Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Car Ride Activities Set 6

As of this morning 30 car travel appropriate busy bags will have been posted and I've finished making a total of 44. I need to fill 4 more to meet my goal. I'll admit, my imagination, resources, and enthusiasm are beginning to run low but I will persevere. Here's the next set of 10 though. Enjoy!

(You can find more ideas in the Car Ride Activities Set 3, Car Ride Activities Set 4, and Car Ride Activities Set 5.)

Car Ride Activities Set 6

Busy Bag 21: Make a Magic Wand Kit

Wrap pipe cleaners around a wooden dowel to form the base of the wand. Then attach some more at the top. Twist some of the top pipe cleaners into spirals and leave the others straight for the children to decorate with beads. Toss some pony beads into the bag with the magic wands. The children can decorate their wand tips with the beads of their choice and then play with the wand. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 22: Nursery Rhyme and Preschool Song Flashcards

I found some great free downloadable nursery rhyme and preschool song printables. I saved the files and printed them 9 to a page to make flashcards out of them. I'll put them in a bag and let the children look at the pictures and try to figure out which song it is. Then we'll sing the songs as a family in the car. (This site is great! They have the files in color versions for circle times or posting in a classroom and in black in white to use as coloring sheets. They also have supplementary printables to go along with most of the rhymes.)

Busy Bag 23: Simple Marble Run

Find a small shallow box. I used the bottom from a small pizza box. Glue some straws into the box. Draw in a path and a starting and ending point. Of course, no one will examine the picture closely enough to notice that I stuck my stop sign in the wrong spot before having to draw in a second one. Find a marble and let the kids practice getting the marble from start to finish by tilting the box. If I had had several small gift size boxes around I would have made several small marble runs instead of one large one. Check the inspiration link to see several other small examples of this type of activity. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 24: Felt Faces

Cut out an oval "face" and lots of accessories. I tried to make a girl (although she didn't really turn out well), a crazy jester like character and an alien/monster. See the inspirations for much more well done examples of this activity. My only defense is that I cut mine out in about 10 minutes and just used sharpies for details. It was quick which was important to me this time. Insipiration here, here, here, here, and here.

Busy Bag 25: Number Wheel Clothespin Match

Download and print a pie divided into as many sections as you'd like. I chose one with six sections. Cut out the circle and glue that circle onto a cardboard circle of the same size for added thickness and durability. Then use some stickers to make each section of the pie represent a different number. Write those same numbers on the clothespins and you're ready. The children count the stickers and pin the corresponding clothespin onto that section. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 26: Foam Beads Sorting and Stringing

I'm hoping that sorting bead like items and stringing them onto a variety of stringing options never gets old. This time it is foam beads paired with a lace and some pipe cleaners. These foam beads can be sorted by color or shape and then laced onto either the pipe cleaners or the lace. Inspiration was my own craft supply shelf.

Busy Bag 27: Yarn Wrapping

This may be too hard for my three and four year old children but it would be great for older kids and I thought I'd try it. I taped a variety of yarns to a variety of popsicle stick configurations for a yarn wrapping activity. At the simple end is just wrapping the yarn around a single stick. More complex is wrapping yarn around a narrow X shape for a slightly different look. Most complex is weaving the yarn to make a god's eye project. I was inspired by my own eyes wandering over my craft shelf.

Busy Bag 28: Sponge Blocks

Take some sponges and cut them into strips to make great travel "blocks" for log cabin style building. If I had thought about it before I had cut all the sponges into strips I would have made some squares too for variety. These make great travel blocks because they are quiet, light, compact and have some texture to them to reduce sliding around in cars and other moving vehicles. Inspiration found here.

Busy Bag 29: Individual Note Pads

Just toss a couple of small memo books, some cool pens (or pencils or crayons) and some stickers in a bag. I wrote a sweet message to each child in each book to personalize the book for them. They may not be able to read the whole message, but they'll recognize their names and "Mama". Inspired by browsing the back to school aisle.

Busy Bag 30: Matchstick Construction

I had some colored wooden craft sticks in my crafting stash as well. I put a handful of the matchsticks and a piece of felt into a bag. The children can create simple pictures from the sticks or even try to build a tower log cabin style. They could also try to make letters or shapes using the craft sticks.

(Happy 41st Wedding Anniversary to my parents. I love you both!)

If you like these activities, you may be interested in more.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Car Ride Activities Set 5

Yes, I'm perfectly aware that this is the third post in a row of busy bags appropriate for car rides. This blog reflects my life and right now prepping for my upcoming trip is my life. I am constitutionally incapable of doing anything in half measures. I am somewhat completely obsessively determined to have two activities per hour of the car ride (one for each child and then they switch). I'm anticipating 24 hours in the car. 24x2=...48. Sometimes being slightly OCD comes in handy. Sometimes not so much. Tune in after the trip to see which category this obsession falls into. If you're interested, see the Car Ride Activities Set 3 and Car Ride Activities Set 4. In order to avoid having to do about 10 consecutive posts like this I'm going to start covering 10 busy bag ideas per post instead of just five.

Car Ride Activities Set 5

Busy Bag 11: Home for a Spider

I cut and circle and then cut notches around the circumference of the circle. Then I painted the circle black and taped one end of a long string to the center back of the circle. I also made a spider out of pipe cleaners. The kids will wrap the string around the circle to make a spider web for the spider. You could also make a white circle and use light blue yarn to make a snowflake for a different theme. Or you could do any color combination and it would still be a beautiful non-thematic project. Older children can focus on weaving patterns to make a variety of interesting results. Younger children will weave randomly resulting in a more spiderweb like creation. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 12: Golf Tee Marble Balancing

I enlisted my husband's help with a single polite request (or perhaps a little begging and pleading) for this one. He cut some pieces of wood and drilled holes in them for me. We did two different shapes for variety, but I wanted one as a 3x3 grid so that in future years the children can play tic-tac-toe with them. Then just stick the drilled wood pieces in a bag with some golf tees and marbles. The idea is for the children to insert the golf tees in the holes (great fine motor activity with color identification and pattern making potential) and then try to balance marbles on top of the golf tees. Insipiration here and here. For a slightly different version using a foam block instead of wood blocks here.

Busy Bag 13: Color Tint Clothespin Match

Grab a few paint samples like these. Trim a strip down the edge of the samples the width of your clothespins. Then tape or glue those small colored strips onto the edge of the clothespins. That's it. You're done. Stick them in a bag (unattached) and the children have to match and attach the clothespins to the appropriate spots on the paint sample strips. This task works on a more complex version of color identification and strengthens fine motor skills. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 14: Magnetic Paper Clip Sort

I found adhesive backed magnetic strips at our local big box store for less than a dollar. I stuck one strip to each of four jumbo sized popsicle sticks and then colored around the magnet strips with sharpies to match the four colors of paper clips I happened to have. Done. The children will sort the paper clips by color and attach them to the color coordinated stick via the magnetic strip. Insipiration here. For a slightly different version without magnets here.

Busy Bag 15: Felt Picture - Rainbow

I just sat down with my felt stash and cut the basic component shapes out along with a black square background. The pieces will be separate in the bag and the children will have to assemble the picture almost like a puzzle. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 16: Felt Fraction Circles

To continue the theme of puzzle like activities with felt, next I made some simple fraction circles from felt. I just cut them out and used a sharpie to write on the fractions. The activity is really just about assembling the four circles. They might do some role playing pretending it is pie, but we'll have to wait and see. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 17: Treasure Chest Jewel Sort

I took a small case that Ava's hair bands came in and dumped all the hair bands out. Then I found some jewels from our craft stash and sorted out six colors of all five shapes. I could wish the craft jewels had come in six shapes, but not everything can be perfect. That's it. I'm tossing the jewels and the box in the bag and the task is to sort the treasure into the individual sections of the treasure chest by either color or shape. If I had an endless supply of time and energy, I would decorate the case to make it look more like a treasure chest, but they can just use their imagination. This activity is great for fine motor skills, color and shape identification, sorting, and possibly even patterning. I was inspired by my own eyes wandering over my craft shelf.

Busy Bag 18: Button Sorting and Lacing

A while back, while making a craft/art supply order I saw this bag of buttons and wanted them. I had the vague idea they might make a nice collage material. I haven't touched them since. The bag was still unopened. I opened up the bag and sorted out a bunch with holes large enough for some plastic lacing string I bought when I was making busy book pages. Then I tossed the buttons and the laces into a bag for a button sorting and lacing activity. I was inspired by my own eyes wandering over my craft shelf.

Busy Bag 19: Nuts and Bolts Play

This one is pretty simple and yet the kids seem to love it. Just stick a few long bolts and matching nuts and washers in a bag. They screw them on and take them back off. They try to see how many nuts will fit on one bolt. They can make a pattern (one washer, one nut, one washe, one nut). Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 20: Simple Front-Back Puzzles

I found some great free printable animal flashcards. I printed them, cut them out, and laid them out on some cardstock and traces squares around them. Then I cut them in half and glued half of the picture onto the cardstock squares. The other half of the flashcards are the puzzle pieces. Insipiration here.

If you like these activities, you may be interested in more.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Car Ride Activities Set 4

And here are the next five activities I've prepared for the car ride. See the Car Ride Activities Set 3.

Car Ride Activities Set 4

Busy Bag 6: I'm the Ice Cream Man

Cut matching felt ice cream bars in several colors and sew around three sides leaving the bottoms open. Write the colors on the bottom of jumbo popsicle sticks. I also cut green rectangles for money. I imagine the children playing the game together. One child plays the customer and holds the money while the other plays the Ice Cream Man and holds the ice cream. The customer requests a specific flavor (color) of ice cream. The Ice Cream Man assembles the ice cream by matching the ice cream bar with the corresponding stick and handing it to the customer in exchange for some money. Then they can switch roles.

Busy Bag 7: Simple Fleece Marble Mazes

Cut two rectangles of fleece and sew them together leaving a small hole to flip inside out and then insert the marble. Then sew in lines through both layers to make maze. I found the tutorial for making a simple marble maze here. For more complex marble mazes look here. To make a marble maze with a slightly streamlined production look here.

Busy Bag 8: Color Wheel Clothespin Match

I printed a simple color wheel I found online and cut it out and glued it onto a cardboard circle of the same size to make it more sturdy. Then I took sharpies to wooden clothespins and made matching labeled colored clothespins. The task is to match and attach the clothespins to the appropriate sections of the color wheel. This activity addresses color identification, matching, and fine motor skills.

Busy Bag 9: Square Tile Patterns and Play

I actually made this square tile pattern activity a while back. I just pulled it off the shelf and stuck a few patterns and a third of the tiles into one of the travel busy bags. You can get the square tiles on Amazon or at most teacher supply stores. My kids also use these in free play to build towers and roads and to create block like pictures.

Busy Bag 10: Toothpick Pattern Punch

Print a few shapes with dotted lines (or just freehand draw some, or trace some simple stencils) onto regular weight paper. Put those and a few toothpicks into a bag. Our travel trays are felt lined, so that's all we need, but if your child will be working on a hard surface, include a piece of felt or small washcloth. They put the paper shape over the cloth and punch holes along the outline. Then they can hold the completed punched pattern up to the car window or towards a light fixture to see their pattern light up. This is a great fine motor activity.

(Inspiration found: here, here, and here.)

If you like these activities, you may be interested in more.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Car Ride Activities Set 3

I'm getting ready for another 12 hour car ride to New Orleans to visit family. 7 months ago, I posted Car Ride Activities Set 1 and Car Ride Activities Set 2. This year, when searching for inspiration I used the search term "busy bags" online. It is a gold mine. There are so many ideas out there for making simple activities for young children from arts and crafts materials you probably already have sitting around the house. The goal is for the activities to be portable, decently interesting, car appropriate, and numerous. Each child will have a felt lined lap tray with sides (made from a box) to keep the current activity's contents from spilling and sliding around.

Here's my plan. Both of my children are potty trained, but they are only three and four years old. We pretty much have to stop at every single rest area. The car entertainment cycle will run like this:
  1. Stop at rest stop. Keep the stop as quick as possible because every extra 10 minutes you spend at a rest stop cumulatively adds at least an hour or two that you can't afford on to the end of the trip. Go potty and stretch their legs by playing a quick dancing, hopping, or running game.
  2. When you get back into the car give each child a busy bag or other car ride activity. Let them play with their own for 10-15 minutes and then have them stuff it back in the bag and switch. After they finish the activities they have to put them back in the bags and return them to an adult who will put that activity in the finished (and save for the return trip) pile. Then turn on some tv until the next stop.
  3. Watch 30-45 minutes of tv until the next stop.
  4. Repeat the cycle approximately 12 times occasionally substituting running into a fast food restaurant for a bathroom break/stretching legs/getting meal to go instead of stopping at a rest area.

So, here are the first five activities I've prepared this time.

Car Ride Activities Set 3

Busy Bag 1: Popsicle Puzzles (x2)

Print a picture your children will like that is approximately 5.25 inches tall and 4.5 wide (or 4 wide and use one less jumbo popsicle stick). Cut the pictures into strips slightly less than the width of a jumbo sized popsicle stick. Glue the strips onto the popsicles. Voila. You have very portable puzzles. I made two and put them in the same bag. That adds the additional difficulty of figuring out which puzzle pieces (craft sticks) go with which puzzle.

Busy Bag 2: Felt Chain

Cut strips of felt. Mine are 1.5 inches wide by 9 inches long. Sew small pieces of velcro to the ends of each strip on opposite sides. The children can use them to make roads, bracelets, necklaces, "paper chain" style links, etc.

Busy Bag 3: Lego Duplo "Puzzles"

Dig into your duplo stash (or any other kind of building blocks you may have) and build several small structures. I deliberately chose the smaller/slimmer duplo blocks to try to save space. I made a vehicle set, a flower garden set, and two random block tower type sets. Take a picture of each set and print the pictures. Put the picture along with the blocks necessary to build the pictured structure in a bag. Now you have homemade portable building puzzles. They can try to build what they see in the picture or simply play with the blocks in their travel trays.

Busy Bag 4: Felt Picture - House

Just sit down with some craft felt and a pair of scissors and create a simple picture. I made a very simple house. Stick all the pieces in a bag and then the children can recreate the picture and just play with the pieces.

Busy Bag 5: Bead and Pipe Cleaner Counting

Take 10 pipe cleaners (or perhaps only five if your children or younger). Wrap a piece of tape around the top of each pipe cleaner and number them 1-10. Put the appropriate number of pony beads in the bag with the pipe cleaners. The children can thread the appropriate number of beads onto each pipe cleaner. They may even notice that they can have each pipe cleaner be threaded with a different color bead. If your children are even younger, skip the number part of the activity and simply stick some pipe cleaners and pony beads in a bag. Consider cutting the pipe cleaners in half as they will be easier to handle that way.

(Inspiration found: here, here, here, here, here.)

If you like these activities, you may be interested in more.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 71

SLP Idea of the Week

Take a 12 cup muffin pan and cut speech cards into circles that fit into the bottom of each cup. Also gather 12 small tokens of some kind (pom-poms, cotton balls, squinkies, etc. Have the child (gently) toss a token at the muffin pan and practice the word at the bottom of the cup that their token landed in. Then they toss another token into another cup practicing that word. The goal is to get a token into each cup practicing all 12 words along the way.

Ava this Week

Ava will be starting preschool soon. We're less than three weeks away from saying goodbye forever to our part-time daycare. The daycare was fine. I was perfectly happy with them and they did a great job of taking care of my children. I am not in the slightest bit sad to say goodbye to them (or to the monthly check I wrote to them). It does feel strange to think that soon I will pull out of their driveway for the last time. After all, I've been taking at least one child (and often two) there twice a week for almost three years. It feels nice to be moving on to the next stage though.

Weekly Michael

Originally I had intended to enroll the children in preschool five mornings a week in the fall. In order for Michael to attend the second level preschool room, they require five day enrollment. As fall rapidly approaches I have been realizing that I'm not ready for them to be away five mornings a week. After all, I'm still seriously considering keeping them home and beginning homeschooling a year from now.

So, I decided to keep Michael in the less structured preschool room and enroll the children only four days a week. I may reduce that to three days a week later. A side effect of this decision is that the children will be in the same room for preschool this year. Michael will be repeating in the same classroom (along with all the other students who won't be attending full-time including his best friend). Ava will enter the room for the first time. I think they'll enjoy being together.

Weekly Weight Loss

This week the scale reports a loss of 1.3 pounds. That makes up for the token drop from last week with an average of 0.75/week over the last two weeks. I'm doing fine with the calorie reduction portion of my agenda. I'm having trouble trying to change my lifestyle to regularly include more activity though. I always seem to have higher priorities than exercising (and those priorities are invariably sedentary). I need to remind myself that even 15 minutes a day is so much better than nothing and that I can exercise with the children around.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mixed /k/ Homework Booklet: Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Book

When I introduce a booklet for the first time I just read the story to the kids. Then I have the children practice the words on the back of the booklet to familiarize them with the pictures. Finally, we read the book together. I read the printed text and prompt them to "read" the pictures by pausing and pointing at the right moments. After the children have read the books several times, they are easily remembering all of the words and "reading" large chunks of the sentences as well. It's a great exercise in using speech target words in a more natural setting and in transitioning to using proper articulation in phrases and sentences. Once the children are pretty good at the stories you can have them read the stories to each other, to a pet, to a friend, or to a grandparent as well.

Mixed /k/ Homework Booklet

To download click on the image to open it full size. Then right click on the image, choose "save as" and save the page to your computer. I recommend you print on cardstock for durability.


This articulation homework booklet is designed to be an extension of my single-syllable card sets. The target words are a mix of one-syllable initial and final words and two-syllable medial words that include no blends and no vocalic /r/ sounds. This booklet is designed to be read by a parent (or therapist, older sibling, classmate, teacher...) and child together. The helper reads the typewritten words pausing for the child to "read" the picture words. Each time the book is read, the helper can put a sticker/stamp/checkmark in one of the boxes on the front of the book. This will encourage multiple practice readings. The child's fluency should increase with each repeated reading. The words on the back page can be used for either auditory bombardment before reading the book together or for drill after finishing reading the book (or both). The target audience for these cards are children with speech delays who are ready to practice /k/ sounds in a more natural context. Move to these exercises to add complexity and increase generalization after the child has achieved good accuracy with single words, single word repetitions, and simple alternating single words with the initial /k/, medial /k/, and final /k/ target words.

Key Features

  • This booklet features 15 initial, medial, and final /k/ words incorporated into a simple story to be read by a helper and child together.
  • The target words are one or two syllable words that do not contain vocalic /r/ sounds or blends.
  • The words are easily understood by or easily taught to young children.


I give permission to copy, print, or distribute this booklet provided that:
  1. Each copy makes clear that I am the document's author.
  2. No copies are altered without my express consent.
  3. No one makes a profit from these copies.
  4. Electronic copies contain a live link back to my original and print copies not for merely personal use contain the URL of my original.

Looking for Feedback

I would love to hear back from anyone who uses this booklet. Let me know if you find errors or there is anything you would change. Comment on this page, or send me an email at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com.

Where can I find more?

More card sets and related printables are on my Free Speech Therapy Articulation Cards page.

Here is a picture of a homework booklet (the /l/ booklet) printed on cardstock and folded into the booklet. It slides nicely in between board books to be pulled out and read during bedtime story time.

Other Speech Practice Booklets Available:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Speech Card Set Activity: Speech Crowns

Print a page or two of a free articulation card set of your choice. Make a paper crown in your child's (or student's) favorite color. Cut out the pictures from the picture cards.

Most little kids love crowns. Show them their crown and tell them that the crown needs to be decorated. Offer a choice of 10-15 small pictures featuring their target words. Have them say all the words and then choose 5-7 favorites. Staple / glue / tape those pictures to the crown. Voila! Speech crowns and happy children.

Once the crown is complete, put it on their head and let them look at themselves in the mirror naming all of their picture choices one last time. Have them label all of the left-overs and offer to give them the extra pictures as a present. Send them home with the crown. As they proudly show it off to their parents they will have yet another opportunity to practice their words. (Or if you're doing this activity at home, have them show their new crown off to their grandparents, a friend, a sibling, or even a family pet. Another option is to take a video of them showing off their crown and telling about all the pictures and then to let them watch the video of themselves.)

(Note: I used my cricut machine to cut out our crowns and pictures because the children love watching the cricut machine work, but simple paper crowns from construction paper along with pictures cut from my card sets will work just as well.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Speech Card Set Activity: Speech Art Collage

Print a page or two of a free articulation card set of your choice. (Printing on cardstock will make the cutting a little more difficult, but the gluing easier. Printing in draft mode will save a bunch of ink.) Either cut all the pictures out yourself (time consuming and only necessary if you need to be super time efficient during the therapy session) or just bring some child safety scissors and let the child cut the pictures out. Also grab some glue and a colorful piece of paper.

Explain the concept of a collage. Let the child cut and glue the pictures on their own, or provide them with the pre-cut pictures. Be sure to discuss and say the target words on each picture as they are chosen, cut out, and glued onto the collage.

Review and Choose
Once the page is complete, review all the words with the child. Then you can either have them hang their "picture" on the wall where you can review it later (great if you're a parent doing this at home) or if you're a therapist, send the completed worksheet home as homework.

This activity is great for carryover because the words are used in a more natural setting (embedded in an art activity). The child gets to practice fine motor skills and strength (cutting/gluing). You get a built-in homework sheet / piece of artwork.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Save, Print, and Use Free Articulation Materials - A New Look

I've completely redone my free articulation resources page. You can always find the page when you need it by clicking on the "Download/Print Free Speech Articulation Materials" link at the top of any page on my blog. I hope the new format is a little easier on the eye and will make it easier to find what you need.

For those of you who haven't visited that page, here is a brief summary of the free speech materials and resources you can find there:

  • Speech Articulation Cards with pictures for a wide variety of sounds. The target words in these cards sets are kept simple (CV, VC, and CVC) in order to be useful with young children, children with severe speech delays, children with childhood apraxia of speech, hearing imparied children, and other populations with similar needs. So far there are over 840 cards available for over 20 target sounds. I add more regularly as I make them.
  • There are a handful of speech homework booklets (six and counting). These are booklets printed on a single sheet of paper and then folded into booklet form. They tell simple stories in a format where young children can participate by "reading" their target word from pictures inserted into parts of the story. Send them home as homework. If you're a parent, print them and keep them in your child's room and read them with your child at bedtime.
  • There are a few other printable resources like some minimal pairs sets, pivot phrase worksheets, and other assorted worksheets.

  • There's a section of tips for parents doing home therapy or home practice sessions with their children.
  • There is also a growing list (15 and counting) of speech games and activities you can do using the free articulation picture cards.

If you like the resources, please consider sending me an email and sharing your experiences using them at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com. Be sure not to miss future cardsets or activity suggestions by subscribing to my blog through email or a feed reader in the upper left hand corner of the page.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I must be crazy. (Planning a long car trip - Help!)

Many factors converged and it occurred to me that I might - just might be willing to attempt a 24 hour (round-trip) car ride with my children without my husband. (I must be crazy.) This is how I arrived at that rather startling conclusion...

There are several factors playing into this decision. Many of my loved ones live a 12 hour drive away in the New Orleans, LA area. We don't get to see them as often as we'd like but they are dear to us. I desperately want my children to have significant relationships with their extended family. They are wonderful people and true connections with wonderful people are gifts to be treasured in life.

The children are slightly, yet significantly older than the last time we made the trek (8 months ago). School is going to start soon, so now is the time. Also, the children are nearing the end of their first set of swimming lessons and my Louisiana relatives have a pool. Finally, I mentioned the idea, somewhat offhandedly, to my mother and she jumped at the chance to drive down with us.

And so, in a couple of weekends I'm going to pack up the children, leave my husband behind, and my mother and I are going to take the children on a 12+ hour car ride to New Orleans, LA for a three day visit before the return trip.

I'm less worried about the actual stay (wonderful relatives, pool in the backyard, a backyard the size of a small park to explore...) than I am about how to fill 24+ hours in a car with a 3 and 4 year old. We'll have access to videos, but even the power of the television wears off. Any suggestions?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Liquid Watercolor Activity: Rubber Cement Resist

Take a piece of watercolor paper and let the children drizzle all over it with rubber cement. (If you have never used rubber cement, be warned - absolutely do not try to clean spills up with water. Seriously, take my traumatized word for it. Just let it dry and then rub it off.) Having completed the project I'll say this. Lay the rubber cement on thick. It'll be easier to rub off. The color bleeds through the resist and the rubber cement is harder to rub off where it is thin. It is still a pretty effect, just not as dramatic and harder to work with.

Once dry, let children paint over the rubber cement with watercolors and let it dry again. Optional: Give the children rice to sprinkle onto the wet watercolors and let it dry with the rice in place for an interesting extra effect. Once dry, shake off the rice (if you did that) and show them how to remove the dry rubber cement by rubbing it off with their fingers.

You should be left with a beautiful abstract painting that demonstrates a resist technique very well.

Notes from the trenches:
  • Again, it cannot be stated too many times, do not attempt to clean up rubber cement spills, drips, or paintbrushes with water.
  • Do use watercolor paper. I forgot and used cardstock by accident. The paper didn't hold up well and we got some tears when trying to remove the rubber cement.

  • Do not offer salt as an additional technique for adding effect. The salt will stick to your rubber cement and make it much, much more difficult to remove the rubber cement from your painting.

(This activity was inspired by this post.)

Other Liquid Watercolor Activities

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Weekly Review: Week 70

SLP Idea of the Week

Think one piece of white paper, a bunch of matchbox cars, and some free printable car pattern templates (you can custom color them with the colors of cars you happen to have) and you have a great game most young children will love to play. During the game, you work on colors, directionality, patterns, following directions, turn taking, counting, etc. It is a simple, entertaining early language activity. Find it at Toddler Approved.

Ava this Week

Ava will occasionally (twice a month perhaps?) wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and wander into our room extremely upset and disoriented. She can't seem to articulate any reason for the nighttime wandering. Someone (usually my husband, his nighttime response time is better than mine) simply has to reassure her gently that everything is all right and lead her back to her room and tuck her in again. She goes right back to sleep and doesn't seem to remember any of it in the morning. Strange.

Weekly Michael

Oh my goodness. I witnessed the birth of potty humor in our household. I was sitting at the table eating a weekday lunch with my children when our world went from one with no awareness of potty humor to a world where small children fall off their chairs laughing hysterically at the word "peepee".

We were innocently discussing nicknames. That led to increasing silliness where the children were rhyming with nicknames and pausing to see the other person's reaction to their rhymes. Ava, discussing a friend she calls "DeeDee" rhymed, "DeeDee PeePee" and paused for her brother's reaction. I turned to look at him. There was an exaggerated pause where I could practically see the wheels in his head turning and then he cracked up belly laughing. I started laughing because he was so funny. Ava just looked at us like we were crazy. Then, after Michael repeated , "DeeDee PeePee" about five times in a row, she understood too.

Things spiraled quickly downhill from there. The children took turns attaching "Peepee" to the name of every family member, friend, and casual acquaintance we know. The children laughed every-single-time. Next they moved on to every animal they could think of. And then it occurred to Michael that if "Peepee" was funny than "Poopy" must be even funnier.

I wish I had taped it. It was actually pretty amazing to watch them have so much innocent fun. Of course, I should probably mention that those jokes aren't appropriate for school...

Weekly Weight Loss

As I discussed last week, I'm using a combination of an online/app food diary and an activity tracker to work on reversing my weight's upward creep. Since this time last week I've lost 0.2 pounds. Not great, but on the positive side I'm still working at it and still motivated. I've dusted off my husband's old bowflex introducing a little weight resistance exercise into the mix which I enjoy. And I fought through several days of increased cravings and bloating that were, I think, related to monthly hormonal changes. So, all in all, an acceptable week in (comparatively) healthy living.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Medial K: Free Speech Therapy Articulation Picture Cards

Medial /k/ Card Set

To download click on the image to open it full size. Then right click on the image, choose "save as" and save the page to your computer.

I recommend you print on cardstock and laminate for durability.


This articulation picture card set is designed to be more comprehensive than the typical sets you might find elsewhere. The target audience for this set is young children or children with more severe speech delays that need intensive practice with medial /k/ at a simple two-syllable level. Syllable shapes are kept as simple as possible and include CVCV, VCV, and CVCVC. If you choose to print the cards with the backs, they will be sorted by difficulty. Level 1 is CVCV and VCV syllable shapes paired with relatively easier consonants. Level 2 is CVCV and VCV syllable shapes paired with more difficult consonants. Level 3 is CVCVC with easier consonants while Level 4 is CVCVC with more difficult consonants. No blends or vocalic /r/ sounds are included in this set. The set pairs the medial /k/ with as many different vowel sounds as possible to maximize co-articulation variety.

Key Features

  • This set includes 30 therapy cards with the target word and picture on the front, and the difficulty level and a carrier phrase on the back.
  • The words are all VCV, CVCV, or CVCVC in syllable shape.
  • The words are easily understood by or easily taught to young children.
  • Combines the target sound with all possible vowel sounds at least once.
  • Words are sorted by difficulty level for an easy progression from less complex to more complex.


I give permission to copy, print, or distribute this card set provided that:
  1. Each copy makes clear that I am the document's author.
  2. No copies are altered without my express consent.
  3. No one makes a profit from these copies.
  4. Electronic copies contain a live link back to my original and print copies not for merely personal use contain the URL of my original.

Looking for Feedback

I would love to hear back from anyone who uses this card set. Let me know if you find errors or there is anything you would change. Comment on this page, or send me an email at testyyettrying(at)gmail(dot)com.

Where can I find more?

More sets are on my Free Speech Therapy Articulation Cards page. Other card sets include /p, b, t, d, m, n, h, f, v, k, g, w, s, z, l, ch, sh, s-blends, and l-blends/ and more sets are being added regularly.

What kinds of activities can I do with this cardset?

  1. 10 Card Set Game and Activity Ideas
  2. Simple Speech Card Puzzles
  3. Speech Card Stories
  4. Speech Card Caterpillar
  5. Speech Card Game: What's Hiding?
  6. Speech Card Game: Speech Switcheroo (An Uno-Style Game)
  7. Speech Card Set Activity: Magnetic Speech Cards
  8. Speech Card Game: Speech Fours
  9. Speech Card Game: Old Maid
  10. Speech Card Set Activity: Bang!
  11. Speech Card Set Activity: What's Hiding Behind Door Number...?
  12. Speech Card Set Activity: Customizing a Homework Sheet
  13. Speech Card Set Activity: Making a Simple Sentence Flipbook
  14. Speech Game: Find-It
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