Thursday, January 31, 2013

Preschool Week Day 4: Bag of Tricks!

Ok everyone...get excited!  This post is going to be a little lengthy but AMAZING!  I've got some fabulous bloggers ready to share their favorite toys, games, or activities that they have found useful when working with preschoolers.  Today we'll be hearing from Carrie's Speech Corner, Speech Room News, Communication Station, Let's Talk SLP, and [simply speech]!  Can't wait to take a peek into their bag of tricks! 

Carrie Manchester, Carrie's Speech Corner

Hi all!  Lauren recently told me about her preschool series and asked me to share with you one of my favorite preschool products.  I wanted to share this series of interactive books created by Beth E. Breakstone, a licensed SLP, and made with Picture Communication Symbols from Mayer Johnson.  I have seven of these books:

I wish I could tell you which one is my favorite, but they are all great!  Today I'll show you a little more of "Old McDonald."  All of the books come with interactive pieces, a board to place the pieces on, Velcro Dots to attach the pieces, and a communication board:

I like to start with the pieces in the book.  We remove them as we read the story and place them on the story board.  The first time through the story, we focus on imitating the vocabulary words/animal sounds.  After I finish this story with the kids, we go through it again ("to clean up").  This time, I target receptive vocabulary identification, asking the students to find a specified image and return it to the book.

These books have simple text and clear illustrations.  The interactive pieces are awesome for sustaining the attention of the little guys!  I think they are a must have for any SLP working in a preschool setting!
You can find more information on the books HERE.
Facebook link
TPT link


Jenna Rayburn, Speech Room News

Preschool is my favorite area of speech-language pathology. I love to see the impact from early intervention! My absolute 'go-to' for therapy are the Peek-A-Blocks. I love them for my lower functioning students. If you're looking for a new activities for early intervention for speech therapy, you don't want to miss these Peek-A-Blocks!

There are lots of different sets. I found the alphabet, instrument, and animal sets at Goodwill last summer. There are lots of different goals to target. This little friend and I were working on expressing single words paired with signs (for animals and colors). Of course we built towers and crashed them down! Perfect for 1, 2, 3, go! If you hold the bag of items, you can have the students requesting for each block. The kids just don't get tired of building towers! 
Jenna Rayburn, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist. Follow her at


When Busy Bee Speech asked me to guest blog about one of the things I have in my "bag of tricks" to work with PKers, one of my very favorite games came to mind. OFTEN in speech therapy for PK kiddos (and even some early elementary age kiddos), I use the game Twister and add my own...well twists!    I can work on color identification, left vs. right, following directions, taking turns, learning how to be a good sport, etc....ALL while working on speech and language goals.  

I have used the entire Twister board, or folded it in half.  I have had it on the floor or on the walls.  I have put stimulus cards, "points" cards, or even pieces of a craft activity the famous colored "dots".  It doesn't matter how I use it, I just matters that the kids have fun!  They get to jump, hop, twirl, roll, or even crab walk from one dot to the next to complete the task at hand.  

The movement keeps it fun and motivating and the Twister mat adds the structure necessary to pull off any game and focus on any goals you want.


Kristin Cummings, [simply speech]

I love using Ned’s Head in therapy! Ned is always a hit with my preschool kids. You don’t know Ned? You should get to know him!

To play Ned’s Head the way it was meant to be played, a bunch of disgusting plastic objects (bird poop on a worm, a dirty diaper, a melted lollipop) are put inside Ned. Students draw a card and take turns finding the object based on touch. Ned has been used in my classroom over 100 times but I have only played it the way it is meant to be played less than 5 times. Here are some of my favorite ways to use Ned:

  1. Put articulation cards inside Ned. Let students take turns pulling out a card. Then they practice the word or make up a sentence for the word.
  2. Put your own objects in Ned’s Head. Have the student reach in and grab one object. Without taking it out, he/she has to describe the object (it’s bumpy, it have 4 corners, it is soft, etc) and the other students have to guess what the object is! Great for expressive language and adjectives!
  3. Working on letter names and sounds? Place plastic letters in Ned's Head and have your kids draw out letters one at a time. They can find the match on a separate sheet, tell you the letter name and sound, or find an object that goes with the letter.
  4. Working on vocabulary? Put laminated pictures of target words inside Ned’s Head. Have the students name the picture when they pull it out.
  5. I created a sentence template to use with articulation cards. My sentence says "I found a ______ in Ned's Head." The students draw out an object or word card (depending on the target goal) and fill in the blank. This is good for working on complete sentences and articulation.
The possibilities are endless with Ned. You can find Ned’s Head on Amazon for less than $15.00. However, I know personally that when working in the school system, money is tight. Here is how you can make your own!

Use a shoebox and fill it with items. The one above is filled with old items from around my house, classroom, or from the dollar store. Use a bandana or pillowcase to cover the box so the students can’t see what’s inside! Have fun!

Kristin Cummings is a school based and private SLP from St. Petersburg, FL. She is also the author of the [simply speech.] blog. You can contact Kristin by:
Twitter: @simply_speech


One of my favorite preschool activities is the Animal Buddies game. This game features four animals: monkey, dog, rabbit, and elephant. Included in the game are four food items for each animal to eat – a banana for the monkey, a carrot for the rabbit, a peanut for the elephant, and a bone for the dog. The purpose of the game is to feed the animal the correct food item.

This game is so versatile that you can use it with any group. My articulation kids like to say their word/sound 5 times and then “earn” a food item (I pick it randomly out of the bag). Then the student can feed the correct animal the food. My language kids like to also “earn” a food item by using pronouns correctly, identifying prepositions, using word endings appropriately, etc.

I also have pictures printed of each food item. Sometimes I will bring the pictures out, and then instead of earning a random food item, the student will flip over one of the pictures and get that food item. To work on sight words, I will put the words (“bone” and “carrot”, etc.) on a spinner and have the student spin the spinner. If he or she can read the correct word, then he/she wins that food item!

My students also love to be silly and have the animal eat the wrong food. I allow this if we have played the game before and they know what the correct food is for each animal. They think it is HILARIOUS to see the rabbit eat a bone and a monkey eat a carrot. I’ve even taught them to make little “nom nom nom” noises when the animal eats the food. There are SO many things you can do with this game, and that is why it’s one of my favorite games to play!

Written by: Brea from Let’s Talk Speech-Language Pathology

Thanks so much for sharing, ladies!!  Be sure to visit their pages and give them a like!  

What do y'all think?  What kinds of things are in YOUR bag of tricks??  :)


  1. These are great! Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. Hi...nice to meet you, I got a nice video link that you can watch with your family. Finger Family Cartoon - The Pirate Fairy 2014


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