Tag Archives: preschool speech therapy

My PlayHome App for Speech Therapy Review

13 Nov

My PlayHome is a fun iPad app that is essentially an interactive dollhouse. It is $3.99 for the full version and there is also a Lite version that is free so you can try it out to see some of the capabilities.

The app has several different screens that depict various rooms in a house including a backyard. In each room, there are dozens of objects that can be manipulated and used in different ways. There are also a variety of family members that can be added to scenes. There are family members of various ethnicity which is a nice feature. Below is a screenshot of the kitchen scene.

my playhome screenshot

You can move the people around in the room and have them interact with objects in the room. Many of the objects have simple animations when you touch them or put them in the correct spot on a person (i.e. putting an apple in front of a person’s mouth causes bites to be taken from the apple, tap the faucet to turn it on and water comes out, put a person on a swing and make them swing). The animations are really great for capturing kid’s attention and keeping them interested in the app.

Most of my preschoolers have been able to figure out most of the simple animations but have needed help to figure out some of the more advanced ones (i.e. putting the boy on the trampoline and making him jump). It also takes some work to get my preschoolers to slow down and get the most language input and expression because they just want to quickly get everything moving and touch everything.

Once you get the child to slow down there are lots of language goals that you can work on with this app! I have worked on pronouns, verbs, and “wh” questions just to name a few. There is also a lot of great, relevant vocabulary in the app. I usually do not use it as a primary activity in my speech therapy sessions, but more as a reinforcer that is still contains lots of opportunities to practice language skills. One negative would be that kids do seem to get bored of it after playing it 2-3 times so I don’t pull it out too often.

Overall, I have found that My PlayHome is a worthwhile app to own for speech therapy for preschoolers and lower elementary students.  I am able to work on several language goals in a fun way with my preschoolers using the app.

PROS

  • Lots of fun, engaging animations
  • Ability to work on many language goals – pronouns, verbs, “wh” questions
  • Age appropriate for preschool through early elementary
  • Low cost

CONS

  • Some animations are hard for kids to figure out
  • Occasional bugs in animations
  • Would be difficult for kids with fine motor difficulties
  • Kids get bored after playing with it a few times

Teaching Answering Where Questions for Preschool or Autism – Adapted Books

12 Nov

It was a three day weekend, so I got busy finishing up two projects for working on answering “where” questions with my preschoolers with autism. I find that many of my preschoolers who are beginning to grasp answering “wh” questions get stuck after learning how to answer “What is it?” and “What is he/she/it doing?” questions.  As with many concepts, providing visuals for language delayed preschoolers or students with autism can be a big help when teaching answering “wh” questions. With that in mind, I created two printable packs for working on answering “where” questions that are loaded with visual supports. One pack has an animal theme and the other has a vehicle theme.

Both packs contain the same styles of activities:

  • An adapted book with visuals
  • A printable, coloring book with visuals
  • Printable puzzles with visuals
  • Worksheet with visuals

Where Questions Vehicles Adapted Book and ActivitiesWhere Questions Animals Adapted Book
The adapted books each feature 5 different “where” answers. The animal book focuses on animal homes (jungle, web, nest, pond, and farm) and the vehicles book focuses on places where the vehicles go (road, train tracks, sky, ocean, and outer space).

You can see an example of what the “Where Do the Vehicles Go?” book looks like when put together below on the left and a preview page showing some of the elements of the “Where Do the Animals Live?” book on the right below.

Where Questions Vehicles Adapted Book Animal Homes Book preview page

Just print, cut the pages on the dotted lines, laminate, add a bit of velcro and you are ready to go. I used a metal ring to hold the book together but plastic binding would work great too. I use the books during whole group circle time in my preschool classes and during pull-out speech therapy. The kids have been loving them!

To work on carryover, each pack also includes a black and white printable book with line drawings so kids can color the vehicles and animals. My classes use these during their center time and send them home so parents can see what their child is working on in school.

Animal Homes Printable page 2

Vehicle Places Printable page 3

The packs also include printable puzzles for matching the vehicle/animal with where they belong and a worksheet.

The packs are available on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click on the links below to head over there!

Where Questions for Preschool and Autism Adapted Book and Activities Pack – Animals

Where Questions for Preschool and Autism Adapted Book and Activities Pack – Vehicles

Pronouns Interactive Game for Preschool and Up

20 Sep

It’s been a busy week of getting to know my new kids and starting therapy, so I haven’t had a chance to post about the new activity I made. I have kids on my caseload (and always do) that have pronouns goals. Flashcards work for my older kids but don’t keep my preschoolers’ interest so I created a hands on activity to keep them interested while we work on pronouns. It is also great for working on plurals, is/are verb+ing, and general sentence structure.

Pronouns Preschool Speech Therapy GameSince it is food-based, I decided to name it the Yum Yum Pronouns Game. It focuses on the pronouns “he”, “she”, and “they”. It’s a printable game that includes game cards that show either a girl, boy, or girl and boy as well as a food item. A child picks a card and labels it with whatever language targets you are working on. It could be “he/she is eating an ______” if you would like to use present progressive verb tenses or “they ate two apples” if you would like the child to use past tense verbs. It also has large pictures of a girl, boy, and girl and boy; as well as lots of small food picture cards that correspond to the foods on the game cards. Those pictures are sized to fit a square tissue box. I cut out the mouth areas on the picture and on the box, so when a child chooses a game card they can then find the matching food and feed it to the matching boy, girl, or boy and girl. After a child completes their turn they get to keep the game card and the player with the most cards at the end is the winner. To make the game more exciting, there are also “Ants! Lose a Card!” and “Ice Cream Truck! Take Another Turn!” cards.

I also included printable dice templates so that the game could be played in a more open-ended manner. To play the dice version of the game, roll both dice then choose a food picture that matches the food showing on the dice and feed it to the matching person/people while labeling what you are doing (i.e., “She is eating ice cream”).

If you do not want to put the pictures on a tissue box, you can also just tape them to the front of a sandwich baggie and cut out the mouth holes to still have an interactive game. I also thought this format  would be great to adapt to work on the dreaded “I” and “You” pronouns by putting a picture of the child and a parent or teacher on the box. Then you could take turns feeding each person targeting things like “I am eating a cookie” and “You are eating a banana”. Working on “I” and “you” is so tough I am constantly trying to think of ways to work on it!

I made the game to keep my preschoolers interested, but it works great with any age child who is working on pronouns. I used it with kids all the way up to third grade this week and got rave reviews!

If you would like the game, it is available on Teachers Pay Teachers here.

New Favorite Speech Therapy Circle Time Song

5 Sep

A while back I wrote about my Most Requested Circle Time Song and while the “We All Go Traveling By” book that my preschoolers fondly refer to as “the bus song” is still a hot pick in my preschool circle times a new song has taken over top spot.

It is called “Can An Elephant Jump” by ELF Learning and it is so entertaining and targets several language skills that lots of my preschoolers are working on. Here is a YouTube video of the song with some cute animation. You can either play the song there or download the whole album here. I bought the whole album because I think they have some great songs and I wanted to be able to play the song during circle time.

The song is fantastic for targeting asking questions, answering yes/no questions and verbs. I created visuals with Boardmaker to go with each part of the song to give my kids visual supports and they love looking at those too. I hope this song stays popular with my preschoolers this year because I never seem to get sick of it unlike some of my other popular songs (I’m looking at you Spider on the Floor!).

**I am not affiliated with ELF Learning and earn no money from them, just a big fan!