Using Toys, Books, Games For Speech Therapy Lesson Plans

lesson plans for speech therapy

Are you more of a formal lesson plan SLP or a type B no-plan SLP?  As speech-language pathologists, we often have a long to-do list made up of evaluation reports, writing iep goals, writing SOAP notes, and the list goes on.  Lesson planning for speech therapy sessions may get put at the end of the list.  While speech therapy lesson plans are usually not required (like a classroom teacher), using a general lesson plan format can be very helpful!  

I like to keep it super simple when making lesson plans for speech therapy.  My process for creating plans involves looking at my student’s goals, selecting a theme/s, and finding activities that could be used to target their goals. 

Using themes in speech therapy can really help with engagement from students and therapy buy-in.  If I have a student who LOVES dinosaurs and transportation, incorporating those themes can really help with participation and increased facilitation of language due to highly preferred topics and interests being used. 

In this new blog post series, The Speech Trio,  I will be sharing sets of themed toys, books, and games.  While you may not use all 3 of these things in one session, it is always great to have backup activities and you can alternate the activities between groups based on the goals you are targeting or group size. 

The Speech Therapy Trio: 1 Book, 1 Toy, 1 Game


Today I’m sharing the first round of what I call the Speech Trio (1 book, 1 toy,  1 game).  While I love time-saving no prep and low prep resources (i.e. worksheets, low-prep crafts, etc.), I always like having a book, toy, and game that goes along with my other therapy activities as well.  While you probably won’t use all 3 activities in one session, you can pick one and use the others for the next session or as alternate activities.  If you’re a school-based SLP seeing a lot of groups, you can select which activity you use based on your group’s needs.  

Incorporating a book, toy, and game into your session plans is a great way to structure your therapy session without being overly planned. You can use this trio to target ANY goal!  You can use books, toys, and games with your articulation students (paired with stimuli picture cards)and also target a variety of your other student’s goals such as receptive language, expressive language skills, social skills, and more!  Incorporating a variety of speech therapy activities and other engaging activities is important for increasing engagement and can help with getting in a ton of trials! 

As an Amazon affiliate, my small business (Daily Cup of Speech) may receive a small commission from links in this blog post.  This has no impact on the price for you! Click on any of the images or blue text to be taken to the product on Amazon!

Now for this week’s speech trio!  While this week’s selections are perfect for a summer theme, the toy and game can definitely be used year-round! 

1. BOOK:  And Then Comes Summer

2. TOY: Big Feelings Pineapple by Learning Resources

3. GAME: Shelby’s Snack Shack Game by Educational Insights

Keep reading below for ideas on how to use these 3 things as part of your speech therapy plans!

Using Books For Speech Therapy Lesson Plans

BOOK:  And Then Comes Summer

Written By: Tom Brenner

Illustrated By: Jaime Kim

Published By: Candlewick

Targets: Answering “when” questions

-When do you get out of school for the summer?

-When do you go to the pool?

-When is it very hot outside?

I love using this book for talking about seasons (i.e. summer vs. winter), describing by attribute, and more! When using a book as part of your lesson plans for speech therapy, keep in mind that you don’t have to use the entire book in one session.  I’ve found that one book can last multiple sessions and often be used over multiple weeks.

Toys | Play Based Speech Therapy Activities

TOY: Big Feelings Pineapple by Learning Resources

If you love the classic potato head toy, you’ll love this feelings pineapple toy!  This pineapple comes with a ton of pieces to make a variety of emotion faces.

This toy is perfect for students working on identifying emotions and feelings in speech therapy.  If you want more activities and ideas for teaching feelings and emotions, check out this blog post: 3 Engaging and Fun Ways to Target Identifying Emotions in Speech Therapy.

 For expressive identification, make a face on the pineapple and have the child express how the pineapple feels.  For receptive identification indicate the expression you want the child to make (i.e. show me sad) and let them demonstrate the feeling on the pineapple.  

This toy is also great for working on turn-taking and is a fun thing to play with for a break or at the end of the session even if your client isn’t working on identifying feelings and emotions.  

Using Games For Speech Therapy Lesson Plans

GAME: Shelby’s Snack Shack Game by Educational Insights

If you want a fun game, check out Shelby’s Snack Shack!  I love this game for speech therapy because it goes great with a summer theme (beach background) but also works with a pet theme year-round (Shelby the Dog, dog bowl, bones).  In this game children take turns spinning and picking up the indicated number of bones.  This game is perfect to use with groups by letting children spin after they complete their therapy turn.  If you have a smaller group or are working one on one, you could put the bones next to stimuli cards or give the child a bone after each turn ( or trial).  This game is fun to incorporate into play-based speech therapy.  For younger children, you can “feed the dog” and pretend you’re getting ready to take your dog Shelby on a picnic to the beach.  

Weekly Plans For Speech Therapy


Having a weekly plan for therapy can help reduce looking for activities last minute and let you focus on your students’ goals.  In grad school, we always had to have outlined plans with almost every minute of a session shown on paper.  The problem with overplanning is that even the best plans don’t always work.  Having an outline or rough plan of a toy, book, and game within arm’s reach can be very helpful when another activity does not go as planned.  

Most SLPs don’t have time to create detailed daily plans but it is helpful to outline a toy, book, and game you plan to incorporate into a  theme of the week. If you’d prefer to not do a weekly plan, you could decrease planning time by selecting a monthly theme and making monthly plans based on your selected theme.  

Speech Therapy Plan Organization


During the school year using an organization system such as google drive and Docs can help you keep track of your fun activities and therapy ideas.  I love organizing my therapy plans and digital activities by theme into google drive folders. 

My TpT store, Daily Cup of Speech, has a ton of low and no-prep language resources to help save you time!  Using digital resources is also an option for saving you prep time!  

In addition to books, book companions with already-made activities can be helpful to pair with themed books. I also LOVE using sensory bins as a fun activity as part of a weekly plan. My students love the hands-on activities and are often highly engaged while playing with sensory bins. To learn more about how to make mini sensory bins for speech therapy, check out this blog post: How To Make Speech Language Therapy Mini Sensory Bins 

Following a lesson plan is sometimes more difficult when working with preschool students and younger students.  Having a plan outlined or a toy, book, and game set aside can save you time from having to come up with another plan on the spot.   With older students, detailed plans are often easier to follow but this varies and depends on many factors such as group size and your individual client’s needs and goals.  

Lesson plans for speech therapy can be very helpful and make sessions feel more relaxed knowing there is some type of plan in place to guide you.   If you are working with the preschool population, I highly suggest speech therapy lesson plans for preschool.  Having a visual schedule of what the session will look like and a plan can also be very helpful with this population.  

Speech Therapy Lesson Plan Activities and Ideas


As speech therapists, we work on a wide variety of important communication skills.  When planning sessions I always take into consideration the student’s grade level, their present levels, and all of the student’s goals. Depending on all of these factors, this will help guide you with the most appropriate selection of activities for your therapy plans.  

In addition to today’s featured toy, book, and game, using things such as mini erasers, ball poppers, paint daubers and other hands-on activities can help increase engagement in speech therapy sessions.  For a completely no prep option, using boom cards on an iPad or smart board can be an effective way to target goals. 

If you’re always looking for more speech therapy activities and ideas, then check out these related blog posts: 

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