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

3 Great Ways to Trash Your Speech Therapy Room

3 Great Ways to Trash Your Speech Therapy Room

Are you looking for a fun way to bring some lively conversation into your next speech therapy session? (Duh, of course you are!) I recommend you . . . TRASH your speech therapy room! Making a mess of your communication headquarters will, without a doubt, get your speech students talking in a BIG way.

But wait . . .

I’m not suggesting that you break the windows and light the place on fire after hours in hopes of acquiring some insurance money (or a few days off from work LOL). When I preach to trash your speech room, I really mean to move some stuff around in hopes that your students realize the changes. Hopefully, this action can persuade them to spontaneously initiate a conversation about what they see. In other words, we just tricked them into exercising their expressive and receptive language muscles. (We SLPs are so sneaky! Hehe).

Below you will find 3 ways that I like to trash my speech therapy room:

1. Get your toss on!

“Students, look! Somehow our speech chairs got tossed up on top of the speech table! What do you guys think happened?! Let’s use our imagination and pretend that the chairs are alive and they hopped up on the table while we were gone! Why would the chairs want to jump on the table?! Do you think they were hiding from something?!”

2. Get your flip on!

“What!? Our beloved speech table has been flipped over!? Let’s use our imagination and pretend that a zoo animal broke into our speech room while we were gone! What animal do you think could be strong enough to flip this table over?! What do you think the animal was looking for?!”

3. Get your tip on!

“Oh my goodness! The trash can has been tipped over! There are crumbled pieces of paper everywhere! Let’s use our imagination and pretend that a little space alien flew into our speech room while we were gone! Do you think his spaceship crashed into our garbage can? What do you think his spaceship looks like? Let’s try to find it!”

In closing . . .

So, what do you think? Could this little speech therapy idea be for you? I really hope it is! If you give this idea a try, please email me to let me know how it went. I always LOVE hearing from fellow speech-language pathologists. Talk soon!

3 Steps Towards Turning Your Speech Therapy Students into Wax

3 Steps Towards Turning Your Speech Therapy Students into Wax

Raise your hand if you LOVE going to wax museums. Earlier this year, I got a chance to visit one for the first time and I couldn’t believe how realistic the statues looked. The wax museum was a great experience for me (an adult), so I can only imagine how awesome it would be if I could take all of my elementary school-aged students to one, but alas, I just don’t have the cash for that . . .

I’m so poor that sometimes I eat my cereal with a fork just to save milk, LOL!

So I figured, instead of bringing the kiddos to the wax museum, I simply just created MY OWN and my speech therapy students were the WAX STATUES! It was fabulous and I want to teach you how to do it, too!

Step 1 – Get started!

Let’s pretend we are working with 2 articulation clients in a group speech therapy session. The boy (let’s call him Brad) is working on perfecting his final R sound and the girl (let’s call her Angelina) is working on creating an appropriate initial TH sound (Brad and Angelina?! YES! LOL!). Have both students write down words that they can think of that have their sound on cards. For example, Brad will probably jot down words like bear, guitar, dinosaur, etc. and Angelina will most likely come up with words like thief, thirsty, thumbtack, etc.

Step 2 – Get waxy!

Next, put all the cards randomly on the table. As always, ladies should go first, so ask Angelina to pick a card at random. After she sees the word, she must stand up and turn into a wax statue of the word she chose. While she is posing perfectly still, you and Brad have to try your hardest to guess what she is; but don’t forget to remind her that she CAN’T MOVE! This is sort of like charades, but with an SLP twist.

Step 3 – Get creative!

Here are just a few examples of what you might see from Brad and Angelina:

  • Bear – a mouth open and claws in the air pose.
  • Guitar – a rock star air guitar pose.
  • Dinosaur – a scary/sharp teeth pose.
  • Thief – a sneaky pose.
  • Thirsty – a sweaty/tongue out of mouth pose.
  • Thumbtack – a one foot up in pain pose (stepped on a thumbtack, ouch!).

In closing . . .

This game is amazing because it gives all students the opportunity to get out of their seats while they practice their articulation. I just adore speech activities that involve ungluing our behinds from those uncomfortable school chairs! Have you ever done an activity like this one before? Was it a success? Did your students have a blast? I look forward to hearing from you. Oh, and Brad and Angelina look forward to hearing from you, too! LOL!

One of the Best Birthday Presents You Can Ever Give in Speech Therapy

One of the Best Birthday Presents You Can Ever Give in Speech Therapy

I love the feeling of putting on a warm sweatshirt in the winter, moments after it has come out of the dryer. So cozy and so nice! I also love the feeling of putting on a brand new pair of sneakers right before I go for a run. It feels like you are jogging on fluffy marshmallows! But do you want to know the number one feeling that I simply cannot live without? It’s that SUPER comfortable feeling of sitting in MY speech therapy office chair! Not to brag, but while my students are sitting on their typical hard metal school chairs, I get to sit on my oh-so-soft speech therapy throne (a.k.a. my computer chair) while I rule my speech therapy kingdom (a.k.a. the speech therapy room).

Share the chair?

Here is a question that I get from my speech students a lot. “Mr. Raj, can I sit in your chair today?” I always have to politely shoot down their inquiry because if I let one student do it, that would likely trigger an unstoppable chain reaction of “What about me!? What about me!?” and things would probably get really ugly. So after much thinking about this situation, I came up with a fabulous idea. When it’s the student’s birthday, I switch chairs with him/her! That’s right, my present to my students is that they get the HONOR of sitting in the one and only Mr. Raj chair during their whole speech therapy session. Sounds like a rockin’ b-day gift if you ask me!

Happy Birthday to you!

I’ll be honest with you. I wish I was rich enough to purchase a totally radical present for each and every one of my fantastic speech students (they are so worth it), but alas, that just is not financially possible. Luckily, I have had such success with this birthday chair idea. Simply letting my students know that they’re allowed to sit in the speech chair on their birthday has done wonders for the morale of everyone involved in the speech therapy process.

Let the countdown begin!

True story — students often pass me in the hallway happily shouting, “Hey Mr. Raj, 19 days until my birthday! I can’t wait until I get my chair day!” I smile and give them a HUGE high five.

Parents dig it, too!

I always get a kick out of the parents I get to meet during back to school night. More times than one I have had parents say to me, “So, this is the chair my child keeps talking about, huh?” It’s amazing to see that a small little gesture of sharing that chair translates to the child actually going home and mentioning it to their mother and father. How cool is that?!

Sharing is caring, my friend

So, what do you think? How about giving up your speech therapy chair to a child as a nice little birthday gift? Do you think that action would make your students giggle? Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

You Need to Thank Someone Right Now [Free Download]

You Need to Thank Someone Right Now [Free Download]

To be completely honest with all of you, I’ve wanted to be a speech-language pathologist since I was 6 years-old. I know that might sound cheesy, but it’s the truth. While all of my friends were saying popular lines like “I want to be a rock star, movie star, etc. when I grow up,” . . . I was the little boy who proudly shouted “I’m going to be a speech teacher when I grow up!” (In fact, check out the FREE DOWNLOAD at the end of this post to see what I mean, lol).

Those tricky /S/ and /R/ sounds

I had some extremely common articulation difficulties as a 6 year-old that included sloppy /S/ sounds and a far from perfect /R/ sound. I started to see a speech-language pathologist and within a year, I was able to make my sounds (yippie!). I had such a great time during my speech sessions that I knew I wanted to do that as an adult. In my 6 year-old mind, I thought the only thing we were doing was playing games, but it was not the only thing that was happening (as evidenced by my new found ability to produce the /S/ and /R/ sounds).

Learning CAN and SHOULD be fun!

We, as speech-language pathologists, have such a unique opportunity not only to combine learning with pure fun, but to influence and inspire by giving the gift of communication. There is no other job in the world like this and not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that my family took me to see Miss R., the self-proclaimed speech lady, as a child.

Who has helped you?

So here is a question for you to ponder . . . none of us live in a vacuum; therefore who has helped you become who you are now? (And have you thanked them lately?) Miss R. passed away before I even graduated high school, but she helped to plant the speech therapy seed in my head. I really wish I could’ve thanked her as an adult for all she did for me as a child. I’m positive that she is smiling down on me every time I give one of my students a high five.

In closing . . .

So is there a phone call you need to make? Is there a letter you need to write? Chances are your answer is probably yes. Take this moment to contact that educator (or person in general) that has influenced you. Even if you have no idea where that person is now, you’d be amazed how simple it is to find them through the magical and mystical powers of the Internet. Trust me; you need to do this right now. Let me know how it goes.

Oh, and don’t forget about your FREE DOWNLOAD!

Click HERE to download your very own SLP poster that answers the age-old question of, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I pinky promise, it’ll make ya happy as a clam. 🙂

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