Motivation, humor, and ideas that every speech-language pathologist who works with children will love!

4 Really Fun Speech Therapy Contests You Should Try [Free Download]

4 Really Fun Speech Therapy Contests You Should Try [Free Download]

I don’t know about you, but I totally LOVE having random contests with my speech therapy students. It doesn’t really matter the age of the kiddos; contests are fun for 5 year-olds or 15 year-olds (and everyone in between). Here are four crazy contests that I frequently do with my elementary school-aged students.

1. Funny Face Making Contest

Have a Funny Face Making Contest with your speech students. See who can make the silliest face in speech class!

2. Staring Contest

Have a Staring Contest with your speech students. See who can go the longest without blinking in speech class.

3. Dinosaur Impersonation Contest

Have a Dinosaur Impersonation Contest with your speech students. See who can act like a dinosaur the best in speech class!

4. Dance Contest

Have a Dance Contest with your speech students. See who has the coolest moves in speech class!

In addition . . .

I added a FREE speech therapy contests coloring sheet that you can download that highlights 10 of my most favorite contests ever. Click HERE to download it. I believe that this FREE coloring sheet will be sure to generate some fantastic conversation that can be manipulated to meet all of your students’ goals and objectives. Yippie!

I Seriously Take the Internet for Granted

I Seriously Take the Internet for Granted

Not too long ago I received an email of praise from a fellow speech-language pathologist. She wrote “I recently checked your site and signed up for your messages, I must tell you that I really appreciate your ideas and your way of dealing with stuff is great.”

Wow!

As if you couldn’t guess, I was happier than a bear swimming in a pool of honey while I was reading her words! Her message truly made my day, but here is a bit of information that will BLOW your mind . . . I purposely didn’t tell you where that speech therapist was from. She. Was. From . . . Lebanon!

That’s pretty far away from where I live (USA)

After receiving a message like that, I came to two conclusions I would like to expand on.

1. I seriously take the Internet for granted

I probably never would have met this woman from Lebanon face-to-face, but the Internet has made it possible for us to have a textual conversation. Her email made me stop and think a little bit more about what I already knew, but never truly appreciated: even though people might be separated by thousands of miles, time zones and sometimes even languages, we can still connect with each other and inspire each other with the click of a button.

2. I don’t thank people enough for sharing on the Internet

On any given day, I read 10-15 blog posts and articles online that directly relate to the field of communication difficulties. Those writings clearly impact me and help me to grow to become a better speech-language pathologist. But I hardly ever reach out and give the writer the genuine thank you that he/she deserves. I might convince myself I’m too busy that day – that I don’t have time to fill out those little comment boxes, or take the extra step to click on the author’s email address. But really, those things only take about 60 seconds to do. I’m going to try to remember to give praise, reach out and say thank you to authors and bloggers that have put valuable, free information in front of me. I encourage you to reach out and do the same. Thanking a stranger for their insight can make their day and it won’t make you feel so bad, either.

So much gratitude! So much!

Maria, thank you for writing me such a positive, thought-provoking email. And to everyone who visits my site, thank you for the support. It truly means the world to me to know that there is a community of like-minded people in this field who share my vision and passion for speech therapy. YOU ROCK!

Do You Use a Ladder to Get into a Pool? Or Do You Just Jump?

Do You Use a Ladder to Get into a Pool? Or Do You Just Jump?

Warmer months are finally here and boy oh boy, the weather sure has been hot. For most of us school-based SLPs, summer vacation is almost here! And you know what that means – sun tanning, barbecuing, and swimming in cool water. As a matter of fact, I’m currently writing this blog post while relaxing next to a pool. So let me take this moment to ask you a pool-related question that may or may not relate to pools once you really take the time to think about your response.

How do YOU get into a pool?

That’s a pretty serious question that I think you should consider. As I’m looking at this pool right now, I see 2 types of people – those who use the ladder to enter the pool and those who simply just jump on in. Which person are you? Do you play it safe and use the ladder? Ladders are pretty predictable. There is only one way to go down a ladder, putting both hands on each side and alternating one foot at a time to climb down. If that’s the way you want to enter the pool, that’s fine, but could you be missing out on something fun? Should you consider trying something else?

Jumping into the pool? Now that’s a bit more exciting. I believe that what makes it so exciting is the fact that there are just so many different jumping variations! How about a cannonball? Ninja kick? Flapping your arms like a bird? Back flip? I have seen all of these over the last 30 minutes, and to be completely honest, these unpredictable actions are nothing short of inspiring.

How do YOU do your speech therapy sessions?

Have you been using the same old and boring speech therapy materials for the past few years? Are you keeping speech therapy fresh and fun or are your students consistently falling asleep in class? Have you been thinking about doing something new, but opted not to because it would be “too much of a pain to put together, impossible to set up, really hard to create, etc?” Well, you need to stop making excuses and start doing it. Whatever it is, do it! Jump in, splash around, and let everyone know that you mean business. Because let’s be real, no one remembers the person who used the ladder, but everyone remembers the person who screamed and did the front flip into the water.

In closing . . .

You can dissect and analyze this blog post however you want. You can even argue that it has nothing to do with speech-language therapy at all. Well, I think it has everything to do with speech therapy and I think you might want to try to stop using the ladder from time to time. Let’s try our hardest to think outside-the-box and create some awesome speech therapy activities that our students will remember for years to come. Why? Because life is too short for snooze-fest speech therapy.

Ok, I’m off to go do a cannonball right now! Bye! LOL!

3 Yummy Ways to Add Fast-Food to Speech Therapy

3 Yummy Ways to Add Fast-Food to Speech Therapy

I’m willing to take a bet that the mere mention of fast food during a speech therapy session will create a tidal wave of smiles. Don’t believe me? I double-dog dare you to simply whisper the words bacon cheeseburger – I guarantee that your therapy room will erupt with the sounds of children declaring, “There’s nothing better than a Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger!” Love it or hate it, fast-food is here to stay (And remember, if we eat it once in a while, it isn’t that bad. It’s all about moderation.)

Is there a way that we SLPs can add some yummy educational flavor to our speech therapy sessions that will result in some great discussion? There sure is, just chat about fast-food! Below you will find 3 ways I like to add some fast-food flavor to my speech therapy sessions.

1. Grand openingsI

Because you never know when your speech student might be on a trivia game show – exercise their listening ears and memory recall by teaching them exactly when/where their favorite fast-food joint was born. Did you know that White Castle was first opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1921? Or that the first Burger King was in Miami, Florida in 1954? Do you like Subway? Well, I bet you didn’t know that the popular submarine sandwich restaurant started in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965. NICE!

2. Talk about your own place!

Ask your students to use their amazing smarts to imagine themselves opening their very own original fast-food chain. What would they call it? What would the menu consist of? What kind of desserts would they serve? Will their restaurant have kids’ meals? If so, what kind of toy or prize would come with it? Remind them to use their target sound appropriately when expanding on their responses.

3. Draw your own place!

I love incorporating art into my speech therapy sessions for millions of different reasons: it stimulates both sides of the brain, it develops hand and eye coordination, so on and so forth. Encourage your students to draw a picture of what their restaurant will look like. Is the building big or small? Will the building be floating in the sky or stuck to the ground? The possibilities really are endless and the conversation is sure to be as colorful as your students’ masterpieces.

In closing . . . 

Have you ever done anything like this before in a session? Do you think your students would have fun chatting about fast-food? Are you as hungry as I am after reading this post? Are you craving some french Fries right now? Haha! Give this speech therapy idea a shot and please let me know how it goes. (Oh, and it you live anywhere near an In-N-Out Burger, please purchase a few gift cards for me! YUM!)

I like to share things on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Sweet!