Speech Therapy Shoe Box

My speech therapy shoe box idea came to me by accident which I will get to into a minute. The most important take-home message is that this idea if FREE, flexible, and EASY!

speech therapy shoe box

So, one day, 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.

My little boys were instantly attracted to this box and really designed all the games listed below. It kept us busy for days during this rainy, cold spring. Enjoy!

Speech therapy using a 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!

Speech Therapy Show Box Video

Sample Goals


  1. /b/: Say “box” to open up the box and retrieve a block or toy as part of a game
  2. /p/: Say “push” as you push a domino 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...

Click here for more resources and activities for articulation therapy. 

Early Language Goals:  Vocabulary of  less than 20 words

  1. More: Give your child a domino and 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...

If you need more guidance on encouraging those precious first words, read more at Toddler Talk. 

Early Language Goals: Vocabulary of more than 20 words

  1. Attributes: Some concepts to target are size, colors, and textures. 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, or say colors as you place colored blocks in the box.
  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. 

If you need more guidance on expanding those first words, read more at Toddler Talking.

Advanced Speech & Language Goals

Below are great ideas to use for children 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), and sound (shake the box). 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."

More functional, low-prep activities!

If you are like me and need functional, low-prep speech therapy activities, then check out all the resources we have for you, here. 

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