Hello Friends! It’s time for another edition of Toys as Tools! Every month, I’ll be blogging about one of my favorite toys to use for speech-language therapy. Toys are truly tools. They’re the perfect way to address communication goals with children.
4. Articulation: Hide lots of little items (or articulation cards) that feature the student’s sound behind the doors. When the student opens the door they have to practice all the words that they find! You can use little people toys, Shopkins, or other little trinkets that you have. You can also use carrier phrases. For instance, if you have a student that is working on /s/ blends they can say “The cat is on the scale, the dog is on the scale, the turtle is on the scale, etc.” If you have a student working on /r/, then they can “x-ray” lots of different animals!
5. Prepositions: There are so many spatial concepts that you can work on with this toy! For instance, you can address inside, outside, next to, between, over, under, in, out, top, bottom, etc
6. WH Questions: This is the perfect toy for “where” questions, because you ask where each of the animals are (ex. where is the cat? She is on the x-ray machine or behind the pink door.). You can also work on “why” questions (ex. why is the dog at the vet? He needs a check-up or he is sick.). This is also great for “what” questions (examples: What do you use to weigh an animal? What do you use to listen to their heartbeats? What do you use to check their temperatures? etc).
7. Directions: Just like the Critter Clinic, this is a wonderful toy to use if you have students that are working on following directions. For instance, you can say “put the cat on the x-ray machine” or “after you check the dog’s temperature, put him behind the orange door.”
8. Plurals – Key vs. Keys, Door vs. Doors. You can also put a variety of little things behind the doors (ex. one dog behind the orange door, two crayons behind another door, three erasers behind another door, etc). When the student unlocks the door, they have to make a sentence with either a singular or plural noun.
*I love collecting little trinkets just for activities like this. For instance, sometimes the Target Dollar Spot will have erasers shaped like food or animals. I’ll always grab two packets so there can be multiples of each item (you never know when you want to work on plurals! haha).
9. Fluency/Stuttering: You can even use this toy with students that stutter! You can write stuttering myths and facts on an index cards and then put them behind the door (you’ll have to fold the index card). Then the student can “unlock myths.” They’ll open a door and then read the statements on each card and determine if it’s a myth or fact. You can also put the different types of stuttering on the index cards or strategies. Then the student has to demonstrate that type of stuttering or practice the given strategy on the card.
10. Antonyms: Heavy/Light (Ex. weigh the dog and say that he’s heavy… then weigh the cat and say, but the cat is light), Healthy/Sick, Big/Little, etc. You can also use vocabulary flash cards and put them behind the doors or write a word on a slip of paper. When the student unlocks the door, they have to give an antonym for the word on the slip. You can also use this activity to address multiple meaning words and synonyms too!
Truly, you can work on an endless amount of skills! You can also work on comparing/contrasting all the different animals at the Vet Clinic or the different Vet tools. You can work on categories, adjectives, expanding utterances, communication temptations (put desired items behind the door so that they child has to ask for the key), and the list goes on and on! What else would you use this toy to address? Leave a comment to share more ideas!
If you want to read about a similar toy, check out my Critter Clinic blog post HERE.
Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!