6 Ways to Use Stickers in Speech-Language Therapy
If you have read some of my Therapy Thursday tips, then you know that I like to share ideas that involve items that are inexpensive and easily available. With that mind, let's talk stickers today.
I love using stickers in therapy sessions. They are usually pretty motivating for the child, since stickers aren't something that they do everyday and come in all subjects. There's many ways to achieve language goals with stickers with toddler and pre-school children, but I'll give you 6 ways today.
1. Vocabulary/Naming Pictures: This is the easiest way to use stickers and probably the one that I use the most. I like to collect a variety of themed stickers to work on building vocabulary. Animal, food, and vehicle stickers are some of the easiest ones to find. Basically, I just use the stickers to teach the specific words (chicken, sheep, cow). The scrapbook section of stores often has some very unique subject specific stickers (camping, firetrucks, sea life). Sometimes, these are helpful when you are trying to find an activity based on what appeals to your child.
2. Colors: This takes a bit more digging and planning beforehand. Go through your stickers and find ones that are basically one color. Once you have all the stickers you want sorted by colors, you can do a few different activities. You can get construction paper in the same colors as the stickers and have the child place the stickers on the right corresponding paper. You can simply tell them a color to select from several choices. If they find the right color, they can place it on paper. You can also have the child put all yellow stickers on a page, etc. then make the different colored pages into a book for them to keep. Colored stickers have lots of possibilities.
3. Spatial Concepts: For this, you will need a small empty box and stickers. Using an empty Kleenex box, you can give the child directions with the stickers targeting spatial concepts. This may be: Put a sticker on top of the box. Place a sticker on the bottom of the box. You can also target side/front/back.
4. Articulation/Speech Sound Work: Like with the colors, this activity will take some prep work for you. Depending on what sound the child is working on, you'll have to dig through your stickers and find ones that will work. In the stickers pictured above, I would use some of the stickers for /b/ sound practice such as: banana, berry, bird. This is a great way to mix up sound practice, but it does require a lot of preparation. Usually, you need a large amount of stickers to dig through to find 10 or more so the child will have enough to get enough repetitions.
5. Choice making: For children who are working on making choices with either a point or a word, you can hold up two different stickers and ask them which one they want. If you are trying to get them to say what they want but they need help, you can say each sticker name as a cue.
6. Sentences: If you are working on saying phrases or sentences, you can have the child say a phrase to obtain a sticker. I like using rote phrases for this such as: I want the ____. I like ____. Using rote phrases allows the child to practice the same sentence structure multiple times while only one word changes. In this case, the name of the sticker would the be word that changes. If I am using the rote phrase, "I like ___," then I might use different animal or food stickers to allow the child to choose the sticker they prefer.
Enjoy sticker shopping to prepare for your activities, and I'll see you back here next week!
Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.