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!
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!