Top 8 Speech Therapy Dot Marker Ideas

As we know, being "fun" isn't just to win popularity points. There is research that shows "fun" creates engaged and motivated learners which is necessary if a student is going to make progress. These top 8 speech therapy dot markers ideas are an easy way to create engaging sessions for almost any goal! 

#1 Articulation Practice

Dot marker sheets are fantastic for targeting specific speech sounds. I use them all the time! First you need to grab a dot marker sheet that corresponds with your child's goals and then you can target articulation at whichever level you need. 

For example, 

  • Word level - say the word before dotting it or smashing it
  • Word level 2 - say two words in a row before dotting both of them
  • Carrier phrase level - name the picture in a carrier phrase (i.e., "I see a ___" or "Color the ____")
  • Phrase level - Create a phrase about a picture before dotting or smashing it
  • Sentence level - Create a sentence about a picture before dotting or smashing it
  • Sentence level 2 (my favorite one!) - Pick two or more pictures and make a silly sentence. Then, dot or smash them when you are done. his one is great when you are trying to move to the connected speech level!

#2: Concepts - Qualitative/Descriptive

Concepts are needed for both expressive and receptive language skills. Temporal concepts are especially important for being able to follow/give directions and understand/tell stories.

I added NEW dot sheets that target a variety of descriptive concepts:

  • hot/cold
  • little/big
  • smooth/bumpy
  • etc...

To use these materials, tell the child which concept to look for and let them dot/smash away. 

TIP: To work on NEGATION, say that "today is a backwards day." Let's find all things that are NOT HOT, etc...

#3: Concepts - Temporal & Spatial

Again, concepts are needed for both expressive and receptive language skills. Temporal concepts are especially important for being able to follow/give directions and understand/tell stories.

For temporal concepts, you can:

  • grab any dot sheet with pictures and give directions such as "dot the bear after you dot the turtle"
  • try the new temporal dot sheets that I just created in the membership 🙂

For spatial concepts, you can: 

  • grab any dot sheet and give spatial instructions such as "dot the picture next to the house."
  • try one our new spatial concept dots sheets in the membership 🙂

#4: Vocabulary Building

Smash mats can be customized to target vocabulary development. Use them to teach new words and concepts. For example, you can have a mat for "fruits" with images of different fruits, etc...

To do this, you can have the child:

  • name each picture as they dot them
  • define each picture as they dot them
  • name category, location, or function as they dot them

#5: Phonological Awareness

Working on phonemic awareness is crucial for early speech and language development and dot markers/smashmats are fun! So, why not combine them?

To target different phonological awareness skills, you can use the ones on the membership site that targets specific skills OR grab sheets that you have to target the following skills:

  • name the first or last sound before dotting a picture
  • dot all words with 1 syllable one color, 3 syllables a different color, 3 syllables another color, etc...
  • segment sounds before a word before dotting them.

#6: Storytelling and Sequencing

Boost narrative skills by using dot markers and smash mats to tell stories.

Grab a mat with images. It doesn't really matter what they images are! Have the child dot a person or animal and an object and then challenge him or her to create a story with whatever story grammar structure they are working on. This one is actually a lot of fun and a bit silly as the games progresses since you have fewer pictures to choose from.

#7: Grammar & Syntax

Dot markers can help reinforce correct sentence structure and grammar if you get a bit creative!

You will have to adapt any dot marker page to your goals such as:

  • Regular verbs (i.e., "I colored the bike green")
  • Irregular verbs (i.e., "Put playdough on the bee" or "I made the car red")
  • Subject-verb agreement (i.e. "The flower has red petals")
  • You get the idea!

#8: Reinforcement & Motivation

Finally, don't forget to use dot markers and smash mats as reinforcement tools. Offer rewards or incentives for completing tasks on the mat. This can make therapy sessions more motivating and enjoyable, helping your client stay engaged throughout the process.

For this one, I usually grab blank dot sheets so they can create whatever they want during they well-deserved break. 

Access New Materials

Members  - English Materials

  • To access your dot marker sheets for concepts & Following Directions, click here
  • To access your dot marker sheets for phonological awareness, click here
  • To access your dot marker sheets for vocabulary and articulation, click here 
  • To access blank dot marker sheets, click here

Members  - Spanish Materials

  • To access your dot marker sheets for concepts & Following Directions, click here
  • To access your dot marker sheets for phonological awarenes, click here
  • To access your dot marker sheets for vocabulary and articulation, click here
  • To access blank dot marker sheets, click here

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