ABCs 4 SLPs: C is for Cards
Cue cards. Card games. Business cards. Conversation starter cards. Vocabulary cards. There are so many ways to use cards in therapy that I almost don't know if I can fit them all into one post! I'm going to try to show you as many ways as I can that you can use cards in speech and language therapy in this post. Can I do it or will it overload the page? How many different strategies can I fit into one post? To find out, continue reading my post on using cards in speech-language therapy!
Many of the cards I purchase I find at the Dollar store, thrift stores, or Target's Dollar Spot. I find the most random and awesome cards at thrift stores, ones that may be out of print. A few examples of card decks I purchased at a thrift store are Curious George Adventures: Beginning, Middle, & End Jumbo Card Game, a Dr. Seuss opposite card game, and I Can Learn With Pooh: Pooh's Go-Together Game Learning Game Cards.
(The cards in the Curious George game tell a story. Have the students find the cards that go together and then sequence the story. Finally, students can tell the story aloud.)
(Dr. Seuss Opposite cards are great for learning opposites! On one side in color is a vocabulary word and on the other side is its opposite in black and white. Have students guess the opposite before they turn the card over!)
(Pooh's Go-Together Game has cards of objects that go together in a given category. Once you find the two cards that go together, they will also match up on the back to line up to make an image of Pooh bear using the two items on the front of the card.)
Most of the cards that are found at Target's Dollar Spot, Target (non-Dollar Spot) and Dollar Stores are flash cards that involve vocabulary concepts, especially for preschool and Kindergarten students to promote reading, vocabulary, and social readiness. Some decks of cards that I have found at Target and the Dollar Store are Veggie Tales Mind Your Manners Cards, Picture Word Puzzle Cards, and Puzzle ABC & 123 card decks.
(Veggie Tales Mind Your Manners game has lots of good skills on each card. Veggie Tales may be Christian-based but you won't have to worry about separate of church and state or cultural religious views with these cards (other than the knowledge of the company that makes them) because there are no mentions of religion on any of these cards. Also, the characters are vegetables so there is not a cultural bias.)
(These Picture Word Puzzle Cards are great because not only do they have images that link together on each card, but letters to learn how to form 3-letter words as well as a sentence on the back!)
(This came in a 3-pack at the Dollar Store a while back and I could not resist! The Puzzle Cards are great for talking about different parts of objects. The ABC cards are great for letter recognition, upper/lower case letter matching, and parts.)
What would this post be without mentioning the Fun Deck cards from one of my favorite companies? Super Duper Publications has many decks of cards called "Fun Decks" and they come in all kinds of different concepts! From irregular verbs to idioms to articulation, there is a Fun Deck for everything! Below are three different games you can play with their Artic Photos Fun Decks - Memory, Go Fish, and War!
(If you're a SLP and you haven't played Memory yet with these cards, it is one of the easiest ways to drill sounds and have fun at the same time! Just lay as many matches out face down in a grid and then you can play against students or they can play against each other to find matches! Make sure they say their sounds as they flip over the cards!)
(Here's another game from the Artic Photos manual and a favorite of all of my students - Go Fish! Pass out some cards to your students for their hands (make sure they are equal and as many as you think appropriate for the time left in the session). Then, place the rest in the middle. If the student has a match, they lay it down. If the student wants to ask another student if they have a card, they choose a student to ask. If the other student has the card, they give it to the student. If the other student doesn't have the card, he or she says "Go Fish" and the student draws a card from the draw pile in the middle. Of course, make sure that they are using their speech sounds when they ask if the other student "has a _____"!)
(Each Super Duper Fun Deck Card has a number at the top for matching games (and so you know that you haven't lost them all). With the numbers, you can play War with your students! This fast-paced game is sure to get a lot of practice of speech sounds during a session! Each time a student lays down a card against the other student, make sure they both say the words on their cards. Whoever has the higher number keeps both cards.)
(If the pictures and the numbers match, each student must lay three cards face down and one card at the end face up. Then, compare the end cards and whoever has the higher number gets all of the cards for that hand. I always make the winner say their end card three times too. Whoever has all of the cards at the end (or the most if you run out of time) wins.)
Cards can also help you think of conversational topics, especially when you are having difficulty thinking of a topic for a language sample or working with a student on the autism spectrum. One of my favorite card products is Table Topics. These come in a variety of themes from Family to Kids to Road Trip. When I was younger, my mother purchased me a cube of Table Topics cards because I wanted to use them on vacation at the dinner table. I have kept those cards all of these years and still use them in therapy to this day.
Many websites offer conversation card printables. One I found floating around Pinterest is the iMom (not to be confused with the iMums) who have made TONS of conversational topic cards to use when interacting with their children. Below is an example of a free printable you can download, print, and laminate from their site.
Another company that has great cards to use with students who are on the autism spectrum is Autism Teaching Strategies. Joel Shaul, who I talked about in my review of The Green Zone product, has created multiple materials including many cards that can be used with people who have autism. Three different examples of products he has made are Tattling and Correcting Cards, The Conversation Box, and The World of Ryuu Card Game.
(Use these Tattling and Correcting cards with a student who tattles or corrects others when it is "not a big deal" or inappropriate. They are great for role-playing these type of situations to decide whether or not it is appropriate to tattle.)
(Use The Conversation Box cards with students who are working on conversational skills, especially maintaining appropriate conversations. These cards have an image of people talking in a situation and include text to reinforce various topics of conversation.)
(The World of Ryuu Card Game is very detailed. It not only has fantasy concepts, which many clients on the autism spectrum enjoy, but works on social skills within the game. This game uses a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy approach.)
There are many ways to use cards to keep children and adults safe when they are in public and have trouble communicating. Some examples are to place emergency contact information on a card, information about ones' communication difficulties on a card, and having allergy information on a card. Here is an example of the last card mentioned as a free printable on Paper and Pigtails blog.
(Very important emergency/allergy information cards from Paper and Pigtails.)
Many speech-language pathologists and teachers have started using Teachers Pay Teachers to sell their products online. Many of these people are bloggers who have uploaded card deck games. One such product is S'More Categories from the blog Speech Room News. You can purchase the cards on her Teachers Pay Teachers site for only $2!
(Image from the Speech Room News' website displaying her S'More Categories product.)
There are many websites that offer flash cards and cue cards for free. Some of these websites include Speaking of Speech, Sparklebox, Twinkl, MES English, ESL Flash Cards, and Boggles World ESL. There are so many more, I just don't have time to list them all!
Finally, there are TONS of flash card apps where you can make your own flash cards or use pre-made interactive flash cards. Some of these are great for drill and learning vocabulary, others can create flash cards for games, and more can be great for memorization skills! Some examples of these apps include:
- Super Duper Fun Deck apps
- Kindergarten.com apps
- ABC apps (there are TONs of ABC flash card apps)
- ASL apps (there are TONS of ASL flash card apps)
- Custom Boards (you can create flashcards on this app)
- Picture Card Maker (you can create flashcards on this app)
- Tapikeo (you can create flashcards on this app)
- Flashcards+ (you can create flashcards on this app)
- Sight Words Flash Cards
- Baby Flash Cards+
- Sight Words List
- StudyBlue Flash Cards (you can create flashcards on this app)
- PCS Flash card apps
I know this post was long and perhaps overwhelming, but I hope it gave you all some ideas of how to use cards other than just using them for drill, games, or memorizing details!