A muffin tin is one of my all-time, favorite speech therapy “toys” which I found for $.50 at a garage sale. I’m sure you can pick one up at the dollar store, or most likely you already have one in your house.
A muffin tin is really a speech-language therapist’s dream “toy!” for 3 reasons:
- It can be used to target almost any goal
- It’s naturally motivating (children love put things into things)
- You get 12 repetitions!
How To Use A Muffin Tin During Therapy
Articulation therapy is a therapy that works on saying sounds.
Pick an object around the house which contains a target sound. For example, you might find 12 toy cars if you are working on initial /k/.
For young children, prompt them to say "car" with a good /k/ to receive a car which they then can place in the muffin tin. That's it! Believe it or not, it is super motivating.
For older children, you may have to be more creative. Find 12 cars and then say each muffin tin is a garage. The child has to say "car" (if they are at the single word level) to get a car or "car in garage" (if the child is at the phrase level) to receive a car to put in the garage.
If you are unsure if your child needs to be working on speech skills, check out our speech development and intelligibility page for guidance.
Using a muffin tin to target language skills is easy but may take more preparation.
For example, if you are working on colors, all you have to do is find 12 objects of varying colors to be placed in the muffin tin!
If you are working on descriptors, find hard, soft, small, large, and/or bumpy objects such as rocks, marbles, cotton balls, balls, etc... Have the child describe the attribute of each object before putting them in the muffin tin.
The overall theme is to find 12 objects that fit the language targets.
Again - Easy. Done.
If you are unsure which language skills your child should work on, don't forget to try our free screeners!
- /b/: Say “ball” as you place a ball in each tin
- /k/: Say "block" as you put a block in each tin
- /t/: Say "tea" as you find 12 tea bags for your tin
- /m/: Say "m&m" as you put one piece of candy in each tin and have fun eating them after!
- /g/: Say “gum” as you place a stick of gum in each tin
You get the idea! The best part is that you get 12 reps of a sound!
Early Language Goals
- Colors: Name colors of blocks as you place one in each tin
- Animals: (categories) - Name each animal as it takes its “nap” in a tin
- Counting: Count to 12 as you put a rock in each tin
- Verbs: Practice "shake" and "jump" as you shake all the rocks in the tin and watch as they "jump" out
- Vocabulary/Naming: Name different small obejcts that fit in your muffin tin
Advanced Language Goals
Below are great speech therapy ideas that focus on sorting or sequencing language concepts!
- Sorting: Group things based on a feature such as color or size.
- Sequencing: Practice first, second, and third sequence words.
- Size: Find small or big rocks for each tin
- Number: first tin has 1 bean, 2nd tin has 2, etc…
- Soft Attribute: Fill each tin with soft things such as cotton balls or baby socks
- Hard Attribute: Fill each tin with hard objects such as rocks or blocks
- Round: Find any object that is round and put it in the tin