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Speech Therapy Activities Your Kids will Beg For: Smash It!

Smash It! Speech therapy activities your students will beg for! Activities for playing with colored dough. This ice-cream scoop smash mat has balls of colored play dough "smashed” flat by a child’s hand to create colorful ice-cream scoops above the printed cones and icecream dishes on the mat.

Choosing speech therapy activities for group speech and language sessions can be a challenge.

Sometimes sessions can get a little craaazy for sure when kids are bored waiting their turn to talk or play a game. The problem multiplies when you have several children in a group. Billy interrupts constantly, Sarah is talking to Myah and Cole is pinching and poking everyone at the table.

You spend so much time redirecting behavior, that you can only manage to get a few repetitions for each student and by the end of the session you’re frustrated and exhausted. Sound familiar?  Here’s the secret:

Use hands-on, high-interest speech therapy activities that keep little hands engaged!


Add an action verb like “smash” to the task, and the kids are all for it. I’m going to share my favorite hands-on speech therapy activities to keep those wiggly, antsy little ones engaged and focused during sessions. Activities that are low to no-prep and don’t interrupt the flow of your sessions.

Let’s talk about a favorite way to use play dough…

Smash It! A building sentence length speech therapy activity with Go Away Big Green Monster Smash Mats. Three balls of orange dough are on the monster smash mat, sitting on circles that say Big, Green and Monster. Children will smash a ball of dough as they say each word. By Speech Sprouts
Go Away Big Green Monster Companion

Keep children engaged with play dough and smash mats.

Using play dough in speech and language therapy is a great fine motor and sensory activity- it’s really very satisfying. Kids love the feel of the dough as they roll, pinch, and poke the dough. (Instead of each other!)
There are lots of ways to use play dough. Sometimes I simply hand each child some play dough and let them get creative with it. We also love smash mats.


How to use smash mats in speech therapy

    1. Grab your favorite smash mat, or make a simple one yourself. Just draw circles (or silly smiley faces) on a page and laminate it. You can also pop it into a page protector if you don’t have lamination.


2. Give each child some dough and have them roll small balls to put on top of each circle. I like to give my kiddos extra so they don’t have wait time after rolling the balls. They can continue rolling and squishing their extra dough while waiting their turn.

    3. Practice your target goal. Ready-made smash mats may have questions or words to practice on each circle. Open-ended ones are great too.
    4. My favorite part… Smash it! After your students give you a response. they take a fist or palm and squash that ball of dough flat.
    5. Add an extra element of practice each time they smash a ball of dough. If you’re working on:
  • final “sh” or verbs: Have your student say “squish, squash” as they smash their dough.
  • the pronoun “I” or verb tenses:  Prompt students to say “I will smash it. Smash!  or “I smashed it.”
  • Expanding sentences or using descriptive words: “I smashed the green one. I smashed the red one.”


There are so many ways to use play dough in speech therapy. What’s your favorite?

I also keep cookie cutters and tiny rolling pins in a bucket for more dough-filled sessions. We talk about sizes, shapes, verbs, and textures as we play. Add an element to increase the fun: wiggle eyes for monsters, birthday candles, hand them a butter knife and a toy plate… the possibilities are endless.  Incorporate language and play with a purpose!

Here’s where to find smash mats at Speech Sprouts

CVC Articulation Smash Mats with Wheels on the Bus  This is an entire pack of smash mats (or dot marker pack with the included BW) There are pictures on the wheels of each bus for CVC words. Mats for initial and final phonemes are included. Find more ideas for your school bus theme in this post: Wheels on the Bus: Transportaion Week!
Go Away Big Green Monster Book Companion  I included sentence construction and describing smash mats pictured above in this fun pack of speech and language activities. If you haven’t read this book, it’s so much fun for little ones. Read more ideas to go with Go Away Big Green Monster.
Articulation and Language Activities for SK This pack includes the fun ice cream scoop smash mat pictured in this post, plus a fun articulation story and more activities for the /sk/ blend.
The snowmen are having a snowball fight in this frosty set! Roll your snowballs and get ready to practice with 40 mats for 22 phonemes in both initial and final word positions and the /sn/ blend too. If you’re putting together speech therapy activities for your winter snowman theme, you’ve got to check out these 3 Easy Snowman Activities.
Who has a Scarf? An /sk/ Articulation Freebie Find the pictures of animals that have a scarf, and splat a snowball on them!

What are your favorite hands-on speech therapy activities?

I’d love to hear from you. Have fun!

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