Cleaning Out the Closets

Over the past few weeks I have been trying to thin out my daughter’s massive collections of books and stuffed animals. (I have to do this very sneakily, since each item I attempt to get rid of is “MY FAAAAVORITE!!”) Through this process, I noticed that many of her stuffed animals are actually book characters. So, today I have just a few suggestions for using stuffed characters as an opportunity to for kiddos to do something “hands-on” during therapy.


Skippyjon Jones

Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat who thinks he is a Chihuahua. This ever growing series of books by Judy Schachner currently features 6 titles, which include the original Skippyjon Jones, Class Action, Lost in Spice, Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones, Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble, and Skippyjon Jones in the Dog House. Each story features Skippyjon’s adventures as he tries to be a dog. The books are available here, but you can also watch videos of each book being read here (it’s free!!). Scholastic also offers a lesson plan about diversity that could be adapted for the speech room. The Skippyjon Jones website includes several downloadable worksheets that may be useful for therapy as well as a curriculum connections guide for teachers, and several other lesson plans and activities that could be adapted for therapy. Another option would be to practice following directions with the “dress up Skippyjon” game included on the website. If you choose to use a stuffed Chihuahua/Siamese cat with this lesson, kiddos could practice following directions and demonstrate understanding of positional words by manipulating the stuffed animal. If you have kiddos who are working on more basic following directions goals, they could use the stuffed animal to mimic what Skippyjon does in the book (ie “make Skippyjon Jump”). Another option would be to practice comparing and contrasting using this worksheet featuring a Chihuahua and a Siamese Cat. This is good because it can be fairly simple or more complex depending on the needs of the specific student. Finally, if your kiddos are working on using context clues, you could use this worksheet to go along with the original book.


old lady

The Old Lady…

I’m sure we all know this hungry old lady. While there are multiple versions of this story in which the old lady swallows any number of non-edible items, the one I happen to have is There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick. In this version the old lady swallows the following: a chick, an egg, some straw, some candy, a basket, and a bow. Fortunately, many if the things she eats are household items and I was able to find all of them around the house (as well as a few extras like the dog and frog, who aren’t mentioned in the text, but appear in the illustrations). With these items, kiddos can act out the happenings of the book. If you are super ambitious, you could enlarge a color copy of the book cover and cut a hole where the old lady’s mouth is. Then they could actually “feed” the items to the old lady. Another bit of fortune is that I am not the first person to recognize this book as a good therapy tool. The TPT store offers several paid and free activities to go along with it. Some of the free options include a sequencing activity, an open ended homework packet, a Cranium Cariboo Companion Game, a retelling activity, and Granny Says! (following directions) among several other freebies that can be found by searching “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick” on the TPT store.

These are just a few of the options I came up with while cleaning out the clutter at home. Do you “borrow” items from your own children/nieces and nephews/friends’ kids/etc. to use in therapy? What types of Items have you found to be the most useful?


One thought on “Cleaning Out the Closets

  1. Abby Ramser says:

    I LOOOOOOVE the Old Lady. I use repetitive phrases and record them on a switch for my kiddos or have them follow pictures in the book to work on eye tracking 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s