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Making Waves in Speech Therapy!

Written By: Kaitlin Bednarz M.S., CCC-SLP

Does your child love playing with water beads? Water beads are perfect for creating an “ocean” at home that your child can play with all summer long! Even better, your child can learn speech and language skills too!


  • Water beads

  • A container

  • Sea animals

First, practice sequencing skills by letting your child make the water beads. You can look at the instructions together and follow the directions in steps. Model transition words such as “first, next, then” when reading. For example, “first take a spoonful of beads and place in a container."

You can also talk about vocabulary when making the beads such as:

  • Verbs: pour, dump, add, soak, take, place, drain

  • Adjectives: colors, size, number of spoonfuls/cups of water, time (for how long the beads need to soak)

Once you’ve made the water beads, it’s time to add in some sea animals! Let your child explore the sea animals in the water bead ocean! You can then practice the following skills:

Describing: label some facts about each sea animal:

  • Appearance, parts of the animal (i.e., pinchers, fins), size of the animal, what the animal likes to eat, etc! This is a fantastic opportunity to learn new vocabulary and build phrases!

  • You can target this receptively too and ask your child to identify the sea animal you are describing! For example: “I’m thinking of a sea creature that is red and has pinchers.” Then let your child guess the animal!


Have your child act out “swim”, “jump”, “eat”, etc. in the water bead ocean.

Following directions

Practice following directions by giving your child 1-3 steps. For example, “make the shark swim then sleep” or “give me the crab then the whale”.

Pretend play

There are so many pretend play routines you can create in an ocean! Act out a shark attack, a fish race, sea creatures going to “school”, etc.

We hope your child has fun making waves in your water bead ocean while growing speech and language skills!

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