Hey busy SLP! Ever find yourself in a therapy rut or in need of some articulation activities ASAP? I’ve got you covered! This post is full of 12 quick and easy articulation activities to help you achieve as many target trials as possible, without resorting to the ever-tedious drill, drill, drill!
If you find yourself in a therapy rut brainstorming ways to keep articulation therapy fun for your clients, I see you! It can be such a pain to keep things engaging and exciting all while getting in 100 trails during your session.
Not only is therapy lesson planning time-consuming, but now you need to recommend practical and affordable home practice ideas for your families as well. Goodness! Talk about to-do overload!
To make therapy and at-home practice a breeze, try to stick to articulation activities that use everyday toys and games or even regular household items. This post is packed with articulation activity ideas that are low cost, low stress, and make drills fun for everyone!
First up, make sure you have some awesome articulation cards on hand. Don’t have a full set to meet all your clients’ needs? Lucky for you, I’ve created some awesome printable articulation cards that are available for purchase as a PDF download in my store!
These cards are super easy to prepare and come with both full color and black line options. They cover all 24 speech sounds in initial, medial, and final word positions, so you’ll never have to search for another set of cards again!
Let’s jump into some no-prep articulation activities! Aside from pulling out games and toys from your therapy arsenal, these are all ready to go whenever you are!
Many of my young clients are extremely motivated by small trinkets or “treasures” as a reward for correct productions. These don’t need to be items to keep, just something fun to find.
An articulation treasure hunt is a fun way to get target productions! Gather some treasures and hide them under any small containers (plastic party cups and bowls work perfectly for this activity.) Place an articulation card on top of each and let your students get to work.
When they’ve said the target word correctly, they can lift the cup and check underneath. If you do want to give a prize to keep, then mini erasers are perfect and come in so many cute designs!
Sensory bin activities are a fun way to hide articulation drills in play! I often use dried split peas in my bin, but you can use any dry, non-sticky material such as beans, rice, or even sand (if you don’t mind the mess of course!)
Keep little hands busy and have them dig for their targets. It makes the work fun AND functional!
We’ve all got building blocks of some sort lying around. Legos work great but the stacking blocks are fun too.
Have your students take turns practicing their sounds while stacking or fitting the pieces together. If your kids are anything like mine, it might be hard to get them to stop, so prepare yourself for lots of fun!
Mr. Potato Head is always greeted with a smile in my speech room! Help your spud buddy get dressed while practicing target sounds. For each correct production they get a piece to fit onto his body.
Articulation cards are the perfect size to fit inside too! So, if you want to squeeze in some extra productions, hide a few in there to be found at the end as a surprise!
It’s important to keep your students engaged and having fun with therapy. But if you find the activity is too slow paced for you to fit in enough trials inside a short session or practice, here’s a fun way to squeeze in those extra ones:
Every so often in between play (especially if we hit on a card I want to get more repetition on), I will ask my student to “give me 5″. I hold up my closed fist and we do a quick drill of 5 words, and I raise a finger for each correct production until I get to the high 5 (or virtual high 5!) position.
“Give me 5” is quick and easy with no extra prep, and the kids get used to getting it done quickly so we can go back to play. It’s great practice that they hardly notice at all!
Oh, and a cool bonus? This simple technique works great for telehealth sessions too!
Next up, is a favorite in my therapy room: Feed the Monkey. This articulation activity is available for purchase from my store. CLICK HERE to pick up your own copy today!
During the game, students give the monkey a “treat” each time they repeat their target words correctly.
The kids really “go ape” for this little guy!
Jenga is an easy game to play while drilling articulation. Once the child makes a correct production, they get a turn in the game. Talk about easy prep for you, busy SLP!
Snappy Shark (or Crocodile Dentist) are extremely fun and motivating games to play in therapy. For every correct production, your client gets to take a turn pushing down the teeth for a fun surprise!
Have a client who LOVES cars? Have them drive their cars around a mat or table to different articulation cards! Then have them say their target a few times before driving to the next stop.
Always a winner in my therapy room, Kerplunk is an easy game where your kids can pull out a stick after each correct trial.
Pop the Pirate is easily one of the most popular games in my therapy sessions. The concept is simple: for every correct production, your client gets to push a sword into the pirate to get him to pop!
Last up is a quick and easy game for therapy. After each correct target, your kid gets to hang monkeys from a tree. First one to hang all their monkeys on the tree wins!
So, there you have it! Twelve awesome ideas to add to your therapy arsenal. Here’s hoping you now have some useful (and easy!) articulation activities to brighten up your sessions.
For more fun speech therapy ideas, games, and tips, join me in the Teaching Talking Facebook Group. I’d love to welcome you in and share more great ideas!