March 28, 2017

"Press Here": an interactive book for therapy

Press Here is a unique and magical interactive book for therapy

My caseload is 90% preschoolers (3-5 years old), and 90% of them have IEP goals addressing following directions and basic concepts. This book by Herve Tullet has been a great resource to have in my toolbox for addressing both of these goals.

It starts out with one yellow dot on the page, with the instructions to "press here". And when they do (and turn the page), they see that their pressing magically changed the dot!

As they progress through the book, following the directions causes more and more changes with the dots.

Those dots get pretty excited and chaotic before the book ends :)

Kid think this is the most magical book! And I love the language opportunities. We practiced following one- and two-step directions, basic concepts including left, right, middle, all, just/only, sizes, patterns, colors, counting, and also cause/effect. Pretty great to have this all wrapped into one book!

Then we did some follow-up activities with some quick dots I cut out of construction paper. We had big, medium, and small dots and we practiced more of those basic concepts, following directions, and prepositions around the therapy room.

"Put the dots in order from smallest to biggest."

"Point to the dot in the middle." or "Point to the medium-sized dot."

"Put the small yellow dot on top of the big blue dot."

"Put the big red dot below the medium yellow dot. Now put the small blue dot on top."

Note: There are also other similar books including Mix it Up and Let's Play! by this same author. I also recommend Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star both by Christie Matheson.

March 26, 2017

Ideas as Fresh as Springtime {The Frenzied SLPs}

Spring has sprung! Thank the Lord!!! Even if it's still below freezing or you have snow on the ground, it's time to brighten things up inside. The Frenzied SLPs have your back and we're sharing fresh ideas for spring therapy. Here are my top five 🌼

1) Bring animals into the therapy room (if you're that ambitious!)


A few years ago I shared a classroom with the special ed teacher. Our school was in a small rural community, but not many kids actually lived on farms or had exposure to animals other than dog/cat/fish/gerbil pets. The SpEd teacher decided to bring a few baby chicks into our room for a few weeks in the spring and the kids were able to interact with them and watch them grow. They were so, so excited and it provided so many language and vocabulary opportunities! We were able to talk about what makes a good pet, make observations about how they grew (chicks change very rapidly!), compared and contrasted animals that give birth to live babies vs. eggs, and what makes a good pet. There's even research backing up the benefit of pets boosting social skills in kids with autism. I've also heard of therapists bringing in therapy dogs (swoon!). Are any of you doing this?

2) Sensory bins or water play

There are so many fun ideas for sensory bins out there! I started using them with my students a couple months ago and they have always been a hit. The participation and expressive language explode out of my students when these are on the table. Here are some ideas for spring bins that are inspiring me:

Garden bin from Mama Miss

Bird sensory bin from Anchored by Love

Easter egg water play from Momma's Fun World

Duck pond water play from Mama Papa Bubba

I highly suggest you try out a sensory bin this spring!

3) DIY matching foam eggs

A few years ago I found these foam eggs in the Target Dollar Aisle (♥) and made a pocket out of packing tape so I could switch out the pictures on the egg halves for different students. It was fun and I'll be busting this out again this year.

4) Spring-themed picture books

There are too many good picture books out to possibly get to them all, but if you're looking for some new ideas, I really suggest When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes and Hatch by Katie Cox. When Spring Comes was just released in 2016, so I don't think many people have heard of it, but it's an informative book about waiting for spring to come and it has beautiful illustrations. Hatch is all about animals that hatch from eggs. It gives clues to the animals on one side, and then kids can guess and open the egg to see if they're correct.

5) New activity packets

Finally, if you're looking to update your material supply, might I suggest some of the spring activities in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop:

Happy Spring everyone! Be sure to check out the rest of the fresh ideas from The Frenzied SLPs below. If you'd like to share your own ideas, feel free to add a link below or comment on this post!