Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

“JERSEY STRONG” Beach Snacks from SpeechSnacks!

PicMonkey Collage beach


To kick off the “unofficial” start of the summer season, I am posting a revised FREEBIE beach-themed vocabulary building idea from last year, available in my TpT store.  This year,  however,  I am seeing the beach with new appreciation.   As a life-long New Jersey resident, I have spent many summers at the Jersey shore, but this past October we all witnessed massive destruction and devastation to our beloved shore line from Hurricane Sandy.

This Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor the memory of those servicemen and women who bravely fought and perished in every war and battle from the time of the Civil War to present.  It is also a time to celebrate the restoration of the Jersey Shore in the Great Garden State!!   That’s right, seven month later, we have managed to rebuild  and restore approximately 80% of the boardwalks, beaches, businesses and homes that were decimated by this tremendous act of nature!  And who better to usher in the return to the Jersey Shore than our esteemed and (respectfully) “larger-than-life” leader, Governor Chris Christie!  Check out this short clip commemorating the event!  (ps…The event also happens to have set a new world record for the longest ribbon cutting ever—the blue ribbon stretched across a 5 mile span!)

If you are fortunate enough to live near a beach or plan on visiting one this summer, I have a snack to take with you as you soak up the rays and breathe in the salt air!   If you don’t live near the water, you can still use your imagination as you make this “beach walk” snack and talk about all things related to the ocean.  Each ingredient represents things you find on the beach or in the ocean, which turns your snack into a language lesson in beach and ocean vocabulary!  Mix up a batch of this yummy treat with your kiddos at home as you identify and discuss the vocabulary together.   Take a dive into the  beach-themed game I have created to work on sentence building and descriptive words.  And to all those Jersey folks reading this post—- welcome back to the beach!!

beach snacks


The following foods represent beach items:

pretzel sticks=driftwood

goldfish crackers=fish/ocean life

dark and white chocolate chips=beach pebbles

Cheerios cereal=life preservers

dried fruit=coral/seashells

dried seaweed=seaweed!



beach snack 2









Have  you tried dried, roasted seaweed????  It’s paper thin, has a salty, nutty flavor and is so good for you!!  I found mine in Trader Joe’s.  Mix up all ingredients in a bowl.  Store in zip lock baggies—enjoy on the beach or anytime you want a healthy, energy-packed snack!










I created three FREEBIE vocabulary game boards with my awesome Custom Boards app by Smarty Ears. Each board contains beach and ocean-related words.  Use this activity to target summer-themed vocabulary at the end of your school year.  Or better yet, print out copies for your students to take home and use as summer speech practice!

The boards can also be used to target articulation goals.  Have students identify which words contain their sound.  Good for word and sentence-level practice.

Additionally,  the boards can be used to address auditory memory and listening skills.  Give each student in the group a board.  Have them start by saying, ” I went to the beach and I found __________.”  They must then cover their picture with a token or coin.  Students take turns adding a new word to the list, while remembering all the previous words mentioned.  Fun and challenging!!


Use a dice cube containing numbers 1, 2, and 3 on the faces. You or your student picks a word on their game sheet and earns points by following the directions in each air bubble :

roll a 1=define it—what does the word mean?

roll a 2=describe it —-student must give 2-3 adjectives describing the word

roll a 3 =use it in a sentence —-use the beach word appropriately in a sentence

Make multiple copies of the Suns and Clouds sheet.  Cut up the cards and place them into a basket or keep in a pile.  Students draw the number of cards that corresponds with the point value of the question answered.   Count up all the suns and clouds at the end.  The student with the most suns is the winner!



You’re Invited to a Ladybug Picnic!—and a TpT GIVEAWAY!

PicMonkey Collage ladybugs

This week, with the summer season drawing closer, you’re invited to join me for a picnic…a ladybug picnic that is!  Based on a video I created  last year, I’ve taken my kid-friendly ladybug snack to a whole new level!  In this video, I sequenced the steps in making a healthy ”ladybug salad.”  This inspired me to create a new product for my TpT store, including a FREE download for the articulation portion of this item!  This product includes a little something for everyone:  articulation, auditory processing for direction following, story comprehension, and memory skills and categorization—all with a picnic/Memorial Day/ladybug theme!   And THREE lucky ladybugs are going to get a free copy of this packet—see the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!!

Here is the video from last year—-it’s great for working on sequencing, spatial concepts and math vocabulary for words like half, whole, part, equal and divide!  (You can find the post from last year including step by step colored photos here)

This song was originally a Sesame Street tune, but I found a version that was a little “jazzier!”  I  love the twist that this band puts on this preschool tune!  Check it out here!

I’ve included the lyrics to this cute little tune.  Play the song and sing along with your younger kiddos!  I love to incorporate music into my therapy sessions–and my students love it too!









One two three,
Four five six,
Seven eight nine,
Ten eleven twelve,
Came to the ladybugs’ picnic.

One two three,
Four five six,
Seven eight nine,
Ten eleven twelve,
And they all played games
At the ladybugs’ picnic.

They had twelve sacks so they ran sack races
And they fell on their backs and they fell on their faces
The ladybugs 12
At the ladybugs’ picnic

They played jump rope but the rope it broke
So they just sat around telling knock-knock jokes
The ladybugs 12
At the ladybugs’ picnic

One two three,
Four five six,
Seven eight nine ,
Ten eleven twelve,
And they chatted away,
At the ladybugs’ picnic!

They talked about the high price of furniture and rugs
And fire insurance for ladybugs
The ladybugs 12
At the ladybugs’ picnic!


In this very comprehensive packet, I’ve combined articulation activities with sentence facts about ladybugs, story comprehension passages, auditory processing for memory and direction following and questions related to Memorial Day.




Initial, medial and final position /l/ words as well as blank cards

/l/ sentences that are also “ladybug “facts and can be used to address articulation as well as an auditory memory tasks.

Picnic game pieces including 3 pages of picnic items, 1 page of “ant” cards, 3 pages of Picnic blanket mats.



OBJECT:  (use this game along with any of the card sets in this download—after responding to a question in the target area)

Each player gets a picnic blanket.  Draw a card from the picnic pictures. Collect all 9 picnic items, but watch out for the ant cards.  Pick an ant and all your food cards must go back in the pile.  The first player to collect all 9 cards is the winner.

12 detail-filled passages about ladybugs.  Each card includes story comprehension questions related to the passage.  Information used for this activity was taken from and

18 cards containing a combination of direction following, naming  and open-ended “Wh” question cards focused on improving expressive language skills.

12 “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…”cards.  Place cards in a pile.  Students take turns picking a card and naming something that fits into that category.  As play continues, each player must add anther item that fits into that category, but also remember the answer from the previous player.  This activity addresses both categorization skills and auditory memory/recall.

And  a “SpeechSnacks” Collectible recipe card for Ladybug Salad

Ready to win a copy of this packet?   Hope my ladybugs bring you good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My kitchen inspired TpT activity—and “the big fork and spoon!”

PicMonkey Collage rest post

I had several sources of inspiration for this week’s post.

I have these decorative wall  hangings displayed in my kitchen at home:

photo art 2











The photo may be deceiving, but the fork and spoon are on a large blank wall and each utensil is about 3 1/2 feet long!   Not only do they match the stainless steel appliances in my kitchen, I think they look pretty chic and trendy.   And if you happen to be a 12 foot tall giant with a huge appetite, my house is the place to be!

A friend who was visiting recently thought my wall hangings were hysterical (I was not amused!) and made reference to an old episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.  If you are familiar with this sitcom, then you must know Marie Barone (Raymond’s mother).  She also has a “big (wooden) fork and spoon” hanging in her kitchen , my friend reminded me.   I did not purposely attempt to imitate Ray’s mother, but what can I say, it must be an “Italian thing.”

Here is a video clip from the episode in which Marie tells Ray’s wife Deborah how “the big fork and spoon” came into their lives.  If you have a moment, check it out.  It makes me laugh out loud now when I look at my own “big fork and spoon” wall hangings.  (forward video clip to about 1:23 )

Centered between my “big fork and spoon,” is a canvas word art wall hanging.  This was part of my inspiration for this week’s post.  I love all of the social etiquette reminders that are listed on this canvas.  It  brings a positive message to my household and is a nice conversation piece in the kitchen.  And believe me, I make reference to many of the rules on this list (especially #7 and #8 and #10)

photo art

I wanted to create a new product for my TeachersPayTeachers store that would be appropriate for use all year long, yet also hold meaning as we approached the end of the school year.  With the summer months arriving,  and so many of us going on vacations, out to dinner and visiting friends and family, I thought this would be the perfect time to bring awareness to the importance of using good social skills in public, namely in restaurants.

I searched and searched various clip art sites, but couldn’t find graphics that  fit the theme of my product.  So finally, I  decided to contact a clip art creator that I really liked and put in a request.  I emailed Graphics From the Pond (a wonderful clip art creator from Australia) and asked if she could come up with some specific images—I  described what I was envisioning when I sent her my requests.   I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask!  A few days later, Mel, owner of the site,  contacted me with some wonderful news.  She loved my restaurant themed clip art idea and created an amazing set of images—they were perfect!    So a very special “thank you” to Mel for helping make this TpT item a reality!  You can visit her blog here and TpT store here!

Graphics From the Pond


And now for the Restaurant-themed Language and Auditory Processing Packet that was inspired by the all this excitement!   Although my idea originally centered around good table manners/social skills, the packet evolved into other areas of language and auditory processing as well.   I hope you find it a helpful and meaningful resource as you approach the end of your school year. I think it provides some practical activities and information for our students to carry with them as they head off into their summer breaks—and all the rest of the year too!


pict rest









It includes: *18 cards of social scenarios related to restaurant situations/table manners


*24 cards of restaurant descriptions in which the student must name the type of restaurant the listed foods can be found in. (matching answer cards included)

*1 “SpeechSnacks Café” game board and 24 cards to accompany it indicating the number of spaces to advance or go back. Game board can be used with any/all of the game cards created.




*18 menu card and 6 “specials” consisting of food orders that increase in length and complexity that the student must remember and repeat back (leveled activity)

*18 table manner cards that consist of correct and incorrect information. The student must use good listening and decide which information would best fit into the sentence and repeat it back correctly. A great working memory exercise!

*24 MENU cards that require the student to name 3 foods that fit into the described category


*18 “Scrumptious simile” cards that require the student to complete the simile with a food item.

* 3 pages of good table manner rules that can be used by SLP’s or teachers to discuss the importance of good table manners with your students and/or children at home. Discuss them with your kids especially before going out to dinner, when having company for dinner, before going on vacation or anytime you feel they may benefit from understanding social skills related to using good manners while eating.

Cinco de Mayo inspired snacks—and ways to incorporate speech and language!

cdm coll 2

As I clicked through some of the previous posts I’ve written over the past year, I realized that so many of them had cultural influences!   So today I compiled a quick post consisting of “SpeechSnacks” that would be perfect for helping you celebrate Cinco de Mayo, on May 5th or any time of year!  And with the summer months quickly approaching, these would all be great hot-weather snack foods as well!

First up, take a look at my Homemade Guacamole recipe.  I originally posted this in March since I was creating all things with a” green theme”——I’ve included some green idioms to teach your kiddos as well.  This recipe is easy enough for the kids to partake in—they will love mixing and mashing up all those avocados!





Next, I’m sharing a post from last July for Pineapple-Cilantro Salsa!  Nothing speaks of the flavors South of the Border like cilantro!  I’ve included a freebie download for a tropical sorting task to use with your students and a fun video (featuring yours truly!) that targets language building while making the salsa!  Enjoy!





Finally, I am including a recipe for Cinnamon Tortilla Chips!  Cinnamon is another flavor repeated throughout Mexican cuisine. It’s used in main courses as well as many dessert dishes.  I’ve included ways to practice the /s / while making this kid-friendly dish.  It’s a great substitute for store bought chips and so easy to make!


So there you have it, three ways to enjoy the 5th of May while incorporating speech and language!   Hope you have an opportunity to share these with your students/ your own families on Cinco de Mayo or for your next summer-time celebration!    Ole!!

Celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month with SUCCESS COOKIES from SpeechSnacks!

PicMonkey Collage bhsm

In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, I’ve whipped up a sweet recipe for success to use in the therapy setting and at home and a product in my TpT store packed with activities to help create awareness and celebrate BHSM!   You can find this  product in my TeachersPayTeachers store!  



To make these sweet treats,  I used alphabet cookie cutters for my articulation kiddos……










and a  star cut out for my language students.



 Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

(skip the store bought cookie dough which contains lots of additives and preservatives—this recipe contains just a few simple ingredients)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 egg

1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

The kids can do the measuring here!  Compare the difference between cups of butter and cups of sugar.




Beat in egg and extracts.

Let kids practice cracking and breaking the eggs–great for fine motor coordination! 

Before pouring in the vanilla and almond extracts, let your kids smell them!  (Almond extract is my personal favorite!)  How are these two scents similar and different?  Describe each and name other things that may smell similar to them.


Mix flour, baking powder and salt and add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Again, a great opportunity for kids to work on pouring and measuring skills.


Do not chill dough. Divide dough into two equal balls.


On a floured surface, roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/8 inch thick.

Here comes the fun part for the kiddos!  Let them help roll out the dough and cut out the letter shapes.  Practice words with the sound they have been working on as they roll and cut!  If your child has been working on improving language skills, cut out a star shape and ask them to talk about all the great games they played in speech and language skills they worked on.


Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use to prevent sticking. Press out cookies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Enjoy… and Happy Better Hearing and Speech Month!!!!


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