Friday, September 28, 2012

Show N Tell Question Cards

It's that time of has started which means "Show N Tell", probably one of our (SLPs) favorite classroom language based activities!!!

Why do we LOVE Show N Tell so much you ask?  This simple little activity brings to the classroom what we try so desperately to teach our language delayed kiddos in the therapy room.  This one activity targets so many communication skills:

1.  How to formulate a grammatically correct question? (expressive language)
2.  How to answer a quesion?  (receptive and expressive language)
3.  Understanding the difference between WH question words (receptive language)
4.  Targets Social Skills (taking turns, waiting until one person is finshed before another talks, etc.)
5.  Simple way to encourage correct articulation and use of voice for teachers (All day everyday monitoring is NOT possible for teachers, BUT if the classroom teacher just picks one or two activities in their classroom that they can monitor and cue a child to correclty produce target sounds or correct use of volume, pitch, vocal quality...I'd love it to be this one!  Target goals in conversation level!)

This is why we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Show N Tell.  So why do teachers dislike such a great language activity?
1.  It can take a very long time as everyone wants to ask ?s.
2.  You always have the repeat offenders who ask the same ? every time or ask the same ? they just heard.
3.  All the kids want to touch and play with each others' toys.

Well I would like to think I can offer teachers a simple solution (at least to problems 1 & 2 above).

Here are some picture cards for the 6 different WH? words that can be used during Show N Tell (or other activities). 

I was thinking a teacher could either hold them in her/his hand, or put the picture cards in a bucket and have children pick one at a time and ONLY the child with ? card gets to ask a ? beginning with that word.  Once all 6 ?s are asked, Show N Tell for that student is over and the next one comes up.  

If you have a HUGE class or lack of time, you can modify this by giving only 3 cards out for each Show N Tell.  

Or you can modify however you see fit, but I think you catch my drift here.

There are many benefits to using these question cues card:
1) Using these cards will give your students a visual of what kind of question they should ask.
2) The cards can assure the students when or if it is their turn to talk.
3) The cards can keep this activity going quickly and smoothly.
4) You can make sure you are getting quality questions by using the various question words and so on.    

The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981–2010 by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.  Boardmaker™ is a trademark of Mayer-Johnson LLC.

DynaVox Mayer-Johnson; 2100 Wharton Street; Suite 400; Pittsburgh, PA 15203; Phone: 1 (800) 588-4548; Fax: 1 (866) 585-6260; Email:; Web site:

For PDF Version:

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little freebie!  They can easily be adapted for any language activity in therapy or at home (if you are a parent reading this) as well.

You plan on using these for something other than Show N Tell?  Comment below and share your great ideas!

Happy Talking!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let's go on a Speech Corn Maze!

This material has been removed.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

 It's the fall and corn mazes are one of the fun things to do with family and friends.  Why not bottle some of that fun when practicing speech goals?

I made this quick little fun reinforcer activity you can do at home, school or maybe even out at the park...all while working on your speech goals.

Always remember to ask your SLP for guidance on how to use materials found on for your child's particular goals.

Corn Maze Reinforcer Activity includes:
  • one page of corn maze pictures with points
  • two pages of corn pictures with various directions
How can you use this activity at home?
  • You can create your own "corn maze" at home. 
  • Taking turns practicing your child's speech goals/homework with him/her and then your child then "follow the maze" in order to find points cards to keep score. 
  • If you make two copies of points cards (put them on different colored backgrounds) and mix them up, your child can play with you or other siblings.  The one with the most points wins!
You have another idea for this activity?  Comment below!!!!

Enjoy your maze and Happy Talking!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Articulation Fall Leaves

Here are several pages of various pictures you can use for a fall themed game for articulation, vocabulary development, following directions, answering ?s, using modifiers to describe pictures, combining pictures to make sentences and many, many more language activities.  Pictures courtesy of Boardmaker Plus.

This packet has several pages of familiar initial /k, g, s, r/ sound pictures as well as a blank page so you can create your own. 

**For Personal Use ONLY; NOT for redistribution!  Communication Station: Speech Therapy, PLLC reserves the creative rights to all materials made and published on**

Symbols from Boardmaker:  The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981–2010 by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.  Boardmaker™ is a trademark of Mayer-Johnson LLC.  DynaVox Mayer-Johnson; 2100 Wharton Street; Suite 400; Pittsburgh, PA 15203; Phone: 1 (800) 588-4548; Fax: 1 (866) 585-6260; Email:; Web site:

If you are a parent and not really sure how to use these cards here's a fun list of 10 quick and simple games you can play:

1.  I spy:  cut up, hide pics around your room/house and play "I spy" with your children.

2.  Memory/Concentration:  print 2 copies and play a old fashioned version of memory (making sure your child labels each word/picture when picked up)

3.  Silly Stories:  put pictures in a bucket and pull each out one by one adding sentences onto a make a silly story.

4.  Hot-n-Cold:  at home, pick a safe room, post/hide pictures and have your child (blindfolded) search the room, and you say "hot" or "cold" as your child get closer or farther away from pictures.

5.  Twister fun:  put cards on Twister mat and your child gets to pick up cards on the dot of the color he/she spun.

6.  Bowling:  you don't need bowling pins for this game...just a ball and some empty water bottles as pins.  You can tape pictures to "pins" or put pictures under them (which I prefer b/c then you don't mess up the pictures with tape) and as your child knocks over the pins he/she labels the picture.

7.  Golf:  all you need is a broom and a ball, as your child rolls OVER pictures placed on the floor he/she labels them or uses them in a sentence etc.

8.  Guessing Game:  "I'm thinking of a...." You and your child take turns describing pictures by their attributes and guessing, if guessed correctly, that person gets the card.  The one with most cards wins!

9.  Silly Songs:  Same premise of silly sentences, as you pick out a picture you and your child attempt to think of a song (or make on up) with that word in it.

10.  Silly Rhymes:  Create silly rhymes with the pictures you and your child choose.

Full PDF version:

Fall Leaves Initial k, g, r, s

You have another idea for these leaves? Feel free to share by commenting below! 
Happy Talking!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm a Nut for Speech Thearpy! Reinforcer Game

This material has been removed.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

Looking for a reinforcer activity for your children for speech practice?  Check out this fun little fall themed reinforcer activity called I'm a Nut for Speech Therapy!

Remember that reinforcer activities can be used for all speech and language goals!  Speak to your SLP or comment below and I'll try to help you find ways to incorporate this into your child's home speech practice.

This PDF version has a leafless Autumn Tree, two pages of fall leaves and a page of acorns (with points on each).  Your child could take turns practicing their speech and langauge materials, then pick a card out a basket...if they get a leaf it goes on the tree, if they get an acorn, its their's.  Or...put acorns behind leaves on trees, when students pick leaves off tree, they get the acorn.  When all the cards/leaves/acorns are chosen, add up all the points, and whomever has the most points wins!

Have any other ideas for these materials?  Comment below!

Happy Talking!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Apple Picking Time!!!!

In lieu of all the WONDERFUL things we get to do in the fall (corn mazes, pumpkin carving, etc.) I saw this super cute idea for an apple picking activity from No Time For Flashcards called the Alphabet Apple Tree. 
I could see so many AWESOME speech and language activities in this one idea that I HAD to make some free materials just for you!

This material has been removed.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

Enjoy "Apple Picking" and as always....Happy Talking!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My 5 yr old son repeats full words. Should I be concerned?

Q.  My 5yo son has a rather odd speech pattern. He will repeat a word over and over until the next word comes to mind and he can continue his narrative. It isn't a syllable or a sound but a full word and it is random. It is almost always present but certainly more evident when he is making up a story or excited to tell me something. Should I worry and is there anything I should do? Thank you
A.  Thanks for the question.  Its a good one that many parents see and wonder about. 

Disclaimer:  It is difficult to make clinical judgements from short descriptions of behavior and minimal history without seeing a child. However, I will give you my recommendations to the best of my knowledge based on the presented information.  I urge you to follow up with a speech language pathologist in your area for additional assistance as needed.

What should I do about stuttering?

From your description, it sounds like your child's primary use of dysfluencies (stuttering) is for word retrieval.  It is not uncommon for children to use word or phrase repetitions as a delay technique in order to correct their grammar or vocabulary in their minds prior to vocalizing (I encourage you to read my blog on Typical Dysfluencies for further explanation).  With that said there are several things you can do at home to encourage fluency which I will discuss now (please see my blog on What you can do right now to improve your child's fluency for further techniques not mentioned here today.):
  • Slow Down:  when you slow your rate of speech down, saying each word slowly, with ease, pausing between every couple of words, your child will respond accordingly using a slower rate of speech which will give his brain some time to sort through vocabulary and retrieve the correct word for which he is looking.  Do this especially when he seems excited and really wants to tell you something: 1.)Lower your body so you are eye to eye with him (giving him the sense he has your full attention), 2.) lower your volume (to a quiet one on one conversation level, giving him the sense that he HAS time to tell you his story...there is no urgency), 3.) and then finally slow your rate (your imitation of a slow rate will relax him and help him to slow his rate).
  • Don't Interrupt:  Please please don't interrupt your child or try to "give him" the word he is searching for.  Although we want so desperately to help our children, this just gives him a sense of urgency, that he must say things quickly or he will loose your attention.
  • Don't forget the praise:  "Wow, I see it was hard for you to find that word, but you took your time and found it!  I really like when you take your time to tell me something!  I love to hear your stories!"
What can I do about word retrieval problems?

In addition to these fluency enhancing techniques, there are several games you could play at home to improve your child's vocabulary organization (we SLPs call this semantic mapping) which can aid in faster word retrieval with the hope to result in fewer dysfluencies.
  1. Categories Games:  Labeling objects in a category can help organize words within your child's brain.  So you can print out pictures and have your child group them in piles that belong together (ex.  horse, cow, duck, sheep-go on a picture of a barn, where as apples, bananas, grapes, and watermelon-go on picture of a plate, etc.).  Or if you are out and about and don't have any pictures with you, can you can always play this in a verbal game format.  Eg. "Name three farm animals/tools/pieces of furniture/things you find in the bathroom, etc.).  Here a link to some free categories games you can play with  your child...just print out and play...from Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology 
  2. Guessing Games:   I love guessing games, and do them all the time with my son when we are stuck in line at the grocery store or waiting for our food at a restaurant.  You and your child take turns describing an object by its attributes and the other person guesses the object.  Eg.  "I'm thinking of an animal, it lives on a farm, it makes milk and it says 'moo'" or "I'm thinking of a fruit, it has a yellow peel, its shaped like a crescent moon, and monkeys like to eat them."  Here is a link to already made game where your child can sort descriptors with correct object also from Let's Talk Speech-Language Pathology...just print out and play.
  3. Word Association Games:  You can do this with or without pictures...but for younger kids I prefer going on Bing or Google and putting some associated pictures on a word document, print it out, and cut them up separately to see if a child can pair up the right pictures (if you son is a reader you can just type associative word lists, cut and have him pair them).  Eg.  "scarf, glove", "toothpaste, toothbrush", "salt, pepper", etc.  Over the next week I will be posting some synonym and antonym games so stay tuned and you can download and print for free!
  4. Synonyms/Antonyms games:   The simplest way to play these games without any pictures or props would be to have your child simple tell you if these two words mean the same thing or something different.  Eg.  "hot, warm"-same, "ugly, pretty"-different, etc.  Once your child is really good at that game you can have him think of two words and you can tell him if they are the same or different.  If you want to use a visual, you can always print out pictures and have him match them up.  On blog I have a dinosaur opposites bingo game you can just download and print if you want to use that.
There are just a few ideas of what you can do at home to help your child's word retrieval and enhance fluency. 

Should I be concerned?

You asked if you should be concerned.  I would become concerned if you try all of the above techniques and no improvement or even decline is noted!  Your child is still in that age range where dyfluencies can be typical in nature BUT you should see some improvement if you use the above techniques and activities.  Also if your child really struggles with participating in the above games, and is easily frustrated, I would urge you to follow up with an SLP immediately as that indicates some further difficulties in language development.

How do I get my child screened?

Call your school district or neighboring private practice SLP and ask for your child to be screened for speech and language skills with particular focus on his fluency.  Prior to screening, take video of your child's dysfluencies.  I will say that when I have to screen kiddos with a concern of stuttering, I really appreciate it if parents are able to take some video of their children prior to screening because IF your child doesn't exhibit any dysfluencies during the screening, I have no option but to send the child home as I have no evidence to determine need for further testing.

I hope this information has answered your question.  Feel free to comment me if you have additional ?s.

SLPs out there, if you read this and have other techniques feel free to comment below. Knowledge is power!

Happy Talking!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tongue Thrust, Part 3: Assessment

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tongue Thrust Part 2: Prevention

This post has been relocated!

You can find the new location here!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tongue Thrust: A Remediation Program!

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You can find it's new location here!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grandparents Day Craft/Card: A simple language activity!

Making a craft together with your child is a GREAT way to facilitate language.  Your child learns the function of craft objects as well as several simple vocabulary words ("stickers, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, paint, painbrushes, etc"  as well as color names)!  In addition, you can practice following simple one-step directions, multi-step directions, and/or directions using location concepts (using prepositions such as "on, next to, above/over, below/under" etc.).  

If you are working on correct speech production, fluent speech, social skills, or correct use of voice (volume, pitch, etc.) ANY language can be used to target those goals. Ask your SLP for guidance or comment below and I will try to help you modify a craft activity accordingly.

For a simple craft my son and I decided to make a grandparents day card (grandparents day is September 9th of this year).  So I searched the site of all sites one goes to for ideas...Pinterest.  I saw this cute card where you use a cupcake liner, as a flower bloom and put your child's face in the middle.  I, of course, didn't have any cupcake liners in my house I tweeked this idea a bit and it is!

First I got out all the materials and laid them out on the table.  However, I made a ROOKIE MISTAKE and I didn't make an example of what we where going to make.  For a two year old...the more visuals the better.  So please please remember NOT to make my mistakes at home...make your child an example first!

We started by "cutting" stems for the flowers.  We talked about what scissors are used for as well as the dangers of using them without adult supervision.  Quite a bit of language for one little task but you'd be amazed how much your children will understand and learn just by hearing you talk.  With LOTS of help and hand over  hand modeling (which is hard as I am a lefty and my son is a righty) we successfully cut our strips of paper!!!  If your child is NOT ready for can show him/her and talk about these things or just focus on two words "open, close/shut" every time you open an close the scissors to cut.  Rhymic repetition is a nice way to practice and model new words.

Next it was time to glue the stems onto the paper.  More learning...we talked about glue, how it "sticks" things together, and what other things can we use to keep things together (tape, rubber bands, paperclips, etc.).  During this time you can see the concentration on his face as he tries to coordinate both hands (one to glue and the other to hold the paper).  Look at the next picture...
See how his tongue is out!  So cute!  It is not uncommon for children who are concentrating on something difficult to make some sort of face as they are "working".  Many children I have worked with will actually open and close their mouths when they first practice cutting (yes, my son does the same thing) because they are concentrating on that "open, close" movement of their hands.

On to the next step, gluing the "flower" onto the TOP of the stem.  Great direction following here.  He had to remember to turn the flower over, put glue on the back, turn it back over, place it at the top of the stem and hold down.  Gluing is a GREAT problem solving activity because of the number of steps a child needs to take to actually get that glued object to stick to the paper!

Last step, glue his picture in the CENTER of the flower.  It was a new word I used for him.  I usually say middle, but I thought I'd extend his vocabulary by using a synonym.  Synonms are a GREAT way to quickly expand your child's vocabulary.  Just remember to tell them what it means the first time they hear it!

And here is the finished product!  Well before we signed our "I love Yous" to it!
Because we had to make several cards, it took some time and we made each card in the same sequence.  After the first card, I began to ask him "what do we do next" to see if he remembered or could problem solve by looking at the first card he did.  You'll be surprised how much you child remembers with a simple visual cue.

Remember, its not the complexity of the craft...its the kind of language you are using when making the craft.  I like to pick crafts that are NOT too complex when I am focusing on language because I want my son to listen to my words more often than trying to figure out how to make a craft!

Do you and your children have a favorite craft you like to do at home?  How do you incorporate language into it?  Please share your ideas by commenting below!

Happy Talking!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dinosaur Opposties Games!

Looking for a way to practice opposites???  Well here is a fun Dinosaur Opposites Bingo game just for you!!!

*Dinosaur clip art from KPM Doodles!  Other pictures guessed it...Boardmaker! Friendly reminder...all posted materials are for personal use only!*

Boarmaker retains all copyrights to their symbols.  The Picture Communication Symbols ©1981–2010 by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission.  Boardmaker™ is a trademark of Mayer-Johnson LLC

DynaVox Mayer-Johnson; 2100 Wharton Street; Suite 400; Pittsburgh, PA 15203; Phone: 1 (800) 588-4548; Fax: 1 (866) 585-6260; Email:; Web site:

Also remember you can make any language activity an articulation, voice, or fluency activity.  For specific help, you can ask your ?s below and I'll try and help you out or talk to your child's SLP for guidance on how to use this activity!

You can grab your copy at boarmaker share website (you must own boarkmaker to print them out)

I added some of these fun volcano chips if you want to have your kiddos use them!!!  Any other ideas for these?  Comment below.

As always...Happy Talking!!!
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