Free Speech Therapy: Coffee!!


I LOVE coffee. Besides my family, friends, students, and patients, it may be the next in line on my favorite things on earth list. That is why i was devastated when I spilled an entire bag of organic, fair-trade Colombian coffee all over the kitchen.

As my son and I were cleaning up my heart-break, an idea hit me. Coffee is a deliciously smelling sensory activity with many language learning opportunities! Read on for our free speech therapy coffee ideas!

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Sample Goals

Articulation

  1. /k/ & /f/: Say "coffee" as you pick it up and drop it back in a basket
  2. /d/ & /g/: Say "dig" as you dig through the coffee to find hidden objects
  3. /p/: Say "pour" as you scoop up coffee and pour it back in a basket
  4. /f/: Say "I found" as your child finds hidden objects in the coffee
  5. /th/: Say "I think there are____coffee beans in my hand" as you grab a handful of coffee beans and count how many you picked up

Early Language Goals

  1. Vocabulary: Early words: dig, coffee, smell, pour, shake, mine, yours
  2. Counting: Practice counting coffee beans as high as your child can go
  3. Directions: Give 1-2 step directions such as "put coffee in the orange bucket" or "pour coffee in the big bowl."
  4. Match: Place 2-3 coffee beans on the table. Have your child match the amount. 
  5. Sentence expansion: Practice 3-4 word sentences, "I found a ____" as your child finds hidden treasures that you previously put in the coffee.

Bonus Video

The video below is an example of what you might be able to do using coffee with a toddler. This video is of my son and I playing with coffee. I am attempting to increase his vocabulary by modeling words during play. 




Advanced Language Goals

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

  1. Following Directions: Hide coffee beans somewhere in the house. Then practice giving directions on how to find them. Practice concepts such as turn left and right, forward, backward, under and/or above. Take turns giving directions with your child.
  2. Math Vocab: The vocabulary and language level of math class can be quite difficult. With our coffee beans, practice the concepts "more" and "less" by deciding which piles of coffee have more. Work on taking away and adding (i.e., I have 10 coffee beans, if I took 2 away, how many do I have left?). 
  3. Categorization: Coffee is a drink, it is brown, it is hard, and it smells so good! See if you can find 5-10 more objects that fit into those categories.
  4. Description: Describe coffee beans. Talk about the attributes such as size, shape and color.
  5. Location: Name at least 5 places a person may find coffee.
  6. Similarities/Differences: Name 5 things that are similar to coffee based on function (to drink), feature (size & shape), location (other things in coffee shops), etc...


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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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