October 31st, 2012 by

Superheroes In Speech! {And at Home}

Little boys. They love superheroes.

This hasn’t hit in our house yet. My little guy is only 20 months and is currently obsessed with trucks (gucks), cars (gucks), and trains (gucks). And my daughter has been obsessed with princesses since she could say “princess” so needless to say we don’t have any superhero paraphernalia around here.

Yet.

But I have a client (age 4) who LOVES all things superheroes and I have been wanting to incorporate them into our sessions. I found inspiration over at Red Ted Art (great blog, go check it out!) where she makes Superhero Puppets! The second I read her post I KNEW that was what we were going to do.

Make Your Own Superhero Puppets

These are not difficult at all to make. All you need is a computer with internet access, a printer, some heavy paper/card stock, glue and some Popsicle sticks. Since it was Maggie’s idea over at Red Ted Art to make these awesome puppets from some Avengers Fold Figures from Kodak, head over to her post for a quick tutorial on how to make them. The document from Kodak will supply you with 7 Superheros from the movie Avengers (Let’s see if I can name them…Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Thor, and Nick Fury…ok maybe I had to google that…)

And because I knew my client also loved a few other Superheroes…I went ahead and found images for Superman, Spiderman, and Batman…for a grand total of 10 amazing superhero puppets!!

Make Your Own Superhero Masks

If free printable Superhero images that can be used for puppets weren’t enough, Kodak also offers free printable Superhero Masks! Free? Yes please. (I forgot to get a picture of ours..follow the link to check them out…there are three of them).

How I Used These in Speech

First of all, I have to tell you my little guy was beyond stoked to see what I planned for us. As I had hoped these were very motivating. In my speech sessions, I am always trying very hard to keep little ones motivated to do the tasks at hand (be it articulation drill, language concepts, learning to simply request…It’s got to be motivating!) This is not always easy.

This particular client is working on eliminating phonological processes (fronting) so he had to say 10-20 words correctly to earn each superhero (I cut them out as he said his words). Then I let him glue the Popsicle stick to the back after each set of words (work, then short break). We did this over and over until all 10 superheroes were finished and drying. He said around 150 correct productions.

When we finished this, He had to say 20 words to earn each mask (there were three) and an additional 10 words for me to cut the eyes out. So that was another 90 words or so. In the end I actually was working on him saying all the superheroes name’s because many of them had his target sounds (and in fact, his “homework” this week is to do just that with his parents!)

And after that…it was time to PLAY!!

Think Outside the Box

Guess what? Superheroes apparently like to play Don’t Break the Ice.

Iron Man won. Sad day for the Black Widow.

The others cheered us on from afar.

Other Ideas for Superhero Puppets

As my client and I were playing around with the puppets…I starting thinking about all the things you can do with these simple little puppets to work on speech and language skills both in therapy and in the home. You can use these puppets to have a little puppet show while the children practice:

  • Articulation skills (spontaneous speech)
  • Fluency
  • Storytelling/Narration skills
  • Sequencing
  • Turn Taking/Conversational skills
  • Semantics/Syntax (Grammar)

Thoughts for School SLPs

Though I currently am working 1:1 with clients, I have years of experience in the schools and know that it would not be cost effective to make a set of these for each of your students. If you work in the schools…I would make a few sets of these, laminate, then glue to the Popsicle stick and then you can use them in your groups. You can have each student pick one or two superheros to be. They could even wear the masks in your session! Practicing /s/ blends might be a whole lot more fun if you were Captain America, no? The superheroes can play the games too…like ours did ;) OH and you might want to find some images of other female superheroes for your girls! Or maybe princesses.

What do you think? Do you think your clients/students/children would like to make these?

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