Inside: There are endless ways for teachers, parents, and SLPs to incorporate crafts into speech therapy. In this post, discover 10+ easy hands-on speech crafts and learn how to use those crafts to make speech practice motivating and fun.
Speech therapists are always searching for ways to keep kids motivated during their therapy sessions. Magic would be helpful, but since we don’t have that, we often use toys, games, movement, and sensory experiences.
Crafts are also perfect for speech therapy because they invite repetition, create structure, and produce a tangible reward for task completion. Crafts are wonderful opportunities to allow children to ask for help, make requests, and use sounds and words for accomplishment. Also, they are simply fun.
Fun is always a good thing!
How to Use Easy and Fun Speech Crafts
How you choose to use crafts for speech therapy will vary greatly depending on whether your child is working on making sounds, words, or full sentences.
In the following list of crafts, I’ve included tips for various levels of communication practice. Sometimes, you’ll want to praise the accuracy of the sound. Sometimes you’ll praise the effort given. In all situations, simply enjoy your child and follow his lead—that will be your greatest reward!
Easy and Fun Arts and Crafts for Speech Therapy
Crafting boasts many educational purposes such as developing fine-motor and academic skills, but there are endless ways to use crafts for communication purposes as well! Shared below are over 10 easy and fun speech crafts, as well as some ideas of how to use those crafts in speech.
1. Coffee Filter Butterfly
Tap or clap the syllables to BU-TTER-FLY as you “dot dot dot” to create this fun coffee filter butterfly! Other words to practice could be: help, open, fly, oooohhh, and wow.
2. Paper Fish Craft
Put the necessary materials for this paper fish craft from I Heart Crafty Things up just a little too high for the child to reach and create opportunities to request help, scissors, glue, and sequins. They can request by pointing, using a sound, using a word, or asking a question.
To work on putting sounds together, make two fish then assign sounds to each fish. For example, the green fish can be “S” and the pink fish can be “E,” then swim the fish around in the air and make the sounds. When the two fish collide, the sounds smash together—”SEE.”
3. Easy and Fun Caterpillar Craft
After reading the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, make your own easy and fun caterpillar craft! Practice naming and categorizing foods with each circle. A purple circle could be for fruits. A green circle would be for veggies. List foods you like on an orange circle and then list foods you don’t like as much on yellow. Practice words such as eat and munch, and tasty sounds like, “mmm” and “yum.”
4. Butterfly Handprint Card
This butterfly handprint card from The Best Ideas for Kids is a great way to practice finger songs! Think Daddy Finger, Five Little Monkeys, and Where is Thumbkin. Singing is a great way to practice speech as it is highly repetitive, predictable, and low pressure.
5. Mason Jar Lid Spider Craft
It makes sense to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider while you create this mason jar lid spider craft. However, it may be better suited for older kids due to the necessary skills for tearing the paper and manipulating the clothespins. In that case, you may use it to target sounds that older kids may be practicing:
- “S” blend words: spider, stick, swipe, smear, squeeze, smile, stay
- “R” words: rip, tear, work, right, spider
- “L” words and phrases: legs, like, let me, glue, black, let go, let dry, let’s do it
6. Paper Roll Frog Craft
Crafts generally involve naming colors and shapes, but for this cute paper roll frog craft from Easy Peasy and Fun, go beyond those concepts and think action. Cut, paste, stick, push, pull—practice using -ing ending in sentences like, “I am cutting.” Once the craft is made, practice saying, “Frog is jumping (sleeping, running, eating, etc.).”
7. CD and Button Turtle Craft
This CD and button turtle craft is great practice for naming colors, but it’s also a highly repetitive craft which is perfect when you want to practice the same skills multiple times. Pick a simple sound, word, or phrase and repeat it until the turtle is covered with buttons!
You could also use it for practicing turn-taking with the phrases “my turn” and “your turn.” Practice names by saying “Mommy’s turn,” and “Connor’s turn.”
8. Paper Roll Dragon Craft
For those who need to practice making any purposeful sound with their mouths, this paper roll dragon craft from One Little Project can be a fun way to “ROAR” while crafting. Once made, this gives an awesome visual motivator to blow really hard and use those muscles! Sometimes kids might need to see that they can be successful with their mouth, even if it isn’t for speech or intelligible words.
9. Friendly Monster Watercolor Blow Art with Straws
Here’s another blowing craft that might be better suited for little ones. This monster watercolor blow art with straws from Adventure in the Box requires less strength and more lip rounding than the dragon (above). Practice quiet and loud blowing to see the different results. These are so simple and take no time at all (except to dry) so kids may ask to do them again…and again…and again!
10. Invitation to Create: Cupcake Factory
This cupcake factory from What Can We Do With Paper and Glue is so fun! Practice asking and answering yes/no questions by having pieces of paper cut ahead of time, then give half to your child and keep half for yourself. Put the pieces in a bag or out of sight. Think “Go Fish” but with cupcake pieces! She can ask, “Do you have a blue wrapper?” You respond with yes or now. Then it’s your turn to ask the question and she responds.
11. Cute Rock Fish
Collecting the rocks for this cute rock fish craft from Hello, Wonderful allows for getting outside and moving…hooray! Search for rocks by calling out, “Rocks, where ARE you?” Sort them into piles of big, small, bumpy, and smooth.
12. Recycled CD Ladybug for Kids
Tracing hands for this recycled CD ladybug craft from I Heart Arts N Crafts is a fun and easy way to practice “up-down” while leading the pencil up and down the fingers. Then let your little one trace your hands to practice “up-down” too. Use any two-syllable sound like a firetruck siren “ooeeooeeooee” and change direction when your sound changes. Practice a specific consonant sound going up “g…g.…g” then slide down with a vowel “aaahh.”
13. Paper Plate Rainbow Fish Craft
The creator of this paper plate rainbow fish craft, Arty Crafty Kids, craft pairs it with The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister which is fabulous, but it also reminds me of the book Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen which is a good book for practicing mouth-moving frowns and smiles. Since the craft also requires multiple repetitions of the same action (sticking scales on the fish), it’s a good time to practice sounds. Need some “f” words? Here you go: fish, four, five, find, found, foot, feet, fan, favorite, finish, and food.
14. Paper Plate Frog Craft
Use the hand tracing concept from the ladybug craft and add imitation of silly faces (sticking out your tongue) while making this paper plate frog craft. Use the long, curled tail as a visual helper to practice the long “ssss” sound or “sh” and “f” while you gently pull the tongue straight, then change to a vowel when you let go and the tongue curls back up!
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