Category "Speech Therapy Ideas"


If you have kids on your caseload exhibiting the phonological process of “stopping” then one essential trick to have in your “bag of tricks” is something called the “h insertion” or “h aspiration” trick. I first read about it on Dr. Caroline Bowen’s amazing website ( that has a wealth of information and tips for working with children with articulation and phonological disorders.

The trick is to have a child insert a /h/ initial word after the initial fricative sound you are targeting which helps inhibit the production of the stop sound they were producing instead in error. For example, a child who is producing “soap” as “tope” you would have them say “s-hope” which gets a very close approximation of “soap” and frequently prevents them from inserting the “t” in error. I have found this technique particularly helpful which children who can produce the initial fricative correctly after instruction but still insert a stopped sound (i.e. “s-toap” for “soap).

There are free picture lists for using the “h aspiration trick” at I also include pages with the “h aspiration trick” in my Speech Car Mats for Fronting and Stopping pack which is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Articulation Car Mats H Aspiration TrickThere are Mats includes to target stopping of initial /s/, /sh/, and /f/ using the “h insertion trick” and the pack also includes mats without the “h insertion trick” for when the child no longer needs that.

The Mats also include a Boom Card(TM) Version now which is awesome because kids can drag the digital car across the screen which I have found really helps them keep the targeted fricative sound “sliding” along instead of stopping the sound.

Stopping H Insertion Trick Boom CardsSpeech Therapy

My other tip for working on stopping is to use gestural and kinesthetic cues. My go-to is a sliding finger down my arm for “s”, a sliding finger along my pursed lips for “sh” and a sliding finger along my lower lip for “f”. This helps the child see that these sounds are “longer sounds” not just a quick tap.

If you want to grab the Speech Therapy Car Mats for Fronting and Stopping they are available either individually or as a big bundle of Speech Therapy Car Mats for Apraxia and Phonology.

Car Mats Activities for Apraxia and Phonological Disorders


Interactive Books are one of my absolute must-haves materials as a preschool speech pathologist. They are so engaging and versatile for working on a wide variety of preschool language skills. I have them for every preschool theme my classroom teachers use so that I can work on language skills using relevant vocabulary. I use my “What Do You See? Interactive Vocabulary Books” at the start of every month. They are the perfect push-in speech therapy activity. I read the full color version of the book during circle time and then my students make their own book to take home using the black and white version. See below to see an example of the “Teacher, Teacher, What Do You See?” Interactive Book that is all about school supply/back to school vocabulary.

Back to School Theme Interactive Vocabulary Book for Speech Therapy


These interactive books are so versatile that you can use them for so much more than circle time and small group activities. They are excellent for preschool classrooms, special education classrooms, early intervention, and English Language Learners. I often get asked for how the interactive books can be used so I wanted to share some ideas!

I love pairing the books with a sensory bin! You can see how I paired my Bug Theme Interactive “What Do You See?” Book with a fun sensory bug sensory bin by hiding the vocabulary cards in the grass with some plastic bugs.

Bugs Insects Interactive Book and Sensory Bin Idea

Another fun activity is to gather up the matching objects that go with a vocabulary book and hide them in a bag or mystery box. As the student reads through the book he/she must reach and feel the objects and try to find the correct object that matches the page. You can see below how I used a mystery box paired with small vehicles to go with my Vehicle Theme “What Do You See?” Book.

Vehicles Theme Interactive Book Speech Therapy Activity

I also love printing an extra set of the picture cards to use in a pocket chart for my emerging readers to work on sight words or expanding their language skills. In the example below, I made a pocket chart for practicing sight words with the school vocabulary from my School Theme “What Do You See” Interactive Book.

Pocket Chart Example

One way I like to extend the vocabulary into a writing activity is by hiding the vocabulary cards around the room to do a “write the room” activity. Students search around the room to find all the vocabulary cards and write each word on their recording sheet.

Write the Room Example

These are just a few of the ways that I use my Interactive Vocabulary Books! I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t even thought of. The “I see the” pocket chart cards and the Write the Room recording sheet are available as a free bonus file with my Bundle of “What Do You See?” Interactive Vocabulary Books on Teachers Pay Teachers. The bundle has books covering 15 popular themes! Click below to grab it!

Interactive Vocabulary Books for Speech and Special Education


Teaching pronouns to children with autism or language delays can be so tricky! Learning to correctly use “he” and “she” and especially “my” and “your” can take lots of repetitions and practice for our little ones! Here are some of my favorite ideas for teaching pronouns in speech therapy sessions in an interactive and fun way (no flash cards!).

My number one requested game by my students for teaching the pronouns is this Yum Yum Pronouns Interactive Game.

Speech Therapy Game for Teaching Pronouns

Kids love feeding the kids food and get tons of practice with “he”, “she” and “they”. I don’t mind pulling it out frequently because it’s also great for speech therapy groups with mixed goals. I can target plurals, verbs, sentence structure, expanding utterances, and more with it!

Another activity that is constantly out on my therapy table are Interactive Sentence Flips for targeting pronouns. The one I use most frequently is Pronouns and Verbs Interactive Sentence Flips – People Actions.

Pronouns Action Flips Main Cover

These are super effective at teaching pronouns because the child moves an interactive visual cue to make the correct sentence for each picture cue. This helps demonstrate the need to change the pronoun to make a sentence that makes sense for each picture of the people.

Action Flips 3 word Preview

I think teaching the pronouns “my” and “your” is the trickiest of all! These are so confusing to our little ones with language delays! One fun way I have worked on my/your is using this Make a Monster Game for Pronouns, Attributes, Following Directions, and Giving Directions.

Make a Monster Speech Therapy Game for Pronouns

The Make a Monster pack has pieces for creating different monsters and sentence stems with visual cues for practicing describing the monsters using “My” and “Your”.

I also have a free resource available for practicing “my” and “your”! This Free Interactive Visual for Teaching “My” and “Your” is a simple interactive communication board for describing what clothes either you or your communication partner are wearing using the sentence “My/your _____ is/are (color).” I have found this is a very helpful and concrete way for practicing “my” and “your.”

Free Activity for Teaching Pronouns



Many of my preschool students have a goal for increasing MLU or their Mean Length of Utterance. I love working on this goal in naturalistic settings and during play using Milieu language teaching strategies (modeling, mand-modeling, incidental teaching, and time-delay). Sometimes I need a more structured way to elicit longer utterances and to give my preschoolers with language delays many models of the word combinations and sentence structures that I am hoping they produce. To do this, my very favorite tool to use are Interactive Sentence Flips.

Interactive Sentence Flips are super flexible because they come with a variety of sentence stems so you can chose what level or the amount of words you want to use with each child. For example, the People Actions – Pronouns and Verbs Interactive Sentence Flips come with 3 different sentence stem options. The sentence stem options are – 2 word combos (i.e, “boy eating”), 3 word combos (i.e., “She is swinging”), or 4 word combos (i.e., “The boy is sleeping). The sentence stem options are also great for choosing whether you want to work on pronouns or present progressive verbs.

Action Flips 2 word Preview

Action Flips 3 word Preview

The Interactive Sentence Flips come with a great variety of themes – people, animals, fall, winter, spring, summer, bugs, and ocean animals and vary in the language structures they are targeting. The language targets that can be worked on are:  sentence expansion, increasing MLU, prepositions, verb phrases, answering “where” questions, pronouns, and emotions. They are also great for beginning readers for putting together simple sentences!

You can find the Interactive Sentence Flips Bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Action Flips Main Cover


Any SLP working with preschool or young elementary students are bound to have students with apraxia or phonological disorders on their caseload. In my experience, two things have been a huge help in seeing success with these children.

The first is using gestural or kinesthetic cues. There are several different cueing systems out there with the most well-known being PROMPT or  Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. I am not PROMPT trained but would love to be one day. I instead use the gestural cues provided in the Easy Does It for Apraxia program. I find them very intuitive and easy to teach to parents so they can use them when they practice with their child at home.

The second is thing that I have seen great success with my preschool students with apraxia or phonological disorders is using picture cues to break down and simplify producing the target words that the child struggles with. My favorite tool for doing that are these Car Road Mats for Articulation, Apraxia, and Phonology. The Road Mat format is super motivating for almost all my preschool students. The picture cues which break down the sounds and word structure helps the child slide their target sound together with a simple word and a huge difference in the child being able to successfully produce their target word. One of the reviews of the Car Mats describe these as a “game changer” for her therapy and I agree! These car mats are something that have shown dramatic improvement with every one of my preschool students with apraxia or phonological delays.

Car Mats Square Promo with review (1)

The Car Mats are available in CV words for children with apraxia or autism who are just starting to combine consonants with vowels to produce CV words. With the CV word mat, the child starts their car on a consonant sounds then moves to a vowel sound which results in them saying a CV word. For example, a child working on initial /b/ starts on the /b/ and slides to the /i/ sound to say “bee”.

CV Word Car Mats Cover Update 3

Car Mats are also available for consonant clusters for children who exhibit the phonological process of cluster reduction. With the consonant cluster car mats a child starts with the /s/ sound and then slides to a simple word which results in then saying a word with the consonant cluster. For example, a child working on /sl/ blends starts with an /s/ then says “lime” while they move their car across the road which allows them to successfully produce the blend and say “slime”. As they move the car faster across the road, it helps them to successfully blend the sounds together.

Consonant Cluster Car Mats

Another set of car mats that is available is for children who exhibit final consonant deletion or children with apraxia who are working on the CVC word shape. With the final consonant deletion car mats, a child starts their car on a word (usually a CV word like “tie”) and then slides their car to a stop sign with the final consonant on it to say the target CVC word. For example, start on the word “tie”, slide to “m”, to successfully produce the word “time.”

Final Consonant Deletion Car Mats

Finally, there are also car mats for children who exhibit the phonological processes of fronting or stopping. For these car mats, the child starts on the target sound and slides their car to a word which when put together with the target sound makes the target word. For example, for fronting a child starts on “k” and slides to “up” to produce the word “cup”.

Fronting and Stopping Car Mats Cover

The Car Road Mats for Apraxia and Phonology are available on TPT. Click the picture below to grab the set!

Car Mats Activities for Apraxia and Phonological Disorders


School SLPs by the nature of our job often have to be a jack of all trades. One day you may be working with high school fluency students and the next day you may be working with non-verbal three year olds! I have worked with preschool through middle school in my 12 years as a school SLP and I feel like prepping for preschoolers is by far the hardest! In my first year as a school SLP, I was thrown into working with preschool students with severe autism with relatively little experience with kids that young and no materials! It was awful and so stressful for my first few years until I started to figure out what worked through trial and error.

Here are my top 5 tips for surviving your first year as a preschool speech-language pathologist.

  1. Use What You Have: Don’t feel like you have to run out and buy a million toys. While preschool SLPs do have it tougher in that printing out worksheets often is just not going to cut it with maintaining attention with little guys, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money. One good option if you have preschool classes on campus is to borrow toys and manipulatives from the classes. Most preschool teachers I have worked with have been incredibly willing to share toys with me once they know I can be trusted to protect and return toys intact. Another great resource is garage sales. I still have and use many of the toys that I first bought on a shoestring budget as a beginning SLP from garage stales. I love big church or neighborhood garage sales to get some great toys and games without having to travel all over town.
  2. Use Repetition to Your Advantage: One of my biggest mistakes in my first years as a preschool SLP was thinking I should be bringing in new activities each week for my groups. I killed myself trying to figure out new engaging activities each week because I was afraid teachers would think I was lazy bringing in the same things a few weeks in a row. Not only was that a silly thing to worry about but it turns out that preschoolers actually need tons of repetition to really learn and grasp concepts. Sometimes it has taken hearing a song or seeing an activity dozens of dozens of times before some of my little guys suddenly start showing progress and then we celebrate like crazy! Most books I read in my preschool groups I read at least 2 weeks in a row, sometimes 3 or 4! If you run preschool circle time groups, stick to the same routine each week (i.e., opening song, read a book, do an activity related to book, closing song) and just switch up the books or songs you do every few weeks with a seasonal theme or other type of theme. I use a book from my Interactive What Do You See Books Bundle each month so that I don’t have to think at all when it’s a new month, I just grab that month’s theme book and go! This will save you tons of stress and brain power from trying to think of novel activities each week!
  3. Music, Music, Music: Using music in my preschool groups is truly the savior of my sanity. There is something magical about using music to really grab preschoolers interest and help them learn language concepts. I have a post about the Top 10 Songs for Preschool Speech and Language Development that is a good starting point for songs to use in preschool speech.
  4. Be Interactive: Forget the worksheeets with the 3 to 5 year old set. Whether I am working with a group of preschoolers with autism and low language skills or a group of preschoolers with articulation days you will never see me without interactive activities. For my preschool articulation groups I don’t do many crafts but we are constantly coloring, dot painting, and glueing artic words to keep their little busy bodies in their seats. Interactive Adapted Books are a staple with my in class groups because they are so engaging and versatile. Even students who are just starting to show emerging communication skills can be engaged with matching pictures when using interactive or adapted books.
  5. Have Fun: You will make a ton of mistakes your first year as a preschool SLP, it’s inevitable. Preschoolers are unpredictable, have short attention spans, limitless energy, and are still figuring out all about this crazy world. This will likely lead to many speech sessions that leave you feeling like you have no idea what you are doing! But I truly love working with preschoolers because they can show incredible progress and are often so much fun! I feel so lucky to be able to “play” everyday as part of my job. So while some days working with preschoolers may leave you exhausted and frustrated, remember to relax and enjoy your time with the little ones!

If you are looking for some ready to go activities to get a jump on your preschool caseload I have put together what I consider my Preschool SLP Survival Kit. I hope it will help preschool SLPs feel prepared and ready for the fun of preschool speech therapy!

Preschool Survival Kit Cover Large



I am a huge proponent of using music with preschoolers during speech therapy. I run weekly circle time speech groups in my preschool classrooms and I have seen how music can increase engagement and help children with many different speech and language skills. Some of the goals that I work on through music are verbal imitation, gross motor imitation, following directions, prepositions, body parts, vocabulary, and more! Here are my top 10 songs for preschool speech therapy with links whenever possible!

  1. Clap Your Hands by Wee Sing: My absolute top pick for getting gross motor imitation and shared attention, also great for working on the concept of fast and slow
  2. What are You Wearing? by Hap Palmer: I use this song as my “circle opener” every week to cue my students in that speech circle time is starting. It is a grew song for learning clothing vocabulary and working on gross motor imitation as well as “what” questions.
  3. One Little Finger by Super Simple Songs: All the Super Simple Songs music is fantastic for language skills but this particular song is one of my favorites. It is great for learning body parts, following directions, and learning to point. The youtube video is great too and has helped some of my students learn to isolate their pointer finger.
  4. Can An Elephant Jump? by ELF Learning: This super fun song is great for lots of goals! Learning action words, yes/no questions, gross motor imitation and more! Kids think it is super funny and I never get sick of it!
  5. Octopus by Charlotte Diamond: Cute song is great for gross motor imitation, verbal imitation (kids can’t resist saying Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!), and gestures (I always do a big “Oh no!” with my hands on my cheeks)
  6. Animal Boogie by Barefoot Books: This is actually a book with accompanying CD but it’s something I always keep in my circle time bag. It gets requested frequently by my students and it is great for working on action words, gross motor imitation, and commenting (I always ask student’s what animal they liked best while we look at the last page that shows all the animals.
  7. We All Go Traveling By by Barefoot Books: Another book with CD by Barefoot Books! This is definitely my most requested book/song by my preschoolers. I love it because I pair a gross motor action with each of the vehicles (stomping for the rumbly truck, etc) and it gets lots of gross motor and verbal imitation from my students. It also grabs the attention of many kids who are tough to engage!
  8. The Body Rock by Greg and Steve: There are several good songs on the Kids in Motion CD by Greg and Steve (Freeze Dance is another favorite) but The Body Rock gets the most play with my kids. It is great for learning body parts and getting gross motor imitation.
  9. Spider on the Floor by Raffi: Pair this song with some cheap dollar store spiders and you have a winner for teaching body parts and following directions.
  10. Puppy, Puppy, Puppy by Kids Express Train: My favorite song on the Imitation Station CD. I have a cheap set of puppies from Oriental Trading Company that I use with this song. It is great for action words, following directions, and getting kids to imitate “woof”!

I hope you find this list helpful for adding in some great songs for working on preschool speech and language skills!


March really snuck up on me but luckily I have a great stash of spring-themed activities to use with my preschoolers! I do both a whole group language lesson (circle time) and small group centers language lessons with my preschoolers with autism. Here are my lesson plans for 4 weeks of spring-themed preschool group speech activities! They include books and activities from my TPT store, commercially available books, and FREEBIES!

Week 1:Butterfly Butterfly Cover Small

Circle Time Preschool Group Speech

Interactive Book: Butterfly, Butterfly What Do You See? Interactive Book – interactive book in the style of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” – targets spring vocabulary, picture matching, answering questions

Song: Eensy Weensy Spider from Super Simple Learning

Small Group Centers

Interactive Cut and Glue Book: Butterfly, Butterfly What Do You See? Interactive Book : students create their own black and white version of the book we read during circle time

Interactive Sentence Flips Bugs and Birds: interactive activity for practicing prepositions (in, on, and under), answering “where” questions, and sentence expansion

Week 2:Bunnys Basket Title Page Small

Circle Time Preschool Group Speech

Interactive Book: What’s in Bunny’s Basket Interactive Book – interactive book that targets answering “what” questions related to spring vocabulary and simple inferencing

Commenting Board: What is your favorite spring thing? (included in the What’s in Bunny’s Basket Interactive Book pack) – practices answering questions, asking questions, and making comments

Song: Eensy Weensy Spider from Super Simple Learning

Small Group Centers

Interactive Cut and Glue Book: What’s in Bunny’s Basket Cut and Glue Book (black and white version of the book we read during circle time

Free Spring Categories Cut Color and Glue Pages: freebie for sorting items into categories!

Week 3Bunny Bath Title Page small

Circle Time Preschool Group Speech

Interactive Book: Freebie! Bunny Needs a Bath Interactive Book – targets answering questions, labeling colors, and lengthening utterances

Commenting Board: What Color is Your Favorite? (from Communication Boards – Visuals for Commenting, Questions, and Increased Language)

Song – The Way the Bunny Hops by The Kiboomers

Small Group Centers

Interactive Sentence Flips Bugs and Birds: interactive activity for practicing prepositions (in, on, and under), answering “where” questions, and sentence expansion

FREE Spring Prepositions Cut and Glue Book: extra practice for prepositions that student’s can take home

Week 4

Circle Time Preschool Group Speech

Book – “Bear Wants More” by Karma Wilson – fun book with the repetitive line “Bear wants more” which is great for practicing imitation and eliciting “more” by signing or using AAC devices

Song – The Way the Bunny Hops by The Kiboomers

Small Group Centers

FREE Spring Sequencing Cut and Glue Worksheets – choose from 3, 4, or 5 step sequences based on the skill level of the student

Spring Sequencing

Those are my spring preschool group speech therapy lesson plans! I hope you find them useful! Happy Spring!


Spring is here! Here are some great FREE speech and language activities with a spring theme!

First up, FIVE spring freebies from the Communication Window Teachers Pay Teachers shop!

Free Spring Sequencing Cut and Glue Worksheets

Free Spring Sequencing Worksheets

Free Spring Categories Cut Color and Glue:

Spring Categories FreebieFree Spring Prepositions Interactive Cut and Glue Book

Free Spring Prepositions

Free Bunny Needs a Bath! Interactive Book

Bunny Needs a BathSpring Roll-A-Dice Freebies: Open-Ended, Synonyms, and Compare/Contrast

Spring Roll a Dice

Here are some other great spring freebies from other TPT sellers:

Butterfly Associations: 42 cards for identified associated items

Easter Pronouns: cute picture cards for working on pronouns

Spring Showers Following Directions: following directions game for 1, 2, and 3 step directions

Spring Ordinal Numbers and Positional Words: love these cute cut and glue worksheets for following directions!

Spring Build Your Own Bingo: great for spring vocabulary, I also like to use for following directions (i.e. glue the chick under the egg)

Categories in Springtime: adorable spring categories activities, includes pictures for non-readers!

Would You Rather Spring and Easter: great for conversation starters or artic carryover!

Spring Garden Following Directions: cute coloring page for following directions


Even if you don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day it is a fun theme to use in speech therapy! Here is a list of fantastic FREE speech and language activities to help with your planning!

First up, a freebie from the Communication Window TPT store!

Spring Roll a Dice

Spring Roll a Dice Freebies – Open Ended, Synonyms, and Compare/Contrast

Here are some other freebies I have found:

Pot of Gold Go Togethers: cute associations game with pictures for non-readers

Lucky Leprachaun’s Listening Comprehension: 14 short stories with comprehension questions, works well as a no-print activity!

St. Patrick’s Day Following Directions Before/After Concepts: fun seasonal activity for before/after concepts

St. Patty’s Directions: avoid the leprachaun and practice 1, 2, and 3 step directions!

St. Patrick’s Day Categories: low-prep activity for practicing categories

Logical Leprechauns Problem Solving: cute scenarios for students to practice problem solving and “what should you do?” type questions

Idioms: Worth Their Weight in Gold Task Cards: 10 task cards and a recording sheet for practicing idioms

Follow the Clues: St. Patrick’s Day Edition: fun game for practicing descriptive language and inferencing

St. Patrick’s Day Build Your Own Bingo: love these for vocabulary, describing, inferencing, and following directions

St. Patrick’s Day Comprehension and Bubble Map Sheets: great for reading comprehension and using graphic organizers to describe