Speech Therapy: Shoe Box

Enjoy our free speech therapy idea using a shoe box, cards, and dominoes!

This idea came to me by accident. I decided I had ENOUGH with uncomfortable shoes and I splurged for one of the most comfortable shoes I have ever bought. As a bonus, it came with a very sturdy box full of little surprises which I will get to in a minute.

My little explorers really designed all the games listed below. It kept us for days during this rainy, cold spring. Enjoy!

Really, these shoes are very comfortable. I must recommend them below. 

Okay, I digress, back to the topic at hand....speech therapy!

Shoe Box

This shoe box has many little holes and slots as you can see in the picture above. These little features are amazingly motivating. If you are creative, you can use it to target:

  • Articulation
  • Following directions
  • Vocabulary
  • Concepts
  • And More!

Sample Goals


  1. /b/: Say "box" to open up the box and retreive a block or toy as part of a game
  2. /p/: Say "push" as you push a dominoe in the little hole or a card through the "slot."
  3. /m/: Say "more" to get a another toy to put in the box
  4. Etc....

Early Language Goals:  Vocabulary of  less than 20 words

  1. More: Give your child a domino, then say "more" while showing your child another domino. Say "more" and wait a few seconds to see if your child will say it. Say, "more" or have your child say "more" before each turn.
  2. Open: Say "open" before opening the box and taking out a "treasure" such as a block. Say "open" and wait a few seconds to see if your child will repeat the word. If your child says "open" spontaneously, open the box immediately and give your child a block. Etc...

Early Language Goals: Vocabulary of more than 20 words

  1. Attributes: Some concepts to target: size (big vs little), colors, texture "bumpy vs smooth." For example, find all the "bumpy" toys and put them in the box. Talk about how the toys are bumpy. Make it fun and exciting to find a "bumpy" toy with an animated voice!
  2. Vocabulary: Practice naming toys while you put them in the box. For example, you could use toy food and have the box "eat it," toy animals and name the animals as they slide down the box lid, say colors as you place colored blocks in the box, etc...
  3. Verbs: Practice "open," "close," "eat," "slide," "push," and or "shake."
  4. Sentence expansion: Practice 2-3 word sentences. For example, if your child can say "block" already. Prompt him/her to say "block" before he/she takes a block out of the box. Once he/she gets comfortable, say "block, more block" and wait to see if your child will repeat it. If not, model the 2 word sentence again and wait. If he/she still doesn't say "more blocks," then move on and praise for "good listening." Keep modeling 2 word sentences will playing. 

Please review how to talk to your toddler and develop language.

Advanced Speech & Language Goals

Below are some great ideas to use for children who are working on later developing concepts.

  1. Guessing Game: Hide an object in the box. Then have your child try to guess! Talk about different attributes such as size (must be small enough to fit in the box), weight (pick up the box), sound (shake the box). You can give clues too! Focus on the category of the object (i.e. what group it fits in to), location (where you might find the object), function (what you can do with the object), and parts (different parts of the object. SLP's....think EET!
  2. Articulation: Practice saying an articulation card before putting it in the "mailbox."


My adorable son wanted to make a video showing our "mail box." Enjoy :)

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Find some more speech therapy ideas for the home here!

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference.

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Author of  child language development eBook series

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