Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist

Please! No more ideas… really… I’m going to lose my marbles! ;)

I may be in the minority but please don’t post anymore ideas on Facebook, Linkedin, newsetters or your blogs. I am over run with too many ideas. Don’t even mention Pinterest!! I put my blog posts on there but I don’t dare to look around at any other pins or boards. Being an SLP for 35 years I have lots of materials and resources so I don’t need anymore…really … I’m serious….this time… 😉


My school year is ending on June 8th. I am starting to mentally pack up my room and I’ve already run out of nooks and crannies. How can I store it all? Yes my iPad is wonderful and has a wealth of apps that work great in my sessions. BUT…I have a lot of other great stuff too. I’ve talked about downsizing in past posts but I still have many things (ok maybe TOO many) that I want to keep. I promise I will use them…pinkie swear.  In the meantime I will do my best to organize, pack  up and get ready for summer break.

So what do I plan to do this summer?

1. Relax

2. Play and explore with my grand-daughter – who is now 6

3. Work in private therapy

4. Write blog posts and articles for Smarty Ears Therapy Corner

5. Share more therapy materials/ ideas on my blog

6. Maybe even start a Facebook page for my blog… I’ve been encouraged to do this but what should the page be called??? Send me your ideas!

7. Think about next year …a little

8. Oh dare I say it explore Pinterest…maybe…. ok I probably will

In the meantime I packed away my Ocean theme from my last blog post and my room is looking a little bare. The kids are complaining. Wait… I did leave the sand pail with the liquid water beads out…hmmm. Ok a couple more ideas but I’ll try to make these easy and disposable.

So since I mentioned losing my marbles here is what I plan to do with  them!

Water Beads or Liquid MarblesI have found mine at dollar stores. They have only had the clear ones but they do come in colors.  I use these in sensory tubs or in this case a sand pail. For the last week of school here is how I will use it before I “lose my marbles.”

a. Just play with them- they feel wet and the squeals from the kids are so cute!  We can include a few adjectives to describe them for a language goal.

b. Add items and try to find them (without looking) – paper clips, hard marble, dice, any small trinket. Language twist: talk about the sizes and shapes; Articulation twist: use small laminated words or cards instead of trinkets; Fluency- create a sentence for the trinket or card with easy speech.

c. Add plastic letters or numbers- Pull out an M think of words or summer things that start with M- Pull out a 4 and think of  4 words or sentences using your sound(s) or draw 4 articulation cards or draw 4 vocabulary cards

d. Put a few outside in the sun and make predictions on what might happen to them… I don’t know but my guess is I will be finding out one of these sunny days!

e. Brainstorm a list or find pictures of other things that fill up with water…. pool, water balloon, etc.

There you now have five ideas to use until the end of the school year!

Enjoy and then to downsize just ..

1. Put all the trinkets you used back in your desk where you probably found them in the first place

2. Put the articulation  and vocabulary cards back into their boxes (or if you used ones on an app in your iPad just close it!)

3. Return the plastic letters and numbers to the teacher you borrowed them from

$. Toss the liquid marbles or put them in baggies and send them home with kids…nice surprise… maybe! Or use them at home in vases for fresh cut flowers.

4. Save the sand pail and take it home – you can use it as intended but I see a slushy drink with a little paper umbrella added to mine!


Last Summer Fun!

Can you SEA me now?

We have been swimming in the ocean in my speech room. Well at least figuratively. All the kindergarten classrooms have an ocean unit so I knew it was a perfect time to dive into my ocean theme boxes. It has been fun opening the boxes and rediscovering games, books and more. Honestly I am finding by “themeing” my materials I am using them more effectively.

My kids had been so excited about our Pirate Unit that when I took it down they were very sad. Then they asked if I was going to put them on my board again just like in our pirate ship. So this is what I came up with… I used the app I’m in! Traveling. This is a free app but to get the all the scenes it costs 1.99 which I needed for the beach scenes. I took their pictures and added them into the app. Check it out below!

Don’t you just love the parachutist’s face! I did not ask him to make that face but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to do something special with it. I found a parachute picture and glued his face onto it. The can you sea me now  board was created using brown paper for the beach, blue for water, yellow for sky and an orange circle for the sun. I used the I’m in! Traveling app and cut out out the pictures to glue on the “sea board.”  This time I did not add all my students but so far no one is complaining!

I used the beach cut outs on the bottom of my door to work on describing. One student chooses an item with “their eyes” and then gave two clues before the others could guess. You can download the pictures here: Ocean Pictures

Games we played:  I am including links to Amazon (if available) but most of these I purchased elsewhere.

1. Splash! This game is fun play the rules but I never stop there. The toy dolphins included in the game we’re a fun tool to use with my students. After learning Dolphin facts we could have our toy dolphins act them out.

2. I created another He/She board like I did for the pirate unit but this time using the beach theme. You can download it here: ocean he -she

3. I created an Ocean Bingo game using Custom Boards. You need to print out each bingo card. Print one extra card to cut apart and use as the calling cards.You can download it here: Bingo A   Bingo B   Bingo C   Bingo D   Bingo E   Bingo F   Bingo G

4. There are some fun and inexpensive ocean/beach materials at Perkilou Products  that we used- Ocean Adventure, Beach Barrier Game

5. Piranha Panic is a game that I picked up at a thrift store and had proven to be a favorite.

6. Splash Attack is a fast paced game and relies on quick visual discrimination.

7. Spongebob Squarepants Splash n Roll Game– who doesn’t like Spongebob!

8. Curious George Beach Game

9.  This was a great tool to work on as a team. I had the students ask their partner for the pieces they needed. ” I need a small yellow rectangle.”

10. Finding Nemo Storytelling Game

Create an Ocean in a Bag:

This is an activity I did last year and repeated again this year with my site based autism classrooms.  I found all the materials at the dollar store. The sand was different this year and  made more of a mess. I liked the gravel like sand I used in the past but it was not there this year. I’m sure you can look around and find lots of options for your bag! I first used  my iPad to look at an Ocean Video.  We talked about what we find in an ocean and then created our own ocean in a baggie! Here is the visual I used: Ocean in a Bag

If you would like to see another great idea for an ocean in a bag check out Jenna’s post at her Speech Room News blog!

My Room-

This time I bought a large ocean mural from a dollar store and cut it in half. I put the whale on my wall and the undersea half on my white board.

The green sand pail has liquid marbles inside. I bought ocean erasers and put one set inside the pail. The kids take turns trying to find matches by touch or sometimes we just pull one out and talk about the sea creature. The erasers and liquid marbles are both from the dollar store. We used the large conch shells to listen to the ocean (a great way to get it really quiet for a minute!).

Apps – here are some of the ocean apps we splashed in!

My Ocean Friend ( iPhone)   My Ocean Friend ( iPad)

To the Sea (iPhone)    To the Sea (iPad)

Ocean Animals for kids (universal)

Oliva the Octopus (universal)

Hit the Beach (iPad)

Tiny Ocean (universal)

Lettermen go the seaside (universal)

Splish Splash Inn   Splish Splash Inn HD

Learn Sharks Now (universal)

Fisherman and the Goldfish   Fisherman and the Goldfish lite

Sunny Bunnies   Sunny Bunnies HD

Scott’s Submarine (universal)

Josh and Emma go to the beach (iPad)

Candy Fish (iPad)

Sandcastle Maker (universal)

Jellyfish Jam- free (iPad)

Fraise Puzzle (universal)

Little sub abc learn to spell (iPad)

Deep Sea Submarine HD  Deep Sea Submarine (universal)

Lalla Funny Stickers Sea World (universal)

iDraw Ocean

Little Mermaid’s Surprise (universal)

Mermaid dress up – lite

Mermaid Sticker HD

Ocean Sticker book

Shape Collage – this is what I used to create the images at the top and bottom of this post

Now it’s your turn to add your own twist!


Pirate invasion!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 4, 2012
Tags: , , , , , ,

I am finding that I really enjoy doing units of fun in therapy. To me a unit of fun is choosing a theme and pulling in all my books, games, apps and whatever else fits and then doing therapy as usual…sort of.  I tend to stick with a unit for at least two weeks. I found one week was too short when you look at it through my students’ perspective. I am lucky to be full-time in one building but my students may only be in my room 1 or 2 times each week.  I see some of them in other rooms too. So if you do the math that’s not a lot of exposure to a theme’ofun.  Besides once I start a theme I keep finding more “stuff” treaures that I can add.

Anyway ….

Me speech room has been taken hostage by PIRATES! We’ve been practicing our meanest “ARRGs” and “AYE’s.”  It started on my door. I took pictures using the Pirate Ninja app (.99). You take a picture and use the app to add a pirate hat. This was a problem solving activity involving making choices- do you want to smile, make a pirate face, look mean, etc. then they had to choose which pirate hat (3 options) they liked the best. For my door I printed off their pictures and glued them on construction paper. I then added pirate sayings. Here are the ones I used in Word format so you can make changes or add to them: pirate bubbles or in PDF format: pirate bubbles pdf. I used a pirate hat cut out at the top of the door that I found on another site: Pirate Hat

Then I realized I would not be able to put all my speech pirates on the door so…

This is the white board in my room. I am not an artist so I did a quick search and found how to draw a pirate ship here. I used brown tag board, vanilla construction paper and a brown marker to outline.  As my ship began to fill up I added a dinghy and attached it with several pieces of yarn that I twisted to look like a rope. I added a few gold coins, a ring and treasure map. I found the shark, octopus/squid a whale and water in the Pirate Puzzles app (.99). I did a screenshot of each, printed and cut them out. There are still a few stowaways I need to add.

While checking to see what to call a group of pirates I came across two options: tango and crew. I like a tango of pirates- can’t you just imagine that! Think Jonny Depp…yah now you got it me matey!

Here are some of the materials I used and displayed for the unit.

Here are some of the activities: The pillowcases came from a set of 8 that I found at party store on clearance. I used these in a group wih my OT. The students worked in pairs. Not only were they working on fine motor skills but a whole lot of cooperation was going on!  The pirate paintng book I found at the dollar store. The paint is on the bottom of each page and the kids wet it with a cotton swab to color. I used this to work on following directions. Warning: 5 & 6 year olds tend to tip paper cups of water which led to another problem solving task!


There is a wealth of materials about pirates so it is an easy unit to find materials. I love the inexpensive materials found at Perkilou Products. Here is a link to the pirate materials but be sure to checkout the freebies and other resources. Pirate Set You can see one of the game boards in the pirate painting picture above.

One more freebie for you: This is game I made to go with the pirate theme: pirate game

Apps: I am not listing prices as they may have changed. There are lots of Pirate apps out there. These are a few I won, were free or purchased.

Pirate Ninja – this is what I used for turning me students into pirates

Find the Differences

Penelope the Purple Pirate

Pirates band of misfits movie app

Pirates Cove


I’m Going to be a Pirate

Pirate Treasure Hunt

Pirate Chat

Pirate PHD

Pirate Scribble

Motleys HD

Treasure Kai & the lost gold of shark island

Pirate Jokes

Huggy Bird HD

Pirate’s Rope