Using Household Items to Work on Speech & Language
There are SO many everyday items that can be super fun and effective to use when targeting speech and language skills. In this blog post you will find ideas about how to use muffin tins and cups in the therapy room or at home.
These activity ideas are ideal for preschoolers and early elementary aged children.
- Make an obstacle course. Place cups in a line, spaced apart, down a hallway in your home. Place picture cards under each cup. The picture cards can differ based on the concept you want to work on (seasonal vocabulary, colors, basic concepts, articulation etc.). You can also work on verbs by placing verb cards under each cup and performing that action as you move to the next cup (e.g., run to the next cup, jump to the next cup, spin to the next cup, etc.). This activity works on whatever concept the picture cards target, as well as: joint attention, turn taking, and MLU. It is also an excellent game if you need a movement break at home or in therapy.
- Place many cups upside down on a table. Place a small item under one of the cups. Place picture cards on top of each cup. The picture cards can differ based on the concept you want to work on (seasonal vocabulary, colors, basic concepts, articulation etc.). The child will have the goal of finding the object. He/she will choose a cup to look under but must first practice the target pictured on the card that is on that cup.
- Stack the cups into a tower! This can be used for a quick reinforcement during any therapy activity. The child can work to earn more cups to stack.
Sorting is an excellent way to scaffold new concepts. Use the cups to sort small picture cards or objects into. You can sort by: category (animals, food, plants, toys, etc), opposites (big/small, sort in/out, cold/hot, etc), colors, speech sound, function (used to eat/cut/drink/wear, etc.) and so much more!
- Another "What cup is it under?" magic trick. Place objects or picture cards under one cup that is upside down. The cup will be near two other cups that do not contain anything under them. Mix the cups up. The child must guess which cup the items are under and practice their targets after guessing correctly. Click HERE for more magic trick ideas and click HERE to see this cup activity in action.
- Place many cups on a table right side up. Place picture cards containing the target concept (seasonal vocabulary, colors, basic concepts, articulation etc.) underneath all of the cups. Take a few pieces of paper and crumple them into a ball or just use pom poms. The child can have some fun trying to throw the balls/pom poms into the cups! Every time the child makes a cup, they must practice the concept on the card(s) underneath the cup. Continue the game until the ball has made it into all of the cups.
MUFFIN TIN and/or ICE CUBE TRAY IDEAS:
- Pretend to bake! Let the child roll up play doh balls (you can even let them hide small objects in the play doh). Then, place the play doh into the muffin tin spots. Set up a pretend oven (under a chair, in a bookshelf, etc) and "bake" them! After they are done baking you can take them out and use play doh utensils to pretend to eat your new creation. This activity targets pretend play, core vocabulary, and early sequencing skills (first, next, last).
- Play a vocabulary or articulation memory game! Click HERE to read about this idea.
- Place small objects into each spot of the muffin tray. Then, use blue painters tape to place small pieces of tape over the top of each spot. The child can work on their fine motor skills and take the tape off to reveal the items underneath. This activity is good for working on core vocabulary, spatial concepts, and articulation (if you use objects with the target sound).
- Sorting is an excellent way to scaffold new concepts. Use the muffin tin to sort small picture cards or objects into. You can sort by: category (animals, food, plants, toys, etc), opposites (big/small, sort in/out, cold/hot, etc), colors, speech sound, function (used to eat/cut/drink/wear, etc.) and so much more! This activity will also target fine motor skills.
- Freeze tiny objects in an ice cube tray. Click HERE to see a video example of this activity and to read about it in more detail. Language targets include: sequencing, pretend play, social skills, and describing!
*** In need of some Mini Objects?! Click to get your very own set of Miscellaneous Objects or Objects sorted by Speech Sound.
*** I think you will enjoy these other FREE handouts:
Play-Based Articulation Therapy Ideas by Sound
How to use mini objects in therapy
Let me know in the comments below if you have any other ideas about how to use these two items to work on speech and language skills!
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