Inspirations for therapists & parents 

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Road Trip: Toys that promote speech and language development in the car!

I just got back from an 8 day road trip adventure with my mom’s family!  We had a blast chillin’ by the beach up on the Oregon coast.  My mom, aunt, uncle, sister and our 4 kids (all under 6) decided to caravan to our beach destination which was close to a 10-11 hour drive.  Your thought bubble is probably starting to form with something similar to “Are you crazy!?  Driving in a car with a babies, toddlers and growing 4-5 year olds for longer than 2 hours is nuts!!”  We got our game faces on, sang a team cheer and were determined to have a great road trip.

road trip activitiesHere are some pictures of my vacation!  I got to enjoy a picturesque horse back riding adventure on the beach and completed a scenic hike with my YOUNG cousins, which meant we went at a very speedy pace.

road trip toys

The speech therapist inside me wanted to find some toys and activities that were car friendly, didn’t take up lots of space and would promote speech and language skills!  I provided amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

bear hunt gameMelissa & Doug Travel Bear Hunt is a variation of the fun game Guess Who?  It is made out of wood and can be stored in a back pack.  Your kids can practice asking/answering wh-questions along with identifying bears by attributes!

twistable crayonsCrayola 24ct Mini Twistable Special Effects Crayons are wonderful crayons for road trips!  They are easy to store and don’t break!!  I am very pleased with this purchase because my son and daughter struggle with keeping crayons from breaking!

road trip magnet lettersI used cookie trays from the dollar store and had my kids draw pictures using these crayons!  I also used Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet set to have my children practice identifying letters and my 5 year old creating sight words with the magnets.

Puzzles are a great way for children to practice problem solving, focus and flexibility!  After they have finished the puzzle you can ask them wh-questions about the picture scene, have them create a story with the puzzle or describe items in the puzzle by attributes.  The Mellissa and Doug wooden puzzles in a box are easy to store and less likely for you to lose pieces.

puzzles on cookie traysI also went to the $1 store and bought a few 48 and 100 piece puzzles that my son could do on the cookie dough tray.

Mad libs are a really fun way to create silly short stories and poems.  They are a great review for using correct grammar with nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions and adverbs.  I always brought a book of mad libs along when I was a kid!  Your kids can practice reading them out loud as well as practice their grammar skills.

road trip reusable stickersMelissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Bundle (Pack of 2) comes with many different picture scenes that are made out of thin cardboard which are pretty durable.  The bundle pack also includes a sheet stickers for each picture scene that are reusable, so the child can change the placement of the stickers.  This is definitely a toy for kids 5 years and up and can be used with younger children as long as an adult is assisting.  The stickers are durable, but could be ripped easily by tiny hands that are still fine tuning their motor skills.  These scenes are perfect for ALL sort of language skills!  Storage is a little tricky because the scenes are bigger than a back pack.

frozen figurinesFigurines and small character toys are great for creating stories, sequencing events from movies and books as well as pretend play.  The movie Frozen is a BIG favorite in my house, so my Aunt and Uncle gave my 2 year old the Disney Frozen Figurine Play Set for her birthday.  We brought it along on the trip because they are easy to store and my son and daughter both got to work on their imagination play and story telling while on the road!  There you have it!  Those are my suggestions for language rich toys to bring on any road trip.  What do you bring when you are going on long trips? (176)

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How Would You Use It? July Challenge GIVEAWAY!

I live by the motto “two heads are better than one” because it cuts the time in half for thinking of new and fun ideas!  I love running ideas by people to see what they might come up with.  It’s always a blast when I gather with my  friends for what I call “creative juju” time.  From time to time, my friends and I spend an evening sipping a beverage of choice and nibbling on a yummy treat, while we sit around chatting about our latest projects, crafts, and educational activities we have in store.  Enjoying that “creative juju” time usually motivates my soul and brain to start projects because the once fuzzy idea, now has a mapped out plan!  Soooooooo, I thought I would start holding a monthly GIVEAWAY called “How would you use it?” to get your input on how you would use a toy, item, or game in YOUR therapy room!

how would you use itThis month is a ping pong ball catcher toy that I found at the Target dollar spot for $3.  It comes with two catchers and a ping pong ball.  There is a lever on the side that when pulled, will launch the ping pong ball out of the catcher.  The other person can try to catch the ping pong ball with their catcher.  Simply, click on the picture above and enter this giveaway on my Facebook Page in which you leave a comment below the picture sharing how you would use this item to target speech and language goals.  The winner will receive a MYSTERY BOX filled with fun therapy materials.  With all of us fabulous SLP’s and educators brainstorming together we can gather TONS of therapy activities from one $3 toy!  Are you ready!?  How would you use this ping pong ball catcher? (191)

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Wise Wallet Wednesday: DIY summer themed magnets

Presentation1Today for Wise Wallet Wednesday I am going to share how to make your own summer themed magnets that can be use for language therapy!  I have seen these DIY magnets on pinterest and went with this tutorial from Two Girls Being Crafty for the how to on making this therapy material.

summer time magnets 1To do this fun craft, you will need (amazon affiliate links provided for your convenience):

2 bags of glass gems (you can get these at the dollar store)
Mod Podge- Matte Finish
3/4-Inch Diameter Magnets
Paint brush
glue gun
scissors
card stock

Print out my summer themed pictures template on cardstock and cut out the individual pictures.  Apply mod podge with your paint brush to the glass gem.  Then, take your picture and press it onto the mod podge.  Once the mod podge dries, use your glue gun to adhere your magnets.  You can also use other types of glue, but I had a glue gun on hand, so I went with that.  Once all you have finished assembling your magnets, the language fun begins!

finished magnet productI printed up some of my language sheets from my Soaking Up Summer With Speech & Language and used my DIY magnets to work on vocabulary with my 5 year old while the 2 year old was napping.  I used some of my cookie sheets that I got at the dollar store to house the magnets.

language therapy with DIY magnets

We worked on finding items that matched different adjectives such as crunchy, long, cold, squishy, tasty and soft.  Use the magnets to create a story or practice following multi-step directions.  Grab the TEMPLATE to make these summer themed magnets and have some fun with your language kiddos!  How would you use these magnets? (858)

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A FREEBIE activity to work on impulse control

Summer is in full swing and I have been enjoying the flexibility in my day with my kids!  I have been taking my son to swim team practice, organizing the house, catching up with friends and taking siestas when my 2 year old passes out in the afternoon.  In between all the fun, I have been preparing for a presentation with one of my RSP besties teaching about executive functioning!  I found this awesome book about our brains (amazon affiliate link included) that really helped me understand how our brain works in everyday people terms.

So many of my speech kids have deficits with executive functioning, especially my students on the Autism spectrum and students with ADD/ADHD, that it is important to know WHAT executive functioning is and tips/tricks to help improve it in the classroom!

I found some really awesome youtube videos that break down what executive functioning is in the classroom and why it is so important for students to develop these skills.  This was my favorite video and inspired my freebie activity that I made!

Slide1This activity is a fun warm up to help children work on impulse control and flexibility.  This activity is based on Brain Rules and used to help with improving executive functioning.

Slide4I made visuals for the night/day activity as well as a summer/winter version of the activity.   The Pleasantest Thing shares a similar activity using animals and body parts from magazine pictures.

Slide3Explain to the student when you show them the “sun”, they need to say “night” or “evening”.  When shown the “night” picture, they need to say “morning” or “day”.  If the student is struggling with accurately answering, you can use the visual poster and sing or say “Think about the answer, don’t tell me”.   Grab the templates for this activity on my TPT store!  Follow my Executive Functioning Pinterest Board for more amazing information on executive functioning! (1968)

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Show some LOVE to your teachers & SLP’s!

It’s almost the end of the school year and I wanted to show some LOVE to my son’s teacher for all her hard work and thought I would share my end of the year gift idea with you all!

teacher loveMy co-workers need some LOVE too!  My RSP co-worker just got teacher of our district!!  That is such an honor, so I wanted to give her something to recognize her achievement.  I dabbled on  pinterest looking for teacher gifts and found a very cute nail polish gift idea from Gone Like Rainbows.  Since I am a Jamberry Consultant I thought I would make some cute gift tags and give the lacquer as a “you’re the best!” kind of present.

Nail polish gifts pic

I bought some Jamberry Nail Lacquer, printed up these cute labels and tied them to the nail polish with some twine that I have.  SELF Magazine voted jamberry’s nail lacquer the BEST nail polish out on the market.

sparkle jamberry giftJamberry also sells two glitter lacquers, so I whipped these gift tags up to give to co-workers or parents who have helped me out during the year.  This would be a great present for your CFY supervisor, your intern or your SLPA to boost their spirits after a long work year.   GRAB THESE GIFT TAGS to make your own nail lacquer gifts.  Here is my Jamberry consultant facebook page if you want updates on cool wraps and application tips!  What are you doing for end of the year gifts? (840)

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Soaking Up Summer With Speech & Language!

I still have a few weeks of therapy left and I wanted to do a summer theme for the rest of the school year.  Over the past month, I have been prepping my summer themed no prep pack for my kiddos and for you!  Thank goodness I had Friday off (no school, woot!), so I could get this pack completed.  It is my favorite pack yet and I hope you like it as well.

Slide1

Everything is in black and white, so that means less ink and quick and easy prep for you!  I know many of you have a big caseload like me along with assessments, IEP’s and paperwork, so these packs have allowed me to still have time to plan therapy in a quick and efficient amount of time.

Soaking Up Summer With Speech & Language No Prep Pack

grammar and language collage

There are lots of activities for your caseload to work on grammar.  My favorites are the movie review, the pronoun file folder activity and my comprehension of short stories to work on identifying who, what, where, when and why.

cover pages for soaking up summerI included lots of language vocabulary lessons to work on categories, synonyms, compare/contrast, and multiple meaning words!!

speechI included coloring pages, roll and color games, artic worksheets for homework and a couple of speech fluency sheets!  I also included a summer word list and a visual post of summer vocabulary to use along side with any activity to make it “summer” themed!  There is something for almost every goal on your caseload in this pack.  Feel free to email me at thedabblingspeechie@gmail.com if you have requests for more activities and I will see what I can do.

 

No Prep Speech & Language Activities MONEY SAVING BUNDLE

You can grab my No Prep Speech & Language BUNDLE PACK now and save 10%!  When I add new packs, you can download them for FREE.  P.S.  One of my summer projects is to do a Fall pack, so now is the time to get an even better deal.

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Kicking off summer with some fun FREEBIES!

I am sooooooo ready for summer, but I still have till June 12th before I officially go on my summer break!  Pretty jealous of any SLP’s that are already finished.  I thought I would share a round up of fun summer freebies that I have in case you want to use them with your kiddos for those last weeks in therapy or if you are doing extended school year.

Scoop Up A Delicious Story FREEBIE

First up is my favorite story map freebie that you can SNAG HERE!  They are perfect for having students map out a story they are going to create or remember the key story elements from a book.

Pronoun Fun with Rangers Rick & Susie FREEBIE

This is a fun FREEBIE to use with your camping theme.  It is a great activity to target pronouns and noun-verb agreement.  I had several kids this year working on building MLU and grammar structures.

Gone Camping FREEBIE Open Ended Board Game

Here is a fun game board that you can make to use with any fun decks or articulation cards.  Check out my camping post where I give some ideas for books I like, a fun craftivity and my cute gone camping game board.

"I Spy" Nature Walk BINGO & Book FREEBIE

I used this fun freebie in May, but it could definitely be done over summer!  My nature walk idea and freebie BINGO card and book can be used to have children learn about vocabulary out in nature.  I used this with my mod-severe kiddos to work on commenting, taking turns to use the pencil to cross of items they found and ask simple questions.  Check out the fun DIY binoculars I made too in my POST HERE!

4th of July Banners CLIPART

If you are in need of some festive clip art for 4th of July, you can Grab my freebie 4th of July Banners here!

Ants Go Marching Craftivity!

My Ants Go Marching Craftivity is perfect for a picnic theme!  I did these in April, but I always have summer picnics with my kids at home and this would be a fun activity to do with your speech kids.  Hope these freebies help make therapy planning easier!!  My memorial day weekend was a great reminder how much I love my country and all those who serve to protect my family and friends.  Thanks for all of those people who serve! (3401)

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Happy to be an SLP BLOG HOP WINNERS!!

Let me just say that I LOVE working with SLP’s.  We never run out of things to say, have a witty sense of humor and know how to have fun!  All of us bloggers had a blast preparing this very special blog hop for Better Speech and Hearing Month.  We got major props on TPT in which they featured how teachers can collaborate with their SLP’s at their site.  Several TPT sellers shared resources that teachers can use in their classrooms.  Check out that POST HERE!
Now for the IMPORTANT stuff!  Who were the winners of the HUGE blog hop?  With over 5,000 entries, 4 lucky people will be getting some really awesome prizes…….

winnersIf you were one of my winners, please check your email!  Thanks for all your support.  We speechie bloggers love all of you and the difference you make in people’s lives daily!! (634)

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Happy To Be An SLP Blog Hop

blog hop main graphicYou made it to the last stop of the SLP blog hop!  I hope you learned some new information about speech and language.  If you missed a blog along your journey, you can always head to the first blog by clicking on the picture below.

First BlogMy blogger buddies and I put together a little “Happy” musical treat for you to enjoy!!  I am so grateful for all the SLP’s in my life that contribute to this great field.  Check out our little video debut!!

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and it is also known as “Stressed out SLP”.  I asked my fellow followers on facebook to share their biggest “stresses” with the job of being an SLP and MOST felt that paperwork, scheduling and holding high volumes of IEP’s, progress monitoring and conducting therapy on top of all the extra job responsibilities would make any cheerful SLP want to crawl under a blanket and HIDE!

stressI did a little research about stress and this is what I found.  Here are some signs you may have chronic stress:

symptoms of stressCommon external factors for stress include major life changes, work or school, financial problems, being too busy, relationship difficulties and running a home with children and family.  Internal factors for stress include, chronic worry, pessimism, negative self-talk, rigid thinking, unrealistic expectations or perfectionism, or all-or-nothing attitude.

health problemsI took some time this year to reflect on the BIG stresses in my life and made an action plan for how I was going to manage the stress until the end of the school year.  I know that MUCH of my stress were external factors that were out of my control and I needed to find a better way to survive.  When I looked at the list of symptoms, I as exhibiting some insomnia, memory issues, mild depression and physical body aches and pains. When you are in the thick of STRESS it is REALLY tough to make the necessary changes needed to be happier and healthier.  Here’s what was recommended and what worked for me:

  •  Advocate for your needs.  Let your employer know that you are overwhelmed and need assistance.  Acting as if you can complete all the job tasks in a reasonable work day only makes administration think YOU can do the job successfully.
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week.  This has helped me release my stress and manage my weight and eating better.  I do a group fitness training in the wee early hours and then I hit up a Zumba or Pilates class during the week.  I have more energy for my job and my focus has improved.
  • Limited coffee or energy drinks.  I will admit that I have not given up coffee, but I reduced it to 1 cup a day and increased my water intake to at least 8 cups a day.
  • I have “happy” music on hand when I am feeling bummed about paperwork and I always keep a pack of gum in my purse because I read that chewing gum helps relieve stress.  Singing along to my favorite tunes boosts my mood.
  • I try to turn off the electronics an hour before bed and read a book and/or the bible.  I also found some natural herbal sleep aids to help make sure I get a good night’s rest.  We know that sleep makes all the difference!
  • Let your YES be YES and your NO be NO.  Don’t commit to something that internally you don’t have the time or drive to complete.  People pleasing will get you in a negative mindset and causes you to busy up your life.  Take it from the queen of people pleasing.
  • Seek counseling or some sort of support group.  I attended some counseling sessions to help with the stress in my life and also went to a bible study that was  geared towards drawing me back to relying on God for support in times of trials and STRESS.
  • Use a life planner and organizational system that will help with managing all the duties and tasks you need.  I try to give myself 10-15 minutes in the morning set aside for writing to do lists and reviewing my calendar.
  • Do something YOU enjoy every day……I take a hot shower to help ease my mind, hang with my kids, chill with my hubby, and listen to music when I need to revive my spirit.
  • Laugh….I am trying to find the joy of laughter in my students, my kids, on youtube, talking with friends, reading funny books and watching movies that will give me a laugh.  Laughter relieves stress, so put more in your life!!
  • Accept what you can or cannot do, cry, whine, and moan for a few minutes with a friend and then try to make a plan for how you are going to get through the stress.  Don’t let your workload stay the same for next year!!  Make the necessary changes now even if that means looking for new employment or reducing your assignment.  This are all easier said that done, so make sure you have great friends that are there for you along the way!!

Thanks SO much for letting all of us bloggers share some new facts and information about the fabulous world of speech and language.

Here is the last letter you should need to complete the secret phrase:

dabbling speechie-! Type the secret phrase in the rafflecopter below for your chance to be the lucky winner.  You have a chance to win one of 3 prize packages!!  A big shout out to Social ThinkingSmarty Ears Apps , teacherspayteachers, ARK Therapeutic  & all my BLOGGER PEEPS for contributing prizes to this blog hop!!

blog hop BSHM

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for all the graphics:  Glitter Meets Glue, Lita Lita, Pretty Grafik Design, & I’m Lovin’ Lit

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What’s In Your Cart? Linky Party

Slide3-300x255TPT is having another BIG sale!!  I know that it is the end of the year and most of us are saying “Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.”  The last thing on our minds is finding NEW speech materials for the last month of school, but this is a great time to stock up on materials that you can prep for next year, so you are ready with fun, engaging activities at the start of the new school year.

TpTLovesTeachersBanner300x300This means most TpT Sellers will put their store on sale, plus you will have an extra code to use in order to take an addition 8% off of all materials on the site!  These sales only happen a few times a year, so this is your chance to get really good deals!  The sale will happen Tuesday and Wednesday (May 6-7th).  Speech Room News is having a What’s In Your Cart? Linky party and I wanted to share what’s on my wishlist.

Let me share what I currently have in MY cart:

original-1173078-1This looks like a really fun activity that my language groups will get really into for the end of the year!  I love how many targets it covers.

Beach Grammar:  Activities for Speech Therapy & Classrooms!

I got to preview this fun pack and it is filled with lots of great grammar targets that will go well with my speech room theme.  Planning on doing some “beach” therapy towards the end of May!  Grab this pack here!

No Print I "Mustache" You a Question: Answering and Formul

I love that this pack is NO PRINT and it has a jeopardy style game to play.  Hoping to use this I Must Ask You A Question Pack with my language groups.

Mad Scientists Inferences

I love the graphics on this set and I need some more inferencing materials!  Grab this Mad Scientists Inferences Pack from Live Love Speech.

Slide1If I was going to pick a few items from my store that should be in YOUR cart, I would have to say my No Prep, Print N’Go packs are the way to go for the end of the year because I know we are all wrapping up assessments, meetings and paperwork, which leaves little time to plan therapy.  You can grab my Money Saving Bundle during the sale and whenever I add “new” packs, you will get them for free!!  I have a summer and fall themed packs in the works, so this is the time to grab that awesome deal!

Slide1I will be using my Out In The Woods Cause & Effect Pack with my upper elementary language groups in May to go along with my summer theme!  This is filled with activities to work on understanding cause and effect and making predictions about what might happen next!  What’s in your cart?  I would love to hear your suggestions because I always need new materials.

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