Archive for the ‘“Speech Snacks” target sounds’ Category

Fantastic Fig Bars–{with Speech Snacks for /f/}

This recipe was inspired by the great figs that grew on my tree this summer—and my ancestors who grew them previous to me. They are quick,easy and a great substitute for other snacks and desserts that are high in refined sugar and artificial ingredients. If you like fig newton’s, you’re going to love homemade fig bars too!!  Enjoy them and let me know what you think!

Did you know…..

January 16th is National Fig Newton Day.
Fig Newtons were created in 1891 by the Kennedy Biscuit Works in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts.
According to Nabisco:  “Fig Newtons were named after either Sir Isaac Newton or the town of Newton, Massachusetts.”
Fig Newtons were one of the first commercially baked products in America.
Fig Newtons are the 3rd most popular cookie in the U.S., over 1 billion are consumed each year.


fig bars

Crust– 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar)

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

figs and sugar

1/4 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

1 bag (9 oz) dried mission figs, chopped (1 cup)

chopped figs


1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup rolled oat

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 9 inch pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Add 1 cup flour and beat on low-speed until a soft dough forms. Press into bottom of pan and bake for 10-15 minutes.

cooking figs

Meanwhile, in a 2 qt sauce pan cook filling ingredients over med-high heat for 5-10 min. Stir frequently until figs are tender and liquid is absorbed. spread
over crust.

In a small bowl mix flour, brown sugar, and butter using a fork. Stir in oats and walnuts. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake 15-20 min or until topping is light golden brown. Cool about 1 hour and cut into bars. ( I like to put it in the fridge to cool completely–it will make it easier to cut into bars)

Makes 16 bars

fig bars


Here’s Your “Speech Snacks”:


The /f/ sound is a very visual sound, which makes it easy for you to model for your kids, and even easier for you to see if they are producing it correctly!
Cue your child to “Place your top teeth on your bottom lip and blow out air.” This sound is typically produced between ages 3 1/2 -4 years.

Place your hand in front of your child’s face to feel the airflow. Have them do the same by placing their own hand in front of their mouth/face. Also–practice the proper placement in front of a mirror with your child for visual reinforcement.

Another way to cue proper placement involves placing a dab of peanut or almond butter, cake frosting, marshmallow fluff (or some other favorite that will adhere) to the spot between the lower lip and chin. Ask your child to try and reach for it with his upper teeth and scrape it off (or essentially pull it into the mouth with the upper teeth) . This exercise will help reinforce the correct position that you are attempting to stabilize.


While making the Fig Bars, practice counting figs…one fig, two figs, three figs, four figs, five figs.

Model short phrases and sentences using /f/: “soft figs”, “sweet figs”, “mission figs”, “fig bars”"fresh figs”. “Figs are soft.” “Figs are full of fiber.” “Figs are sweet.” “A fig is a fruit.”

Read the “FIG FACTS in part one of this blog (see Food For Thought page “A Fruitful Experience”or click here) to address comprehension and their ability to provide detail and descriptions of the information you have read to them (auditory recall).

Ask “WH” questions. Where do figs grow? What do figs look like? How do figs taste? How do figs feel? What shape are figs?

Cut a fig open and describe what you see.

Compare/contrast a fresh fig vs a dry fig.

Story Time: (stories to read along with your children that contain the /f/ sound)

Practice the sound at the syllable level by reading Jack and the Beanstalk and having your child practice saying “fe-fi-fo-fum.” The Three Little Pigs is also great for practicing final /f/ position words “huff” and “puff”.

Storytime for /f/:
Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback




Reflections (from an SLP) on the Anniversary of September 11th

(this post was originally published on September 10, 2011–the 10th anniversary of 9/11)

Today’s post will not address any particular speech sound, language app , or a way to incorporate food into your therapy sessions. Instead I am posting some thoughts on the events surrounding the anniversary of the most tragic day in the history of our country.


Every summer for the past few years, my friend and I take our kids to Manhattan to see something new. (This year we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Madame Tussuad’s Wax Museum). It has become a wonderful tradition—one that I look forward to every year. This August, instead of taking the train, we decided to drive to Staten Island and take the Staten Island Ferry into the city. We thought it would be a fun, new perspective for the kids to view the trip into New York.

Personally, I have never taken the ferry so it was enjoyable for me as well. We had a great panoramic view of the skyline and passed by the Statue of Liberty. However, the 20 minute ferry ride, with the city staring us in the face, was also a glaring reminder of the missing Towers. And with this year being the 10th anniversary of the event, the memories of all that surrounded that day came to the forefront of my thoughts.

We can all remember where we were on that day and what we were doing. Ten years ago,  I was working in a middle school, meeting with a few teachers that morning. I was handing out portable FM Systems to teachers whose students had IEP’s indicating the need and briefing them on how to use the devices. Several moments later, the first plane hit the first tower. News spread quickly and as I walked down the hall, I caught fragments of whispered conversations about what was happening. I remember walking into the guidance office and joining other teachers who were listening to the local radio station in disbelief as the broadcaster described what was unfolding. Then the phone calls started coming in from worried parents who wanted to pick up their children. The school tried to reassure them that they were safe, however many parents came anyway. I wasn’t a parent yet, but if I were, I may have done the same thing.


Ten years have passed so quickly it seems. I still can’t believe it has been that long!  Those of us with younger children are challenged to find the right way to explain to them what happened to our country that day. And we realize they are growing up in a world much different than the one we did.

I found the following links that offer some good advise for parents on how to talk to their children about 9/11:

The following link is a downloadable curriculum for K-12 teachers on lessons and topics related to 9/11 and global safety and security:

We still do–and always will–live in the greatest country on Earth—and I look forward to making many more visits to one of the greatest cities in the world!

God Bless the victims and brave heroes of 9/11 and

God Bless the United States of America!!


My first BLOG POST! A New Challenge and a New School Year: Turkey Tortilla Wraps {Today’s Speech Snacks are /t/ and /r/}


A Brand New Challenge!

I love a challenge!   Challenges help us strive to be better, reach higher, do more with the gifts we have already been given.  I have accepted many challenges over the years–athletic, academic, professional and personal.  Challenges (especially the long-term ones) can often result in great reward.  Probably the greatest challenge I ever accepted was becoming a mother—one that I look forward to each and every day!  My job as a speech pathologist is definitely a challenge–one that helps me continue to develop and grow.  I love what I do and hope to continue to better myself professionally with each new student I meet.

So here is my latest challenge—I decided to try my hand at blogging!  Although I feel confident in my creativity and ability to convey a message in writing, my familiarity with technology is limited.  To start a blog, a little skill in this area would be helpful!  I have already been challenged by widgets, codes, plug-ins and tags—words that weren’t in my lexicon a week ago!  So here I go.  Hopefully I will find the patience  and time to figure it all out.  I have a plan and a purpose, so at least that’s a good start!  Here’s to my brand new challenge….and my first ever blog post!

A New School Year is Here—Time to Make the Lunches!

I asked my son today if he was excited to start the new school year.  His response was a half-hearted, “I guess.”  I reassured him that third grade is going to be an exciting, new adventure, and that he is going to have a great year!  I think the pep talk was more for me than for him.  It seems just as hard for many of us parents to get back in that old school routine as is it is for our children. One part of that routine, for many of us, is the ritual of making the school lunches.  It was so nice to forget about packing that daily sandwich, drink and snack during the summer months.  (Some parents opt out of the brown bag lunch and choose to let their kids buy the school lunch.  While some of the choices provided are decent, I find myself cringing at the sight of the off-grey colored chicken nuggets and mushy, overcooked broccoli pieces that are sometimes served.)

Today I want to share a different alternative to the run-of- the-mill pbj or ham and cheese.  Continue reading “My first BLOG POST! A New Challenge and a New School Year: Turkey Tortilla Wraps {Today’s Speech Snacks are /t/ and /r/}” »

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