Kids of all ages love Toy Story. (Insert 40 year old me raising my hand high!!!) So during the COVID-19 pandemic, I chose to use a Toy Story theme in hopes to make my teletherapy sessions more engaging for the kids. I had done a Toy Story theme several years ago when Toy Story 3 had been in theaters. It had went over well then so why not? This time around I was able to use more videos and interactive apps in my speech therapy sessions than I had the last time.
Toy Story Books for Speech Therapy
I found a very simple short book on Amazon that I used with some of my clients during our online speech therapy adventures. (The Kindle format is free if you have Prime!) Books don’t always go as well online as they do in person. That’s why I did not use the book with everyone. I found the “The Longest Day” on Amazon and downloaded it to my desktop Kindle Cloud reader. Using the Cloud reader allows the book to be on the screen rather than the child seeing it through the webcam…MUCH BETTER! It’s not a long book so that makes it even better. It’s the story of the toys waiting on Andy to get out of school for the summer…(hint perfect for the last week of school!) The toys have to find ways to keep themselves busy to make the day go by faster, only to find out they forgot about the party after school!
Speech Therapy Activities for Toy Story
I had to create several activities to make this Toy Story theme come to life. Since all things Disney are copyright, it does make it difficult finding good clipart…or any clipart at all! As luck would have it, I found some clipart to make a set of resources. I created an interactive set to work on a variety of language targets for my preschool to early elementary population. I was able to use this with the clients I saw in person since not everyone was a fit for teletherapy. I did make a BOOM learning set to work on answering “Who” questions and understanding spatial concepts. You can find it here.
A fun toy to use during this theme is a piggy bank. I have one that fit perfectly. We even called him Hamm! You may have seen this little guy floating around the speech therapy world on Instagram. He’s a pretty popular toy. I found mine at Marshall’s several years ago for pretty cheap. You can also find him here.
Another great toy to use during your Toy Story theme is Mr Potato Head! I also have a Mrs. but didn’t get her out this time around. I used my new potato head, Movin’ Lips Mr. Potato Head. I happened to find him on Amazon a few weeks ago for less than $8!! What a steal! However, this link will take you to him at a higher price. To work on verbs and increased MLU, I also have a matching game that is Mr. Potato Head. I have had this game forever! If you don’t have a Mr. Potato Head in your collection (GET ONE!) but you can find a freebie on BOOM Learning made by Telehealth Specialists. You can make Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head. I have been using this one QUITE A BIT for teletherapy! It has been lifesaver in many cases.
So far, we have only addressed language activities. Now we get to the articulation fun! You can easily adapt a Mr. Potato Head to an articulation for little ones. Say a target word correctly 5x and earn a piece to put on him. This is great for in person therapy or using the freebie BOOM set for teletherapy. I also created a PDF inspired by Woody’s saying “There’s a snake in my boot!” I used the PDF in teletherapy by using the annotating tool to color the snakes as the child said a target word correctly 3-5x. You can find that freebie in my FREE resource library! (You can sign up here.) This same freebie can be used for in person therapy as well!
Additional Toy Story Resources for Speech Therapy
When I mentioned the book earlier, I said that I only used it with some of my clients. For my younger clients, I actually used the Toy Story Shorts on YouTube. I preferred the ones on YouTube because they were broken up into parts. Many of my clients watched “Small Fry” which is the story of Buzz being left in a kids’ play place at a restaurant. The kid’s meal toy Buzz ends up going home with Bonnie instead. I would pause the video throughout the video to ask questions. I used it with both articulation and language clients. I also used “Partysaurus Rex” for some of the clients working on language targets.
As a reward at the end of the session, we “went” to Disney and rode the Slink the Dog roller coaster! I will say in this whole teletherapy adventure, I have loved finding fun ride videos for us to go on. I may actually carry this activity over for clients!
One last tip…Check out your local dollar store! I found great Toy Story themed puzzles for $1 each at my local one. These will be great if you are doing in person therapy. You can see here how I adapt some of my puzzles for articulation activities!