Get the MOST out of your Speech Sound Minis

October 25, 2020

Are you an owner of the Speech Sound Minis Set?! 
If you answered, "Yes!" then you're in the right place.
If you don't know what I am talking about, click HERE to check it out. 

I love getting therapy ideas from all of the amazing SLPs on instagram and If you follow me on instagram you already know that I love posting ideas about how to use this kit.
However, if you're anything like me, you see an awesome therapy idea and hit the save button on the post so that you can refer back to it later. Maybe it's an idea for a topic you're not currently working on or maybe you're just rushing out the door and don't have time to add it to your therapy planning schedule. But then... the post is never to be seen again. I mean how many times do you actually go through your saved photos (If you do, you're amazing and I want to be you). 

With that being said, I decided to put all of the ideas that I have posted about the speech sound kit into one handy blog post. I want you to fully experience just how many ways there are to use this kit and to never have to search through your saved instagram photos again! 



Here is a summary of links to both free and paid companion resources to the Speech Sound Minis Set.
Scroll down a little further for tons of free ideas and pictures.

FREE COMPANIONS: (click any of the titles below to be taken to the resource)
All about using minis
- Minis and PRONOUNS

PAID COMPANIONS: (click any of the titles below to be taken to the resource)
Phrases for minis 
- Silly Interactive Stories




1. Word Association Games

Association games are fun for everyone and can be easily modified to be easier or harder to fit the players’ level!⁣
I love using these games to work on vocabulary (comparing & contrasting, functions, categorizing, describing, phonemic awareness etc). ⁣
I have two posts, HERE and HERE if you'd like to see examples of these games!


2. Put in a Mystery Bag

How to use a mystery bag:

💛 Along with sentence frame visuals to work on increasing MLU (e.g., Open the bag, what’s inside?, I found a ... etc).⁣⁣
💛 Work on labeling and other common expressive vocabulary goals like you would with picture cards. Child pulls an item out and labels it. Then talk about what the object does, what it looks like, where you can find it, what category it falls under, etc. (the mystery of what’s next will keep them more engaged than just using picture cards)⁣⁣
💛 Receptively identifying objects. Lay the objects out and tell the child to put the objects in the bag one by one. You label the item and they have to find it in a field of 2,3,4 etc.⁣⁣
⁣💛 Sequential and temporal directions. First put the hat in the back then put the cat in the bag, etc.⁣
💛 Reinforcement. Keep the bag of objects nearby and occasionally let the child pull an object out while you complete trials of whatever goal you are working on.⁣


3. Fine Motor & Language 

Click HERE to check out a blog post with 6 ideas for using mini objects to work on fine motor and language at the same time! You can also click HERE to see a fun holiday themed version of one of the fine motor activities. 

4. Freeze into Ice Cubes

Click HERE to see an example. 

Here is how I did it and some ideas I had for using it to work on language at home:⁣⁣
☝🏼 Place waterproof mini objects into an ice cube tray. I used the pineapple tray from Michaels and the miscellaneous minis from my shop.
✌🏼 Fill with water and stick in your freezer. That’s it! Once it’s frozen, you can throw it in a bin for your child to play with! You can have the child pour some warm water over the ice to help it melt faster. 

Language ideas:
~ New vocabulary for toddlers: cold, wet, melt, frozen, ice, squeeze, slippery, pour, etc.⁣
~ Sequencing. First we put the objects in the tray, next we pour the water on top, then we put it in the freezer, etc. ⁣
~ Pretend play and social skills. Setting up a story behind the activity, taking turns, collaborative play, etc. ⁣
~ Describing. One person holds the ice and describes the object inside. The other tries to guess what the object is before the ice melts. ⁣
~ Fine Motor. Try to get all the ice cubes back into the tray. They are slippery and it will probably be a bit of a challenge for those little hands!


5. Literacy & Articulation Together

One literacy/articulation idea is to let the child use play doh make the letter that corresponds with the sound he/she is working on. Then let them push objects that start with the sound into the play doh as they practice.⁣ To make it a bit more challenging, you can mix in some objects that do not start with the target sound so they have to decide if it starts with their sound or not.⁣

I’ve also done this activity by making an object that starts with the sound out of play doh and then pushing the objects in to work at the sentence level (e.g., the soda is on the sun).⁣



6. Water Play with Drink Floaties


7. Use with DIY Sentence Frames 

Create a simple sentence frame and practice sorting the items onto the frame as the child practices their sound at the phrase level. Click any of the pictures below for specific example. 



8. Auditory Discrimination

1. Fill a box with paper shred.
2. Dump out the contents from two different phoneme boxes.
3. Write out the corresponding letters on a piece of scratch paper.
🧚🏻‍♀️Voila! Low-prep, fun activity to work on discrimination!


9. With dollhouse furniture 

Do yourself a favor and get a cheap dollhouse dresser!⁣⁣
✨Basic concepts: top drawer/bottom drawer, big drawer/small drawer, open/close, empty/full...⁣⁣
✨Following directions: Open the drawer and take out something green.⁣⁣
✨Vocabulary: Sort the objects into the drawers by category, attribute, function...⁣⁣
✨MLU: I found a ___. Put away the ___. Hide the ___. ⁣⁣
✨Spatial Concepts: in/under/on top/behind the dresser⁣
✨Artic/Phono: Fill up the dresser using minis that contain the target speech sound or process.⁣⁣

Click any of the pictures below for even more dollhouse furniture ideas!



10. Spatial concepts

An understanding of spatial concepts is important for being able to follow directions and participate in classroom activities. An early understanding of spatial concepts can also help with later developing reading and math skills!⁣
I love teaching spatial concepts because there are so many fun, play-based ways to do so.⁣

- Teaching these concepts can be as simple as grabbing two boxes and some small objects (Along with your favorite visuals of course).⁣
- Doll furniture is another favorite of mine when teaching these concepts. 
- The third way I like to teach spatial concepts is through movement activities such as: hiding things around the room, incorporating them into your daily routines (getting dressed, baking, etc), and playing games such as I Spy and Simon Says.⁣

When using objects, I will usually focus on one spatial concept at a time. For example, we will work on “in” by putting different objects in the box. The spatial concept will stay the same and the objects will be changed out. When the child gets to the level of practicing more than one spatial concept at a time, I will typically start by keeping the object the same and switching up the spatial concept. I find that keeping at least one part of the direction constant helps reduce confusion and increase success! 


11. DIY memory game

Here is an easy, fun game for articulation!⁣
🌀Student practices word as they place the objects into the tin (I usually will have them say the word 3-5 times before they can put it in)⁣
🌀Student closes eyes and SLP takes out a few objects⁣
🌀Student opens eyes and tries to remember which ones were taken out. (They are practicing their sound while doing this 😜)⁣
🌀Then I reverse the roles and let the child take out the objects for me to guess⁣
🌀We do this several times, taking out more objects each time as we get more familiar with the items (practicing more and more each time as a result).⁣

You can do this with any muffin tin or use holiday ice cube trays to make it themed! ❄️ ☘️ 🐰 ⁣


12. /s/ blend stew, /k/ sound cookies, and /l/ blends stations.  

Click the bolded links to see examples of the following activity ideas. 

Yummy /s/ blend stew 🍜 ⁣ (CLICK HERE FOR EXAMPLE)
Target words: spoon, stir, stew, spill⁣
Extra opportunities for practice when you add the /s/ blend trinkets from my shop into your silly stew.⁣

L Blends in ~play~⁣ (CLICK HERE FOR EXAMPLE)
✨ Grab some minis.
✨ Set up little stations on the table with things you likely already have in your therapy room⁣
✨ Child chooses a mini object and then decides which station to go to⁣
✨ You can be creative and come up with your own ideas but here are some ideas that I use for different items and target words:⁣
-Blow: blow bubbles at the object⁣
-Block/Climb: have the mini objects climb the blocks⁣
-Blue Play doh: smash the objects into the play doh⁣
-Sleep: put the minis to sleep on a dollhouse pillow⁣
-Clean: clean the mini objects with a dry, unused sponge⁣

/k/ sound play time ⁣ (CLICK HERE FOR EXAMPLE)
Cookies🍪 cupcakes🧁 cake🍰...⁣
Make them, bake them, count them, cut them... what else can you think of?! ⁣

Then... add some mini objects to the treats (extra practice if the objects have the /k/ sound)... YUCK! I found a sneaKer in my cake 🤣. My students loved playing this silly game while practicing their speech sounds.⁣


13. More pretend play 

Tea party ideas for virtual therapy!⁣
First, snap a pic of your food items and tea party toys. You can screen share these pictures to use with the ideas below!⁣

~ Sequencing procedural narratives/object function: Use the annotate tool to cover the items (shown in the last picture) and have the child tell you some things you might need for a tea party as you uncover the items. You can have them create a short narrative by telling you how to set the table for a tea party using transition words.⁣
~ Describing. Show them the food and have them describe one of the items for you to guess.⁣
~Simple requests and semantic relations. Covering the items using the annotate tool is a great way to work on requesting, shapes, colors. It also adds some mystery and excitement to the activity because they cant see everything at once. ⁣
~Pretend play of course! Let the family know ahead of time to give the child a cup, plate, spoon, and maybe even a stuffed animal. ⁣
~Spatial concepts. Have the child give you directions of how to set the tea party using the real objects. (put the donut on the plate, in the cup, next to the spoon, etc.).⁣
~MLU / Verbs / Pronouns: Have the child choose a food item and a tea party object (teapot, spoon, plate, cup). Help them formulate a sentence (e.g., You pour the juice, I drink the soda, Eat the cake, Serve the fries). Then, act out their sentence for them by performing the action with your real objects. ⁣
~You can do the same thing for speech but use objects that contain the target speech sound. They don’t have to be food items, it can be a silly/yucky tea party!⁣
~You can also use these same ideas in person! 


14. Use with Articulation Cards 

The objects from your Speech Sound Mini’s Set DO NOT need to always be the target word. ⁣⁣
Target word selection should be individualized based on our client’s individual errors, motivation, etc. to ensure the most effective therapy! It is not a one-size fits all and the objects in the Speech Sound Minis Set won’t be appropriate target words for every single client.⁣⁣
Luckily, there are so many other ways to use these objects than just as the target word! ⁣⁣
I love to use the objects in combination with the individualized target words. ⁣⁣

Idea 1: Grab your target word flashcards and twice as many cups. In this picture, you see 5 target words and 10 cups. You will also need the same amount of /s/ sound objects as there are target words. Hide the 5 objects randomly under the cups. The child’d goal is to get all 5 objects on top of the 5 flashcards. The child can roll the dice and say the first target word, “say” , that many times. Then choose a cup to lift up. If there is nothing under the cup, they must keep trying with the same target word. Continue until all target words have an object on them.⁣⁣

Idea 2: Save the objects from the yeti! In this picture, I placed 4 target word cards onto 4 igloos. The igloos are the objects’ homes. The child chooses an igloo by labeling the target word associated with it. Then, they choose an object to save from the yeti. Roll the dice and say the target word that many times. Then, move the object from the yeti to the igloo! Continue until all objects are saved. ⁣⁣

Idea 3: Get all objects to the top of the ladder. Start off with your target words at the bottom and one object placed on each of the target words. The child picks one to start with and rolls the dice. In this picture, you see that the child is working on the target word “see” and moving the seahorse. The child rolls the dice and moves the seahorse up that many spots on the ladder. Every time they move the seahorse they must say the target word “see”. Keep going with that same target word until the object has reached the top then repeat with the others!



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