Saturday, July 29, 2017

7 ways to use Zingo in therapy as MORE than just a general reinforcer

I love using games in therapy because a) they're easy, and b) they lend themselves naturally to a variety of different skills, such as following directions, turn-taking, and learning how to handle a loss.

Often times, we might be using games as just a general reinforcer while we do drill with other skills, but today I wanted to share with you how I've used the game Zingo on its own to target a variety of communication skills, without needing any additional materials! 

Social Skills/Social Phrases:

Learning social phrases ("bummer" "aw man" "cool!" "good try" etc...) and how to handle it when a game isn't going your way are more great skills to target with this, or really any turn-taking game!  


I have some little friends who have a REALLY hard time waiting their turns.  We're talking meltdown city if waiting is involved. Turn-taking in Zingo is simple, with concrete beginnings and ends of your turn, which is one of the things I L-O-V-E about using it to target waiting your turn.

Common Object Vocabulary/Functions/WH Questions:

The picture tiles depict common objects such as "car" "apple" "boat" "tree" "train" "cake" etc... You can work on labeling these pictures, describing their function (when applicable), and answering WH questions about the items ("What do you do with a car?" "Where do you see a boat?" "Who drives a train?" etc...)


You slide the top (aka the "Zinger") OUT, picture tiles come OUT, and then you either put the tiles ON your board, or back IN the Zinger.  Lots of opportunities for repetition with these prepositions within the game.

Answering Yes/No:

Target yes/no by asking, "Is it a match?" or "Do you have a __?" Also a great opportunity to work on the concept of negation ... "not a match" or "I don't have a ___"


VC words: I used this with one of my little guys with Apraxia who is working on words that start with vowel sounds.  I was able to target the words "out" and "in" with tons of repetitions in a functional way, without it feeling like drill.

/SL/:  Do you have any kids working on s-blends? (#justkidding. I know you do.).  Practice the word "SLide" each time you slide the Zinger out.

"CH": I've used this game to target final "ch" with "match" and "no match."

/V/: Work on word final /v/ within the phrases/sentences "I have..." or "I don't have..."

/G/: Your kiddos can practice "go" with "It GOES on my board" or "It GOES back in."  Or, I've also simplified it to "go on" and "go back in"/"go in")


My turn, your turn, I got, you got, you have (#) left, I have (#) left, He has, She has... I go, you go... plenty of ways to target pronouns in a more natural setting/manner versus, say, using a card deck of pronouns.

Zingo is one of my favorite games to use in therapy because it's so easy to target a variety of skills! 

Looking for more ways to use games to target your communication goals without just using them as a reinforcer? You'll love this post on my favorite games for final consonant deletion! 

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round...

If you are following The Frenzied SLPs on Facebook, you may have seen our series of one-item therapy activities.  In case you missed it, I shared ideas for how to use one activity (I know, I strayed a little bit from the one "item" theme) to target a variety of goals for your EI and preschool caseload using a school bus and farm animals while you sing!

First up-- articulation goals!

You can target a mix of earlier-emerging sounds /p, t, d, h, k g/ just by naming the farm animals as you sing the song, "Who stole the bus from school today?" "Pig!"  "Pig stole the bus from school today...." etc...

I actually got the idea for this song while working with one of my 5 year olds on SH and CH.  We sang this song, and used the carrier phrase, "I choose...." for each verse when he had to choose which animal we'd sing about next.

The same little friend was responsible for helping me create this play scheme with the farm animals.  We talked about who stole the school bus, how they woke up late and chased after the bus ("Stop the school bus!"), how they had to follow rules like standing in line to get on the bus, encouraging some of the shy animals to get on the bus and "come to school", etc...  

These materials are great for working on CV and CVCV syllables with your kids with Apraxia using mostly the animal sounds.  We sang about the farm animals and their sounds to the tune of Wheels on the Bus, and pushed the bus back and forth to each other!

I changed jobs/settings this year, and part of my caseload is early intervention.  I have several toddlers with Down Syndrome on my caseload who are working on imitating early sounds, babbling reduplicated syllables, saying first words, and imitating environmental/animal sounds.  They LOVE singing, and love pushing the bus back and forth! I can hit lots of their early speech and language goals with animals and their sounds.

Have students working on prepositions? Have them place the animals in different places on/around the bus, or have the animals form a line to get on the bus and have your student place each animal in front of/between/behind another animal.

A lot of core vocabulary words can be targeted with this activity if you have AAC users on a device that is core-word based, like Words for Life or ProLoQuo.  The images above gives you some ideas for words and phrases to target while you're playing/singing.

You can use this activity with your kids who are at varying levels of PECS stages.  If they are at the single icon level, they can request a specific animal, or request to make the bus "go."  At the two-word level, they can request/comment "animal+go" and "animal+in" and at the three-icon level, they can use the combination "animal"+"go"+"in."

I love the EI/preschool population! They are so much fun, and they are typically entertained by the simplest of things; hence, how I entertained the majority of my caseload with just farm animals, a school bus, and my (awful) singing (Adam Levine, if you're reading this, I am in definite need of a voice coach. Call me.).

What other ideas do you have for using a bus and animals to target speech and language goals? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Target Dollar Spot Finds for Therapy- February 2017!

Well, it's a good thing I struck out on everything I tried on at Loft over the weekend because I went to Target on my way home to pick up 3 things (bananas, milk, and peppermint extract) and proceeded to spend all the money on all the things non food-related:  Target clothes (because I obviously need more than the 8 cardigans already in my closet) and therapy materials in the Dollar Spot (I mean, it's for the kids, right? Right.)  I wanted to share the things I found in hopes that you can find them at your Target Dollar Spot, too!

First up.. These felt boards! *swoon* (pretend there are several heart eye emojis here) I love the transportation one for labeling transportation vocabulary, answering WH questions, concepts/following directions ("Put the blue plane under the sun" etc..), and sorting into categories.  It comes with 11 felt pieces to sort into 4 different locations.

I also used this with one of my AAC users who is using ProLoQuo, and I modeled transportation vocab, as well as phrases using core vocabulary like "go up there" "in there" "up here" "go on" etc...

Here's a closeup of the pieces included: a submarine, ship, sailboat, two rockets, a jet, an airplane, a bulldozer, racecar, train, and police car

One of the other things I LOVE about it is that the back of the board has a pouch for storing all the pieces, and it folds into fourths and ties with a ribbon to hold it together, so it's super easy to store!

The dollhouse felt board set is amazing, too! I love it for household/clothing vocabulary, and following directions.  It had several "lift-the-flap" components to it, too.

It includes 14 manipulative pieces: 4 girls, 8 clothing pieces, a pie, and a cat...

...and folds out to several different rooms.  Here in the kitchen, you can pretend to cook a pie in the oven (the oven opens up), eat/drink various items from the fridge, wash hands at the sink, sit down at the table, etc...

In the closet, you can give directions to hang certain clothing items on the hangers, put the cat on the chair, talk about the clothing items on the background and where they would go, and try on different clothes ("Give her a blue dress") 

You can also have the dolls (and the cat!) take a nap/go to bed.

There are also some outdoor scenes, with the front of the house, and this nature background:

Also found in the Dollar Spot: these reusable sticker clings with background scenes! I picked up the dinosaur and woodland creature ones, but they also had a king/queen/castle/dragon sticker scene, too! 
These are great for targeting following directions with basic concepts.  

You can find the short mountain, tall mountain, put dinosaurs on top of the mountain, in the water, next to the rock, above the tree, below the volcano, etc....

I think the dinosaur one in particular is great for describing.. since they're all dinosaurs, you have to be descriptive/specific in which one to get!
For example, "the blue dinosaur with green spikes" "the blue dinosaur with a long neck and glasses" "the green dinosaur with a yellow belly" etc...  Have your students give you, or each other, the description of which dinosaur to get and where to put it-- with two sets, you could play it as a barrier game.

The forest friends set below was too cute to pass up:

And the dinosaur fingers... oh, the dinosaur fingers.  

 You basically put these on your finger, pull back, and fling with your finger and they go FLYING. I tried to sneakily hit my unsuspecting husband while he was on his computer, but grossly underestimated how far they'd fly.. ha.

This could probably get out of control really quickly, and I'm definitely only planning on using this with kids who I think could handle this and not get out-of-control revved up from the excitement.  I'm thinking we're going to fling these at artic cards propped up against the wall.  I'll report back and let you know how it goes. These would probably make awesome reinforcers, though, if you have older artic kids that aren't motivated to come to speech.

Lastly, there was this super cute, couldn't-pass-up, bug catcher with a frog on it.  I'm not 100% sure what I want to do with this yet, but I think it would be cute to use my "spring" and "bug" themed Cariboo vocabulary cards with this.

Happy shopping, friends!!

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