Play-Based Speech Therapy

Over the past five and a half years I have learned a lot while working as a school-based speech-language pathologist. When I first started I created a set of homework tasks cards called Toddler Toys and felt that it was time for an update.  Through the years I have realized that many of my school-age children benefit greatly from play-based speech therapy and that these cards are not just for toddlers.  So, I have updated the file and compiled 15 of my favorite, most used play-based speech therapy activities.  Most of these are used to increase language and pragmatic skills in younger children or children with Autism Spectrum Disorder but they can also offer articulation and fluency opportunities too. I also find that even my 1st and 2nd graders ask to play with many of these toys when they enter my speech room. If you are limited in your therapy resources, I would highly recommend having any of these items in your therapy room as they can target so many skills.  I have also had good luck in finding many of the toys second hand through Facebook marketplace, consignment shops or friends who were getting rid of toys.  

So what do I do with each of these items?  Sometimes I let my students lead us in therapy and go with whatever creative game or play they want to come up with while also indirectly targeting our speech and language goals.  I am often surprised by how much we are able to target by just playing or having unstructured opportunities. But, other times I find that I need a more structured approach.  I have outlined a structured approach with these homework task cards which you can download for FREE by clicking on any of the pictures in this post. These have been great to send home for homework and the feedback from my parents has been great as well.  

I hope this has given you some new ideas for how to incorporate play-based therapy into your practice! 

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