Help More Students at Once Using These Articulation Exercises and Games

Help More Students at Once Using These Articulation Exercises and Games

slp group therapy activitiesIt’s impossible to know how many of Pinterest’s 265 million monthly users are school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs). But it’s not hard to see why we love it!

When you need activities that don’t require lots of expensive equipment or prep time, it’s great to find out what other SLPs are doing as easily as you can look for a new recipe or crafting idea.

Here are nine kinds of SLP group therapy activities many of us at Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) have been pinning to our Pinterest boards.

They’re easy, affordable, and let you multiply your effectiveness because they can benefit numerous students in a single therapy session. Plus, they can all be a whole lot of fun!

Nine Neat SLP Activities for Articulation and Other Speech-Language Skills

  1. Memory Cards
    Adapt the classic card-matching game in almost endless ways to help kids hit speech goals. Whether they’re matching initial letters, final sounds, rhyming words, or more, students don’t get credit for their pairs unless they articulate the target correctly. Memory cards are perfect for giving their minds and mouths a workout!
  2. Flip Books
    You could download digital flip book apps, but kids still like assembling and decorating tried-and-true paper flip books and using them to practice target phonemes and words. Print the pages on cardstock and laminate them so students can fill in blanks or check off successful pronunciations with dry erase markers. Flip books keep repetitive drills fast-paced and fun!
  3. Tic Tac Toe
    Another “oldie-but-goodie” game SLPs have made an activity for articulation therapy. When students correctly pronounce a target sound or word, she or he marks one of the nine squares with an “X” or “O.” Three in a row? Say them all correctly again to claim victory!
  4. “Arctic Blast” Board Game
    slp group therapy activitiesMaybe we’re biased: “Arctic Blast” is one of many fun, effective resources PTS clinicians have developed. But we wouldn’t be so proud of it unless students love it—and they do! In this “Candy Land”-style game, kindergarten, and early elementary-aged players pronounce words correctly to scale an icy mountain peak before the most adorable Yeti you’ve ever seen can attack!
  5. Roll the Dice
    Even kids who’ve “graduated” from board games still like rolling dice. Dry erase dice are a great option or find patterns for paper dice online. Either way, decorate each side with pictures that get kids practicing target letters, speech sounds, and words. You can also use dice to give kids practice in:

    • Adding prefixes and suffixes to root words.
    • Connecting words in sentences (students especially enjoy silly sentences)
    • Answering “wh” questions (Who? What? When? Where? Why?).

    You can even adapt regular dice as an activity for articulation: Write a sound or word list of six or 12 targets where each corresponds to a number rolled, or have students pronounce a sound or word the number of times matching their roll.

  6. Play Dough
    Need an SLP activity for toddlers? Even the littlest fingers have a blast working with play dough. They can shape the stuff, whether store-bought or homemade, into target letters and words.Students can also use smash mats. Every time students successfully articulate a target letter or sound shown on the mat, they smash play dough over it to cover it up. It makes for a great game of “blackout Bingo!”
  7. Canned Questions
    Here’s a low-prep idea with high impact. On one end of craft sticks, write, draw, or glue pictures prompting targeted responses (for instance, a picture of a sheep targets the /sh/ blend). Put the sticks in a can, hiding the prepared ends. Then have kids pull out and answer questions as you instruct (“Say this animal’s name three times”).
  8. Books, Books, Books!
    Looking at and enjoying books together is a natural group therapy activity SLPs can do with any age:

    • Show a picture book to pre-readers and new readers and point to things they can name out loud.
    • Ask elementary school students to talk about story predictions and make story maps.
    • Challenge older students to retell the story or describe characters in their own words.

    Books bring the added benefit of launching kids on a life-long love affair with reading. Plus, as Dr. Shari Robertson points out for ASHA, the printed page doesn’t have the computer screen’s negative side effects!

  9. Working with WikkiStix®
    Use these colorful, bendable, twistable, stickable pieces of wax-coated yarn on any smooth surface. Because they’re completely mess-free, you and your students can underline or circle target letters, sounds, and words in your books. Shape them into graphemes on the board, wall, or door, and have kids point to and pronounce each one. And let students create pictures with Wikki Stix and then talk about them—you’ll encourage articulation and artistry at the same time!

Get Busy Pinning With PTS!

Looking for even more super ideas for SLP group therapy activities? Be sure to follow us on Pinterest. We’re always pinning tools and tips to help SLPs like you do more good for more kids!

If you happen to be looking for your next school-based therapy position, where you can put all these wonderful ideas into practice, call us at 610-941-7020 or click here to use our handy online form.

And tell us in the comments below: What fun and creative speech therapy activities have you been pinning to your Pinterest board lately?

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