I’m a pediatric speech therapist and also a mom and I absolutely love talking to parents about ways they can help their children communicate. One strategy I talk about often is communication temptations.

Communication temptations is a strategy where you structure or manipulate the environment so the child must use communication in order to receive the desired item. I use communication temptations often in my own therapy sessions and also used them with my daughters when they were little and learning how to talk.

Sweet Peas and Pigtails Instagram Post

Fun Ways to Build Early Language Skills with Communication Temptations

Listed below are some fun ways you can tempt your kids to communicate. Use these ideas to motivate your children to express their wants and needs as well as give them an opportunity to initiate communication.

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Communication Temptations

Do you use communication temptations with your kids?  I’d love to hear how you use them! If you would like some more fun speech & language activities to use with your little ones, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

I admit that I actually didn’t know who Sandra Boynton was until my oldest daughter was about to turn one. At that point, I had already been a speech-language pathologist for eight years!

Right before her first birthday, I began researching books to use with her to build her speech and language skills. This was one of the books that popped up and she ended up getting this book along with some other Sandra Boynton books for her first birthday.

If you have little ones at home or on your caseload, and you are looking to build speech and language skills, this book is a must!

So, what are some things you can work on with this book? I’m glad you asked! Here are some ways I incorporated this book with my own children as well as the kiddos on my caseload:

1. Identifying and naming animals

There are lots of pictures of animals in this book, including a cow, duck, horse, sheep, pigs, rhinos, dogs, and cats. First see if your child can point to the picture of the animal that you name. Then when he or she is successful with that task, see if they can name the animal when you point to it!

Identifying and naming animals

2. Teaching animal sounds

Did you know that animal sounds can be counted as words? As I’m evaluating children for speech and language delays, I’ll often ask parents approximately how many words they think their child may speak. Oftentimes animal sounds are not counted in the total number, but when they hear that their child is actually saying a few more words than they thought, it brings some encouragement.

This book is perfect to practice those animal sounds (hence the title 😉). Work on moo, baa, neigh, ruff, bow wow, meow, oink, etc. Sometimes I’ll sing a song to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus” with this book: “the cow on the bus says moo, moo moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, the cow on the bus says moo, moo, moo, all through the town.” The kids always seem to enjoy this activity!

3. Teaching basic concepts

You can easily sneak in some basic concept practice with this book! I usually work on teaching big/little (the dog is little and the rhino is big) and same/different (a sheep and a pig are different), etc. We also sometimes work on quiet/loud by saying the animal sounds with a soft voice and then with a loud voice… the kids get a kick out of that one!

4. Naming simple actions

I like to describe to my kids what the animals are doing. The book displays the animals performing simple actions such as standing, running, singing, and dancing. Sometimes we’ll get our bodies moving and perform the actions ourselves! If you are a parent or you work with kids, you know movement is a must with little ones!

Have you read this book in speech therapy or with your little ones at home?! I’d love to hear how you use it! If you would like some more fun speech & language activities to use with your little ones, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

Stacking Cups

I bought these stacking cups for my oldest daughter for her first birthday back in 2015. Now that she is five and a half and little sister is three and a half, I thought maybe it was time to donate the toy. After all, it was tucked away in a toy bin and the girls hadn't played with it in awhile.

As I went to put it into the donate pile, I thought maybe I could use it in speech therapy with my young preschool kids. With all of the different colors and the different ways it comes apart and snaps together, I just could not part with it. I knew I could target tons of goals so I placed the toy in my therapy bag.

And wouldn't you know, these stacking cups were a HUGE HIT with my kids! And even my youngest daughter found them in my bag and started playing with them again! This simple toy is not just a baby toy; you can get lots of use out of it in your sessions! Read on to see how I used it in my sessions!


So many basic concepts to target! I like to use them to work on size, color, and negation concepts.

-Stack the cups and make big moutains and little mountains

-Bring out toy animals and have them climb up and down the big/tall/little short mountains

-Flip the cups over to make pools and have the animals swim in the different color pools

-Break apart the cups and ask the child, "Give me the cup that is not ____ (big, purple, little, etc.)

Basic Concepts


This is such an easy toy to target preposition goals!

-Stack the cups on, take the cups off

-Put the animals on top/in/under the cups



Need to target verbs? No problem!

-Climb mountain

-Jump in the pool

-Swim in the pool

-Splash the water

-Snap the cups into balls and then roll them back and forth



I'm always working on following directions with my kiddos! This is an easy way to sneak it in!

-Tell the child to hide an animal under a certain cup (Hide the cow under the orange cup)

-You can increase the number of steps depending on the child's ability (Hide the cow under the orange cup and then give me the blue cup, etc.).


If you do pair the cups with animals or little dolls or figurines, you can totally target WH-questions!

-Ask the child, "Who is in the blue pool?" "Who climbed up the mountain?"

-Hide the animals under the cups and ask, "Where is pig?", etc.

I have literally used these stacking cups for entire 30 minute sessions with young preschoolers. I am so glad that I did not donate it and that I decided to hang onto it! And now my daughter has something "new" to play with!

Have you used stacking cups in speech?! I'd love to hear!

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means if you purchase something using my link I may make a small commission)

Summer is in full swing and we are enjoying every bit of it! I’m a mom to two little girls, an almost three-year-old and an almost five-year-old. I’ve also worked as a speech language pathologist for over 13 years. Ever since my girls were born, I’ve loved incorporating easy, fun activities to build their speech and language skills. This is the first summer that I am not working since I began my career as an SLP and I wanted to share with you some of the activities that have kept us busy so far this summer, all while building my girls’ speech and language skills!

1. Go On A Nature Walk

My girls and I love being outside, so this was such a fun activity for us. I just grabbed some paper bags and a sharpie and we brainstormed some things that we might find outside. I then wrote them on the bag and off we went! Not only did the girls have a blast, but there was so much language learning going on with this activity: categories (these are insects, those are flowers, etc.), basic concepts and describing (the butterfly is yellow, the rock is hard, the stick is long and thin, etc.), and comparing/contrasting (that leaf is brown and this leaf is green).

Scavenger List


2. Play In The Water

Three summers ago, when my oldest daughter was just a toddler and I was seven months pregnant with my youngest daughter, my husband built a water table. The girls love playing with it every summer and I love that you can target so much speech and language with a fun activity like this. We usually throw in our flamingo floats, some bath toys, balls, cups, and scoopers, and the girls entertain themselves!

You can teach a ton of language-rich vocabulary during this activity: splash, pour, scoop, float, sink, full, empty, wet, dry, spill, soak, squirt, and swim. This activity is also great for requesting and social skills (taking turns, sharing toys, etc.), especially when the little neighbor friends come over to play.

Water table

3. Visit Your Local Library For Story Time

Every week, we visit our local public library for story time. It lasts about 20 minutes and it is jam-packed with so many fun activities from singing songs to puppet shows to listening to the librarian read a story. Afterwards, the girls head over to the children’s section for some playtime with the other kids.

My girls love going to the library and checking out stacks of books. Most libraries have summer reading programs for children to participate. At our library when you sign up, you get to choose a free book. Then we received a packet full of ideas and activities to work on at home. Story time is definitely something I recommend year-round to parents with little ones, and if you can’t make it during the week, some libraries offer Saturday programs.

4. Make A Special Treat In The Kitchen

For Independence Day, my girls and I spent some time making our American flag fruit dish which consisted of blueberries, strawberries, and marshmallows. I started making this with my oldest when she was just a toddler and when I was pregnant with my youngest and ever since it’s been our little tradition. It’s so easy to make and it’s the perfect summer dish!

My girls love helping in the kitchen and I love all the language learning that takes place: sequencing (first we are going to rinse off the strawberries, then mom will cut them, then we will put them in the dish), following directions (put the blueberries in the dish then put the strawberries in), turn taking (the girls each took turns putting fruit/marshmallows in the dish), attention, describing (the blueberries feel squishy, my hands are wet, etc.), and spatial concepts (the marshmallows go under the strawberries, etc.).

Flag treat

5. Play A Game

My four-year daughter has been getting into games recently. Her current favorites are Go Fish, Memory and Candyland. She asks me often to play these games with her, so I’ll play with her for a little while during the day since her little sister isn’t quite big enough to play by herself yet.

Did you know that while playing games, kids are practicing social skills such as turn taking and making eye contact? And not just that! They’re also learning basic concepts (colors, size, shapes, numbers/counting, etc.), and following directions. For example, when you play a memory matching game, you are trying to find cards that are the same. Cards that are not the same are not matches.

This opens up lots of discussion such as talking about how they are different or maybe the pictures are the same color but they are different fish for example (a blue shark and a blue dolphin). We then go on to count our matches and figure out which person has the most cards. These are important math skills for children to grasp.

So, pull out the card and board games and get playing with your children on those rainy or too hot to play outside days! You are building great language skills in your children when you do!

6. Make A Craft At A Local Crafting Store

Did you know that some craft stores offer free crafts for kids?! We are lucky enough to live close to a Lakeshore Learning store and on Saturdays they have a kid’s craft time. On one of the Saturdays we went, the girls made noisemakers! They had a blast and didn’t even realize they were practicing some skills such as requesting for the colors/stickers they wanted on their cups, asking for help if they couldn’t tape the cups together by themselves, following directions (put 5 beads in the cup, etc.) and waiting their turn if someone else had the color marker they wanted. We definitely plan on going again in the future.

Building a craft

If you don’t live near a Lakeshore Learning store, I’ve heard that Michaels offers 30-minute crafts for children ages three and up on Saturdays and Home Depot offers free workshops for kids on the weekends. Make sure to check with your local stores to see the activities they offer!

7. Visit The Park

The park is a wonderful place to promote speech and language skills. I started bringing my children to the park when they were just babies. I remember when my husband and I were brand new parents and we would take our new baby on long walks every evening to unwind. By the time she was able to sit on her own, we started putting her in the baby swing at the park. Let me tell you, there is SO much language you can target just on the swing, and not just for babies, but toddlers and preschoolers too!

I always tell parents to narrate their days while talking with their babies and children. The more words a child hears, the better! They might not be able to talk back yet, but they are listening. So with my baby, when I put her in the swing, I might say, “I’m putting you in the swing.” “You’re such a big girl!” “The swing moves back and forth.” “I’m going to stop the swing.” You get the idea!

For toddlers, I might say “Ready, set…” and pause before saying “go” and let them say the word. I also might stop the swing and see if they will sign or say “more” and then repeat the “Ready, set, go” again. We also work on “stop”, “fast”, “slow”, “high”, “low”, and “in” and “out” when getting in and out of the swing. And with both toddlers and preschoolers, you can always work on turn taking when there is only one swing.

And of course, you can go to any park! No playground equipment is required. We enjoy taking the girls to a local park that has a walking trail around a lake and we talk about the ducks and turtles we see. There’s something about getting out in nature that is so relaxing for us!

Well there you have it! I hope this gave you some ideas for some summer activities, and if you have one to add, I’d love to hear it!

Be sure to check out my TpT store for more fun speech and language activities you can use with your child.

Speech therapy does not have to be fancy to be effective. While working with children and being a mommy to two little ones of my own, I’ve found that kids are motivated by the simplest things! I’ve also found that using common items unconventionally with my kids keeps them very engaged! Read on to find simple, no prep activities to help keep your kids interested during your sessions.

1. Mini eraser race

All you need is a plastic cup for each child, a dice, and a bunch of mini erasers! Take turns rolling the dice and then put that many erasers in your cup and the person with the most erasers at the end is the winner! This activity was super fun and engaging and required no prep at all! We used it to work on counting, turn taking, prepositions (in/out), colors, articulation, basic concepts (more/less, full/empty), naming items (bunny, egg, basket, carrot, etc.), and increasing utterances (I got purple bunny).

I used my spring mini erasers for this activity but it would be fun to change it up for all of the seasons and holidays with different mini erasers! You could also play this game in between articulation cards and maybe have the child roll the dice and then say their word that many times and then continue on to fill their cups with that many erasers. The opportunities are endless!

Erasers with cups

2. Fill the mega blocks

Here is an example of using a toy in an unconventional way! Turn a few mega blocks upside down. Have the child say their word and then roll the dice to see how many pom poms (or mini erasers, magnetic chips, paper clips, etc.) to put in the blocks! Continue until all blocks are filled or all words have been said!

Of course, you also get in some prepositions, color sorting, and fine motor practice with the tweezers! I paired this activity with my Apraxia flashcards and it was so much fun!

Pom poms with blocks

3. Sticker Lids

We go through a TON of almond milk in my house. We make smoothies every morning for breakfast so I use about five cartons of milk a week between me and my family. I thought it would be fun to save the lids and see if I could create something for speech! I saved up a bunch and actually made these sticker lids with a pack of stickers I got from the Target Dollar Spot. These stickers are summer-themed but again, you can make new ones for each season or holiday to change it up a bit!

For this activity, I just grabbed a sheet of paper and a marker and made up sentences. The child then places the lids under each sentence. This activity is great for describing, prepositions, basic concepts, and following directions. You can also reverse the roles and have your student give you the directions! If you want to make the activity more complex, add a few steps to the directions: “Knock on the door after you put the purple octopus under your chair!” or “Put the orange shell on top of the pink starfish before you stomp your feet!”

Milk caps with stickers

4. Cardboard lacing shapes

I always seem to have tons of boxes at my house, thank you Amazon Prime! If you’re constantly ordering on Amazon like we are, then put all of that cardboard to use! We made lacing shapes by just cutting out basic shapes and then punching holes around the shape. Have your child decorate each shape with crayons and/or stickers and grab an old shoelace and you are set!

Target articulation (initial /l/ and final /s/ in “lace” and final /ch/ in “punch”), prepositions (lace through the hole and over/under), and requesting (request items for decorating their shapes). And of course, this activity is great for fine motor skills!

Lacing shapes

5. Ziploc bag smash mats

For this activity, you need a Ziploc bag and some pom poms. I printed my Preschool Vocabulary Smash Mats two to a page (printing half size is my new favorite thing!) and then laminated them and put them in the bag with the pom poms. We then pushed the pom poms (aka “gumballs”) around to each picture and then named each picture! I love that it puts a different spin on an activity we use a lot!

This activity is perfect for travel therapy and for throwing into the diaper bag for your kids to do while waiting at the doctor or at restaurants!

Pom poms in ziplock bag

How do you keep your kids engaged in your speech therapy sessions?! I’d love to hear!

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for more fun speech & language activities!

It can be extremely hard to keep little ones engaged during your speech sessions! Today I’m sharing my favorite ways to keep children engaged during therapy. And I’m all about easy, so you can start implementing these activities today!

1. Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are basically containers filled with different sensory materials to stimulate the child’s senses (see, hear, touch, taste, and smell). They are so much fun in speech! Pictured below is one of my favorite sensory bins. I attached paper clips to the cards, filled the bin with blue shredded paper for the “water” and the kids fished for verbs while playing bingo. My smaller kids worked on pronouns, naming actions, and possessives while my older kids worked on verb tenses, rhyming, and grammar. I usually like to center my bins around the holidays or seasons so the kids definitely look forward to all of the different bins.

Sensory Bins

2. Smash mats

Have you ever used smash mats in therapy?! They are a hit with my kids! We usually use Play-Doh, but sometimes we cover the pictures with mini erasers or pom poms to change it up a little. And other times, I’ll break out the bingo chips & the magic wand!

3. Movement

Little ones definitely need movement from time to time so they can stay focused. One way I incorporate movement is by writing actions on popsicle sticks while targeting following directions. The child draws a stick (or two!) and then performs the action(s) (hop to the door, etc.). I also use my themed following direction cards a lot during my sessions which always are a hit!

Another easy way to get your children up and moving is by using books! Some of my favorites to get those wiggles out are Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton and From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. And, you can target a variety of goals while reading the books, so it’s a win-win!

4. Puzzles

I always make sure to have puzzles with me in my sessions! To incorporate fine motor into my sessions, sometimes I wrap the puzzles pieces in foil and throw them into a sensory bin with flash cards. In between cards, my kids get to choose a puzzle piece to unwrap as they work towards building the puzzle!

Or sometimes we just keep it super basic and throw the pieces in the bin without flash cards! With this puzzle, we work on prepositions (in/out), requesting for more, asking & answering yes/no questions (“is it a snake?”), naming animals & their sounds, describing, and articulation. Sometimes we also hide the pieces around the room and work on asking/answering “where” questions (“zebra, where are you?”).

How do you keep your kids engaged in your speech therapy sessions?! I’d love to hear!

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for more fun speech & language activities!

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means if you purchase something using my link I may make a small commission)

For the past few years or so, I’ve been incorporating sensory bins into my speech therapy sessions. My daughters also enjoy playing with mama’s sensory bins at home. Using a sensory bin is a great way to build speech and language skills and it definitely makes my therapy sessions more fun and exciting for my little ones (and even for some of my older kiddos)!

What are sensory bins?

Sensory bins are basically containers filled with different sensory materials. They are created to stimulate the child’s senses (see, hear, touch, taste, and smell). The first thing you need to do is find a bin to use. Sometimes I use a Sterilite plastic bin with a lid but I’ve also used any containers or bins that I may have around the house. Then, choose a filler for inside the bin. I usually like to center my bins around the holidays or seasons so that determines which filler I choose. For winter, I like to use cotton balls for “snow” and for spring, I like to use Easter grass or beans. In the summer, I usually use kinetic sand or blue shredded paper for “water” and in the fall I picked up some silk leaves at the dollar store that worked really well! The possibilities for fillers are endless!

How to use sensory bins in speech

Sensory bins are so much fun in speech! I love throwing any type of flashcard into a cotton ball sensory bin during the winter season! Pictured here are my s-blend snowmen flashcards! We pull them out, say our word, and then cover the picture with a “snowball” (white Play-Doh or a cotton ball). It’s so much fun!

Winter Sensory Bins

In the spring, I like to use Easter grass and for this particular bin, I hid spring-themed mini erasers inside. Here, we were playing Easter Preposition Bingo, and then after the students took their turn, they got to search for a mini eraser in the bin and put it on their bingo board!

Spring-themed mini erasers

Pictured below is an example of a summer-themed sensory bin. I filled it with blue shredded paper for the “water” and the kids loved fishing for verbs while playing bingo. My smaller kids worked on pronouns, naming actions, and possessives while my older kids worked on verb tenses, rhyming, and grammar.

Summer-themed sensory bin

My fall sensory bins typically have popcorn kernels or dollar store leaves. For this bin, the kids pulled out the calling cards and then used black & white bingo game boards with dot markers for the pictures because we are a little obsessed with those too. 😊

Fall sensory bins

Other areas to target

Of course, you can throw anything into your bins, it doesn’t just have to be flashcards! Throw in little objects or toy people! Work on prepositions such as in/out, on/off, under/over, etc. Target verbs (open/close, scoop, dig, etc.) while playing with the sensory bin. The kids won’t even know they are working!

Do you use sensory bins in your speech therapy sessions?! I’d love to hear! Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for more fun speech & language activities!

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means if you purchase something using my link I may make a small commission)

We made it to winter, friends! We’ve had some pretty cold days here in Central Florida so far this year (well, cold by my standards-ha ha!), but currently we are right around 80 degrees, which I’m pretty happy about. Give me a few cold days during the holidays but come January, I’m ready for some warmer temps (I would never survive up north!). Even though it’s warm here, we still try to incorporate a little winter into our sessions. Read below to see my favorite ways!

1. Winter Games

I love incorporating winter games during my sessions. An oldie but a goodie (and one of my all-time favorite therapy games!) is Don’t Break the Ice! This game is perfect for the little ones and I’ve even had some 5th graders enjoy playing it! I use this in between turns while targeting our goals as well as use it to target different areas such as turn taking, requesting (I want the yellow stick), articulation (especially final /s/ in “ice”), and vocabulary.

2. Play-Doh snowballs

We are all about “snow” in speech since we don’t get snow here! We’ve been using a lot of white Play-Doh in our sessions on my snowball-themed apraxia smash mats! I use these mats to target apraxia and articulation delays and the kids love making “snowballs” after they say their words!

Play-doh snowballs

3. Winter Sensory Bins

I’m all about sensory bins in my sessions! And how cute is this bin?1 I love throwing any type of flashcard into a cotton ball sensory bin during the winter season! Pictured here are my s-blend snowmen flashcards! We pull them out, say our word, and then cover the picture with a “snowball” (white Play-Doh or a cotton ball). It’s so much fun!

Winter Sensory Bins

4. Winter Crafts

We love anything snowman this time of year! Here is an easy melted snowman craft that is perfect for speech! It is fun to pair with the book, Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright. I love incorporating crafts into my sessions because you can target so many speech and language skills. Work on requesting for the different materials, vocabulary, verbs (glued, cut, etc.), colors, and categories (clothing, body parts, etc.).

Winter Crafts

5. Winter-themed speech activities

My kids love these winter-themed articulation spinner worksheets. I literally have all of these worksheets in a notebook and make copies when needed. I’ve also sent them home for homework. The packet includes winter-themed game spinners with 5 articulation target sounds on each spinner. We love dotting our pictures with dot markers after we say our words.

Winter-themed speech activities

You can try the initial /th/ sound for FREE here!

How do you incorporate winter into your speech therapy sessions?! I’d love to hear! Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for more fun winter speech & language activities!

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means if you purchase something using my links I may make a small commission)

My caseload is primarily preschoolers and children in early elementary school, and I’m always incorporating some kind of toy into my speech therapy sessions. Parents are always asking me what kind of toys they should buy for their kids, and with the holiday season around the corner, I thought it’d be good to share with you some of my favorite toys to promote speech and language skills in children.

Children learn SO much in play. I love this quote from Fred Rogers: “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Dr. Karen Purvis put it this way: “Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain – unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10-20 repetitions.” Play is THAT important. Let your children be little and explore. They are learning so much when they do!

Now, not all toys are created equal. Toys that promote creativity, movement, and pretend play skills are preferred. Electronic toys may be convenient, but they do all the talking for your kids. Quiet toys, or toys that do not require batteries, allow your child to be creative and come up with their own sounds! Below I’ve listed some of my favorite toys to develop speech and language skills. I’ve used these toys both with my own little girls at home as well as in the therapy room!

1. Mr. Potato Head

I love using Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head to target a variety of goals in speech. It is such a versatile toy and definitely a crowd pleaser, especially with my preschoolers! I use the potatoes to target pronouns, negation, body parts, articulation, prepositions, following directions, and verbs. I’ve had some kiddos on my caseload who just could not get their pronouns down, but as soon as we played with Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head for a few weeks, their percentages greatly increased! We work on “She wants the yellow hat” and “He wants the mustache” or “Give the red nose to him.” It literally is my most requested toy in speech. I recently wrote a blog that goes into more depth about how I target each of the different areas using potato heads. You can click here to check it out!

Kid holding Mr. Potato Head

2. Farm

There is so much you can do with a farm set! Naming animals & their sounds, expressing the colors of the animals, articulation, vocabulary, verbs, prepositions, basic concepts and describing words. I also like to work on WH-questions and ask my kids “Who says moo?” or “Who drives the tractor?” or “What is it?” Some fun books to pair with farm sets include “I Went Walking” by Sue Williams and “Moo Baa La La La” by Sandra Boynton. Amazon has some cute farm sets! Here are some of my favorites:

Melissa & Doug Fold and Go Wooden Barn with 7 Animal play figures

Kiddie Play Farm Toys Set with Farm Animals for Toddlers (25 pieces)

3. Play Food Sets

There is SO much you can do with play food! I especially love the wooden play food sets. Work on pretend play, verbs, vocabulary, and articulation. I have a wooden baking set that the kids absolutely love! It includes cookies, cookie sheet, frosting toppers, an oven mitt, and wooden tools such as a knife, spatula, and rolling pin. You can get lots of /k/ practice in with this particular set! Also, the cookies and frosting have Velcro pieces on it so I like to work on prepositions (“Oh, you put the chocolate frosting on the cookie!”) and also in/out of the oven.

Play food

To target verbs, we cut the cookies, roll the dough, and spread the frosting. This is also fun to pair with a doll or the animals from the farm set. We work on feeding the different animals and talk about what they are eating. So fun! Here are some of my favorites on Amazon:

Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Wooden Cookie Play Food Set

Melissa & Doug Pizza Party Wooden Play Food Set with 54 Toppings

4. Legos/Blocks

I like to teach counting, shapes, and colors with my littlest friends while we play with blocks. I also like to work on requesting (“more block” or “I want block”), prepositions while stacking (“block on.”), and basic concepts (“big tower” and “little tower”). Playing with blocks enables children to be creative and use their imagination as they build robots, castles, or maybe houses. I also like to bring in animals while we are playing with blocks and hide them in various places. I may hide a horse behind the tower and ask, “Where’s horse?” to work on asking and answering questions as well as prepositions (behind). There are endless ways to encourage communication skills while playing with blocks! I love these sets:

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set - 100 Blocks in 4 Colors and 9 Shapes

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic

5. Doctor kits

Doctor kits are wonderful at facilitating communication! We talk about emotions/feelings (the baby feels sick) and work on answering WH-questions. I may ask my kids, “Where is baby’s boo-boo?” or “What hurts?” and “What should we do to make baby feel better?” My preschoolers love playing doctor (as do my own little girls at home!). This is the one I have:

Disney Doc McStuffins ORIGINAL Doctor’s Bag- Exclusive

Kid playing doctor

What are your favorite toys to promote speech & language skills? I’d love to hear! Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for more fun speech & language activities!

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate links which means if you purchase something using my link I may make a small commission)

I absolutely love incorporating books into my speech therapy sessions! As a traveling SLP, I love that I can target a variety of goals with a single book. Read below to see some of my favorite books.

1. I Went Walking by Sue Williams

I went walking

I’ve been using this book in speech for many years and it’s one of my all-time favorites! I remember hearing about this book at an ASHA convention as a new SLP and I knew I had to get it for my kids. Plus, it’s all about animals, so of course it’s a huge hit with children! There are many different goals you can target with this book.

-naming and describing animals




This book also uses repetitive language, which makes it fun for the kids to help read aloud!

2. When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles by Susanna Leonard Hill

When Your Elephant Has The Sniffles

This is such a fun book about a little girl and all the things she does to help her sniffly elephant feel better. My kids love it and it’s perfect to use during cold and flu season. I love using this book in speech to cover a variety of different areas.

-teaching empathy and caring for others

-teaching about germs

-WH questions

-multisyllabic words

-articulation, especially /s/ blends, /l/, and /ch/

3. Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems

Today I Will Fly book

I really love this book (and all his other books!) by Mo Willems about two animal friends, an elephant and a pig. Elephant isn’t quite sure that his friend pig can fly, but pig tries really hard to make her dream of flying come true! There are so many areas that you can target in speech with this book.

-nonverbal language (Elephant and Piggie are quite animated so we work on interpreting body language, facial expressions, and emotions)

-teaching encouragement

-articulation, especially /l/ and /l/ blends

4. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Giraffe's Can't Dance

This is a book about a giraffe named Gerald who wants to dance but can’t. He gets teased by the other animals when he starts dancing which leaves him feeling sad and lonely. He meets a cricket who encourages him, telling him he’s not a bad dancer but that he hasn’t found the right music. I love using this book to target a ton of speech and language targets!

-teaching children about the importance of accepting their own differences, as well as the differences of others.




-action verbs



5. Ten Apples Up On Top! By Dr. Suess

Ten Apples Up On Top!

Even though the apple theme is perfect for back to school and the fall season, I literally use this book all the time! I carry around three of my old beanie baby friends (Roary the Lion, Bones the Dog, and Stripes the Tiger) that I have lying around my house from years ago, and it works out perfectly with this book. The kids enjoy putting “apples” on top of each animal’s heads as we read along and they seem to never get tired of it! I use this book to target so many goals!

-basic concepts (more, less, etc.)






What are your favorite books to use in your speech therapy sessions?! I’d love to hear!

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for more fun speech & language activities!

To learn more about each book, click on each title:

I Went Walking

When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles

Today I Will Fly!

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Ten Apples Up On Top!

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