Trash or Treasure?

Well this is going to be a more personal blog post. (These are my views only).  Being a speech pathologist means  you love toys and using them in lots of different ways to motivate your clients.  But it also means PLASTIC.  And of course most of us are worried about climate change.  So where does that leave a toy-loving, economy friendly and value packed clinic?

This is a dilemma I have been wrestling with for a while now.  Certainly you can buy more eco-friendly (wood, recycled etc) toys which is a good choice and often more durable.  However as my own family grows up and the toys in our home accumulate dust I realise how MUCH we have that can be re-used.  I don’t need to run out and buy more DinkyDoodads or other plastic nicknacks when I have so much of it already.  I probably shouldn’t have bought so much plastic in the first place but at least I can recycle it now and have lots of children get value out of it.

So what is junk exactly and is it really junk?

The Lego Masters TV show has inspired our home to get out the Lego again.  I am sure we are not alone in having big tubfuls of it!  Whilst my husband and son build it, I sort through it and glean all of my own treasures…. Most of it is Lego but also so many other little bits have strayed into the boxes that I know I can use.  Marbles, rocks, Kinder Surprise, figures, cars, wheels… It’s all in those tubs and I am alphabetising it for use in articulation, literacy and other areas of our clinical work.  Have you noticed Lego figures have capes, hats, helmets, wigs?  Also they have shovels, keys, flags, shields, bones and whatever else your set may have included.  Lego men themselves are incredibly motivating for articulation work.

Stay tuned for the next post on recycling.

My other helper….








Vowels in Preschoolers

The vowel in a word gives it a shape.

ow !

Think about how this vowel sounds and how it looks when someone is saying it.  All those words that rhyme with it – cow, how, now – they all have the same word shape.

Importantly, if the vowel is correct then the listener is often able to guess a word even if it has not been said perfectly.  “dow” might be “cow” .  “dow” probably isn’t “key”.

Different accents often have variations on vowels.  In many Australian English communities, there are up to 18 different vowels for children to learn to say and then later to spell.

Some children with speech and language difficulties need help with learning how to produce certain vowels.  This may determine which words are targeted in therapy.

We have designed a quick screening tool for all of the Australian vowels including a recording sheet.

You can download it here for FREE.

There is also an index book of articulation cards for homework here.  The Big Book of Vowels has 9 words for each vowel.  The words are appropriate for younger children (often one syllable) and have a corresponding picture attached.


Books for Speech Sounds – ssss

Picture books are a great way for both therapists and parents to help children with some articulation goals.

Today we have compiled a great list of books for working on the s sound both in initial and end word position.  We have chosen repetitive books with lots of opportunity for the preschooler to practice the chosen sound.

This can be used as a quick reference guide with the words listed for practice in each book.

Click on the title (affiliate link) for more book information.

1.  Dear Santa by Rod Campbell.  Target words Santa, so.

2.  Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see?  by Eric Carle.  Great book for practicing the phrases What do you see.  I see a.

3.  The Wheels on the Bus by Annie Kubler.  Nursery rhymes are great for repetitioukCw4}YϷcL(VdB]vs, bus.

4.  Maisy goes on Vacation by Lucy Cousins.  Target words suitcase, Cyril, seaside, sandcastle, seashells.

5. Thats not my Santa by Fiona Watt.  Nice easy phrase not my Santa.  Other targets soft, sack, mouse.

6. Sizzles, where are you? by Lauren Child. Lift the flaps to find Sizzles.

7. Guess how muh I love you by Sam McBratney.  Target words guess.

8. Mouse Moves House by Phil Roxbee Cox.  Target words -mouse, house, suitcase.

9. Fox in Socks by Dr Suess.  Lots of rhyming fun to be repeated over.

10 Dont Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems.  Target words -bus, please.

11. I Went Walking  Targets see, saw, horse.

12. Silly Sally by Audrey Wood.  Good for different phrases silly sally  silly pig.

13. Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.  Very good for the repetition of he sits on . what does he see?

14. Doctor Maisy by Lucy Cousins. Target words -nurse, dress, sick, nose.

15. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.  Target words -zoo, so, sent.

16. Going to the Hospital by Usborne Books.  Target words- six, sick, ears, nurse.

17. Spot can count by Eric Hill.  All counting books are great for six, seven.  Other targets mouse, horse, geese.


Why not download our fun games for ‘s’ and ‘z’ at the TPT Store. – click here

L Articulation Printables

This is the next instalment in the Articulation Printables series.


There are lots of fun games for children working on ‘l’ sounds.  No reading required! Just lots of colourful pictures for children to engage with.  You can also use them for phonological awareness activities.

Click here to see all the activities. – here.