Sweet Peas and Pigtails

Author Archives: Sweet Peas and Pigtails

Hi there! I’m Jennifer, wife to Jonathan and mama to two Sweet Peas. I worked full time as a speech-language pathologist for nearly a decade before becoming a mommy and now I work part-time so I can stay at home with my two little sweet peas.

Free Winter-Themed Idioms For Speech Therapy

Materials for idioms are sometimes difficult to find, so I thought I’d create a product of my own. ? I have a student on my caseload who struggles with understanding idioms, and I feel like I’m always bending over backwards trying to teach him what they mean!

Included in this packet are 12 winter-themed idiom snowman flashcards as well as 12 definition snowman cards. Laminate and cut apart flashcards. I like to flip the cards over and play as a memory matching game by placing the idiom flashcards on one side of the table and the definition cards on the other side. I then have my students choose one idiom flash card and one definition flash card.  If it matches, they get to keep the cards.  The player with the most matches at the end of the game wins!

Another way you can play is to put the idiom cards in a sensory bin and have your student choose one at a time.  Depending on their level, he or she can then match it to the definition or maybe even use it in a sentence independently. 

I hope you enjoy this freebie! Let me know if it helps your kiddos!

Click here to download freebie!

Following Directions with Animals FREEBIE

So many kids on my caseload are working on following directions. I’m always trying to think of directions for them to follow, and sometimes it's hard to think of them on the spot! I decided to create a resource that would be fun and engaging as well as cater to kids at different levels.

My Following Directions with Animals includes 36 animal-themed following directions! There are 12 animal cards, 12 1-step direction cards, 12 2-step direction cards, 6 temporal (before/after) direction cards, and 6 conditional direction cards.

Print, cut, and laminate all cards. Lay the animal cards out in front of the student and give them a direction to follow based on their skill level (1-step, 2-step, temporal, conditional). Re-position animal cards before moving on to the next direction. Each direction card is labeled in the top right corner with either a 1 (1-step), 2 (2-step), T (temporal), and C (conditional) so you can keep the cards organized.

This download includes:

-12 animal cards

-12 1-step direction cards

-12 2-step direction cards

-6 temporal (before/after) direction cards

-6 conditional direction cards

Download Freebie!

Looking for more following directions activities? Check out my Seasonal Bundle of Following Directions where your kids can follow directions through all four seasons!

How I Use Cotton Balls For Winter-Themed Speech Therapy

It’s not officially winter yet, but I’ve been using my winter-themed materials for a few weeks already now. Something super easy I’ve added to my winter stash are cotton balls. The kids get a kick out of calling them “snowballs” and it just puts a new twist on any activity. Read below to find out how I use cotton balls in speech. 

"Snow" Sensory Bin

Super, super easy activity! Grab a bin and a ton of cotton balls and hide some cards you’re working on in the bin. In this picture, I put my Christmas-themed following directions cards into the bin and the students picked one card at a time and followed the command on the card. So fun!

“Snowballs” instead of Bingo/magnetic chips

For this particular activity, I used my Snowman Negation flash cards and had the students put a “snowball” on their answer.  I usually use the ever so popular dry erase marker for this activity, but the kids loved the new twist of the cotton balls and were really engaged! I’ve also used the cotton balls as Bingo chips as well.

Comparatives and Superlatives

Talk about easy therapy activity! In this picture, the student was working on tall/taller/tallest.  We also used our “snowballs” for big/bigger/biggest, long/longer/longest, short/shorter/shortest, etc.

How do you use cotton balls in therapy? I’d love to hear some new ideas! You really can’t go wrong with them!

Snowman Negation

I love winter-themed materials, especially ones with snowmen. I live in Florida and we need all the winter we can get because it doesn’t get very cold here! I’ve never built a snowman and only seen snow once in my life, and that was at 18 years old! So, give me all the snowman materials!

This particular resource targets the concept of negation.  I use these flashcards to teach and informally assess negation. I have my students read the question on each card then point to the answer or use a dry erase marker to circle the correct answer once the cards are laminated! Another twist is to have them cover their answer with cotton balls, or “snowballs!” Now, that is a big hit with the kids!

So, what do you get with this packet? There are 36 total flashcards with 2 snowmen per card and all 72 snowmen are different! And they are pretty adorable too.

Click here to check out Snowman Negation.


I can’t believe Christmas is less than a month away! It’s still about 80 degrees here in Central Florida, and I’m trying to get in the Christmas spirit by pulling out all of my Christmas and winter-themed products since it just doesn’t feel much like Christmas outside! 

Creating Christmas products also puts me in a festive mood. My gumball smash mats have been such a hit with my kids that I decided to create another smash mat product! These reindeer mats have been so engaging for my little friends. There are 29 smash mats included in this packet, with 5 words per mat focusing on the following word shapes:

  • 6 CV (consonant-vowel) smash mats
  • 2 VC (vo​​​​wel-consonant) smash mats
  • 15 CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) smash mats
  • 6 CVCV (consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel) smash mats
Reindeer Smash Mat

Laminate each smash mat. Choose a word, say it 5 times, and then cover the reindeer’s nose with Play-Doh! So fun! Continue until all pictures have been covered. An alternate to Play-Doh would be covering the pictures with game chips or using the magnetic chips with the magic wand. ?

Click here to check out Apraxia of Speech Reindeer Smash.


I’m always looking for fun ways to work on answering WH-questions.  Enter gumball smash mats.  These mats have been so engaging for my little friends who are working on this concept.  There are 10 smash mats included in this packet, with 6 questions per mat:

  • 2 WHO smash mats
  • 4 WHAT smash mats
  • 2 WHEN smash mats
  • 2 WHERE smash mats

Laminate each smash mat. Ask your child one of the questions listed and then have your child cover the answer with a Play-Doh gumball! Continue until all pictures have been covered. An alternate to Play-Doh would be covering the pictures with game chips or using the magnetic chips with the magic wand. ?

Click here to check out WH-Questions Smash Mats.

Seasonal Bundle of Following Directions Bundle for Speech Therapists

This money saving bundle of following directions activities will keep your students engaged all year long!

This bundle includes four of my seasonal following directions products (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer). Here is what you get for each season:

-54 themed direction cards (18 temporal-before/after, 18 2-step, & 18 1-step)

-15 themed directions coloring sheets (5 temporal-before/after, 5 2-step, & 5 1-step)

Each card and coloring sheet is labeled in the top right corner with the specific direction type so you can keep everything organized.

“Great packet for working on following directions...thanks!”

“Love these following directions activities.”

Fall Direction Cards

Fal​l Direction Cards

Winter Direction Cards

Winter Direction Cards

Spring Direction Cards

Spring Direction Cards

Summer Direction Cards

Summer Direction Cards

“Great material that I will be able to use with a wide variety of students.”

“Awesome bundle!”

The bundle also includes coloring sheets! Have your students color the pages during the session or send them home for homework! I like to bind all of the coloring sheets together and make copies as needed.

Seasonal Bundle
Fall Coloring Sheets

Fall Coloring Sheets

Winter Coloring Sheets

Winter Coloring Sheets

Spring Coloring Sheets

Spring Coloring Sheets

Summer Coloring Sheets

Summer Coloring Sheets

CLICK HERE to buy Seasonal Bundle of Following Directions

Spin & Say Articulation: Freebie!

This fun freebie is a sample version of my Spin & Say Articulation {Coloring Sheets & Smash Mats} which contains these pages plus 112 other pages for a total of 58 Spin & Color Sheets and 58 Spin & Smash Sheets! This packet is perfect for the entire school year! I’m constantly grabbing these sheets during my sessions.

Each sheet includes game spinners with 4 articulation target sounds on each spinner. The huge packet includes 18 different sounds! Sounds included in the full version are as follows:

  • Initial Sounds (2 black & white coloring sheets AND 2 colored smash mat sheets for each sound) p, b, m, n, t, d, k, g, f, s, s blends, r, r blends, l, l blends, th, sh, and ch
  • Final Sounds (2 black & white coloring sheets AND 2 colored smash mat sheets for each sound) p, b, t, d, k, g, f, s, th, sh, and ch

Spin, Say & Color Instructions:

Spin using a paperclip and a pencil. Find the picture, say it 5 times and then color the picture. Continue until all pictures have been colored. These coloring sheets are also great to send home for homework!

Spin, Say & Smash Instructions:

Laminate colored pages. Spin using a paperclip and a pencil. Find the picture, say it 5 times and then smash the picture with PlayDoh (or cover with a chip). Continue until all pictures have been smashed (or covered).

This packet includes a sample of the huge packet. You get 2 black and white pages and 2 colored smash mat pages for the following sounds (a total of 4 pages):

  • final /k/
  • initial /f/
  • initial /l/
  • final /sh/

This download includes:

  • check
    Spin, Say & Color: Final /k/
  • check
    Spin, Say & Color: Initial /f/
  • check
    Spin, Say & Smash: Final /sh/
  • check
    Spin, Say & Smash: Initial /l/

To see more images included in the full version, please click here.

Brown Horse, Brown Horse: An engaging, play-based activity for preschoolers!

I absolutely love the classic “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” It’s such a good therapy tool for targeting many different goals including colors, asking/answering questions, turn taking, and vocabulary.  My speech kiddos absolutely love this book as do my own children at home!

As I was planning one of my therapy sessions recently, the toy farm animals caught my eye.  I thought that it might be fun to modify Brown Bear a little to help this little one with some of her goals.  I spread out the animals on the table and gave her the brown horse.  We sang, “Brown Horse, Brown Horse, What Do You See? I see a ______ looking at me,” filling in the blank with a farm animal such as “pink pig” or “yellow duck.”  This was such a hit with my little preschool friend. She absolutely loved singing along and asking questions, putting the animals in the barn and taking them out (prepositions), and answering yes/no and WH questions (what does a cow say?). We also targeted some of her articulation goals (/f/ in “farm” and ending sounds on words).

This activity was so engaging and one of our best sessions! You really can’t go wrong with farm animals. What are some fun play-based activities your preschoolers like?

How I Use Hedbanz In Speech Therapy

I absolutely love the game Hedbanz and it’s always a hit with my kiddos.  If you are unfamiliar with the game, the guesser wears a headband on their head with a card on top.  They quickly ask “yes” or “no” questions to figure out what is on their card before time runs out.  Those rules alone make for a great game to have around in your speech therapy room!

I recently changed the rules up a little during one of my sessions.  I took the articulation cards we were working on, shuffled them, and slid them one at a time into the headband. The other person/people (therapist, other children in your group) describes the picture to the child with the headband.  So for “thirsty,” we said, “not hungry but ____.” It was great for opposites, vocabulary, and of course our sound because as soon as they guessed the word, they had to say it five times. The kids loved the variation and didn’t want to stop playing! Speech therapist win!

I also modified the rules another way for one of my kids who struggles with selective mutism.  I wore the headband, and placed a card in the slot.  I proceeded to ask her “yes” or “no” questions to figure out what was on the card. Once I found out what was on the card, I had her say the initial sound of the word so for “cake,” she had to say /k/. We have had so much success with this activity with this particular child!

How do you use Hedbanz in your speech therapy sessions? I’d love to get some fun, new ideas!

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