a tried and true printable game? Kids love routines and they love things that are familiar.

Better yet, we don’t have to waste precious therapy time explaining rules when we could be getting high repetitions of therapy targets! We can also send printables home with the student after the session to use as homework targets and to keep parents in the loop about what we are working on in therapy.

Here are some of our favorites! We hope you enjoy them too!


  1. Our articulation and language maze activities are my favorite go-to no-prep printable for mixed groups. It is a life saver to have one activity that my articulation and language students can work at the same time. The language mazes are even divided by Level 1 skills (K-2) and Level 2 skills (3-6) for synonyms, antonyms, and multiple meaning words!Mazes
  2. These fantastic articulation puzzles for every month include the following sounds: p, b, m, n, t, d, h, w, k, g, f, v, s, z, s-blends, l-blends, r-blends, pre-vocalic r, vocalic r, l, ch, sh, th, and J.  My favorite thing about them is that they include a picture cue for each target word non-readers. They are a huge hit in my KG-3rd grade groups.Puzzles.png
  3. Our dot-to-dots are a no-prep printable that your students will love! They will connect a dot each time they say a target sound and to make form a picture. Each set has 20-25 words per page,  and each unit includes over 150 Dot-to-Dot pages targeting K, G, S, Z, L, R, SH, CH, J, L/R/S Blends, and Voiced & Voiceless TH! Each sound target is broken down by initial, medial, and final position of words PLUS by 1, 2, and 3+ syllable words!  Did I mention they are no-prep!?Dots
  4. These word searches provide a fun activity for students to do while waiting for a turn, and also make a great take home activity. I love the space provided to write a sentence using three words from the list.Word Search.png
  5. If you have ever played connect four, you will love this speech version called dots and boxes. My favorite way to use these is to laminate them and let students use dry erase markers to play so I can use them again and again as a quick, grab-and-go therapy session.Dots and Boxes.png

Do you have any familiar games you love to play with your therapy groups? We would love to hear about them in a comment on this post!

Speech, Teach, & Love,

Ana

Five Familiar Favorites

Using Bowling Blocks in Speech Therapy

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GUYS… I bought two sets of Halloween themed bowling blocks at Target Dollar Spot (they were $3.00. (???)) and they have allowed for SO many fun therapy sessions. I am always looking to not only spruce up the “sit-at-a-table” sessions, but also to incorporate some activity into the learning. Well, this has done just that. The kids are insanely loving it. I will probably hear, “can we bowl today?” until May, but hey, whatever works, amiright?

Here’s how I transformed these cute blocks into speech, language, and fluency therapy:

 

First, I cut strips of laminated card stock into rectangles (roughly 1″x2″ but honestly, I eyeballed them). I then attached hook and loop fasteners to the backs of those rectangles and to the backs of the bowling blocks. Next, I attached the two parts together and trimmed excess paper  that was showing  from the front as needed.

 

Finally, I used a fine tip dry erase marker to write my target skills on the laminated rectangles. SO SIMPLE! These are easily reusable- just wipe off and write on new targets! I saved a few extra rectangles with the hook and loop on the backs to quickly change out targets while we are working. I’ve used synonyms, antonyms, categories, verbs, adjectives, describing, themed vocabulary, articulation targets, fluency techniques, multiple meaning words, and more with this game; the possibilities are endless. These are also great to target social skills like turn taking and teamwork (setting up the blocks for the other person) .

 

Here’s how I set up the session:

The kids come in and I explain the rules of bowling (if they haven’t played before) and their targeted skill focus for the day. We talk a bit about their skill and then we begin playing. Each child takes an individual turn rolling the (eye)ball down the “lane” (floor) toward the bowling pins. When they knock a pin over, they have to practice their skill with the word on the back of how ever many blocks they knocked down. They move those blocks out of the way and hand them to the next person in line to start setting up their bowling lane a few feet away. The student gets one more turn to try to knock down any remaining blocks and repeat the process. We use the same set of scoring rules for regular bowling (except, obviously, there are only 6 pins).

Look for these adorable sets at your nearest Target Dollar ($3) Spot and try them for yourself! What’s your favorite dollar spot find? Any other ideas for ways to use these in sessions? Let me know in the comments!

Speech, Teach, & Love,

Lacy

Using Relaxation in Fluency Therapy

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Hi everyone!

I’m excited to begin the first of many blog posts helping walk you through fluency therapy! If you feel like you don’t have the background you need to help your fluency students, you are not alone. I know fluency is a dreaded part of our job for good number of my colleagues, and there’s a good reason why! Most of us just don’t get the hands on experience in school that would make us confident in using treatment techniques. I am going to give an overview of what works for me, and hopefully it will make you more confident in working with these students/clients.

Guided Relaxation for Fluency Therapy

Fluency Lesson #1- Relaxation

Why is relaxation an important part of fluency therapy?

  1. Relaxation can help with anxiety

Our students are coming from their busy lives into a fluency treatment session. It doesn’t matter if they are a child, an adolescent, or an adult, it helps to come into the room and relax, leaving the worries of the day behind before beginning treatment.  When a student is feeling anxious, we can teach them to use relaxation to calm down and consider the emotional aspects of stuttering. We can help them to think of why they are feeling anxious, and learn to relax their bodies to help their minds prepare for a new activity.

  1. Relaxation can help with proprioceptive awareness

Proprioceptive awareness, or awareness of the body in space, is shown to be an area of weakness for some people who stutter. Guided relaxation brings attention to the tension and relaxation of individual muscle groups, improving overall body awareness. By thinking of our various muscle groups and how they work, we are focusing attention to our body in space and how we are moving, as well as the basic feelings of tension and relaxation. This will be helpful as you move forward in discussing tension and relaxation as it pertains to fluency. It is good to have a general understanding of these terms, and practice in a non-communication context before moving on to practicing fluency shaping techniques.

  1. Relaxation can help with mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment. The practice of mindfulness has been found to help some people who stutter to become more fluent. When we help clients/students relax and become present in the moment, it helps set the stage for a productive fluency treatment session. You can help your students to focus on there here and now, instead of getting wrapped up in all of the “what ifs” of what is to come.

  1. Relaxation can help with muscle tension

Muscle tension can occur anywhere in the body during a moment of dysfluency. Being aware of the muscle groups of the body, the feelings of tension and relaxation, and how to achieve muscle relaxation can be useful in managing this physical component of dysfluency.

 

So how can I work on relaxation?

There are many ways to approach relaxation with your students. Some of these include, exercise, meditation, listening to music, stretching, yoga, and guided relaxation.

My personal favorite is guided relaxation because unlike listening to music and other techniques, the therapist can lead the activity. It is also less intimidating and less physical than yoga or other exercises, which I think makes it more accessible to the average person. It can also be used in mixed groups, since it can be a good way to start any session, regardless of student goals.

In guided relaxation, the speech pathologist reads a script, and the students close their eyes and follow along. The script will typically work through major muscle groups from head to toe, and the SLP can choose whether to read the whole script, or focus on a specific muscle group in any given session.

You can purchase and download my personal script for guided relaxation by clicking the link below:

Guided Relaxation Script For Kids- $3.25

 

Speech, Teach, & Love,

Ana