I am currently going on my fourth year as a Speech-Language Pathologist providing services via teletherapy. In all that time, I have played around a little with changing my background scene using the Zoom platform. I didn’t attempt my hand at using the Green Screen features on Zoom until the Covid-19 pandemic hit. To say that I was a Green Screen Hot Mess is being very generous to myself.
There are some of us out there that are amazing and creative in making the green screen work for them. If you are one of them, I salute you! I, too, wanted to join the green screen SLP community and have an additional tool in my SLP toolkit to help my students succeed. Serena and Kylie from PlaySpark Toys helped me. They provided me with their introductory kit and some of their extra felt piece sets to review; however, the opinions in this post are all mine.
PlaySpark Toys is a small business developed by a Speech-Language Pathologist, Serena, and an Occupational Therapist, Kylie, who were both seeing great success with their clients using green screen technology when the pandemic hit and services changed into using a distance learning model. They started sharing tips and lesson plan ideas on Facebook and saw a need from colleagues that were struggling to get their green screen technology to work and look so seamless.
WHAT DOES PLAYSPARK TOYS CURRENTLY OFFER?
- Green Screen Distance Learning Kit – This introductory kit includes a 6 x 6 ft Felt Green Screen, easy to use hardware hit to get your screen up, two green sticks (to incorporate floating images), adhesive green felt pocket ( it becomes invisible), magnifying glass, six large felt food items, and a tote bag (for easy storage).
- Additional Felt Pockets
- Additional Felt Foods
- Farm Animal Felt Set
- Clothing Felt Set
- Ice Cream Felt Set
- Build a Face Felt Set
- Vehicles Felt Set
PlaySpark also includes background scenes to use with these felt sets for free on their website and in their Teachers Pay Teachers store. If you do not want to buy the already created felt set but would prefer to print out and create your own, you can also purchase the visuals to do so on their website. The heading says “currently” because I have a feeling that these creative ladies will continue to expand their felt sets to save the rest of us time as they share additional ideas for lessons to make green screen magic! I look forward to seeing what else they create.
|Feed the Cat- NOT a Fruit Negation Activity with Food Set|
WHAT SPEECH-LANGUAGE GOALS CAN BE TARGETED USING A GREEN SCREEN?
- Receptive Identification by name and/or Semantic Features
- Vocal Play (Farm animal sounds)
- Expressive Vocabulary Building and Labeling
- Expressive Description Building Skills
- Verbs, Pronouns, Prepositional phrases
- Sentence Expansion
- Asking and Answering Wh-Questions
- Reduction in Phonological Processing Errors (target velars, final consonant deletion, stops, consonant clusters, etc..)
- Build Social Skills (requesting, feelings/emotions, understanding facial expressions)
- Sequencing Skills
- Narrative Building Skills
- Using Fluency Shaping and Stuttering Modification Techniques
The only thing that limits the use of a green screen is your own creativity and imagination. So the sky is the limit!
WHY DO I LOVE THESE PRODUCTS?
When the green screen craze started, I ran off to the Dollar Store, Walmart, and Target in search of green screen compatible resources to create a green screen and all of the green screen magic. My greens did not match and I did some damage to my walls (too many holes and paint peeling, shhh… don’t tell the Hub). To sum it up, I failed miserably and spent more than I care to admit.
Their Green Screen Distance Learning Kit saved me! It is so easy to put up and since it is all felt, I did not need to put additional holes in my wall! In fact, the green screen now “hides” the damage that I inflicted. I also appreciate that everything is already prepped and ready for me to go! I do not have to create my own felt pockets to create the illusion that items disappear and reappear. I do not have to purchase a magnifying glass and then spend that time cutting to cover it nor do I need to paint sticks to have items float. They already did that for me! Their felt sets also save me time since they have a variety of kits that are commonly used for early vocabularies such as facial features (body parts), foods, farm animals, and vehicles.
|Mrs. Potato – Body Parts/Facial Expressions Felt Set Activity|
As a Speech-Language Pathologist that has been in the field for a while, I appreciate that it was so easy to set it up and start right away targeting such a wide variety of goals! I also appreciate that the creators behind PlaySpark Toys are both in allied health fields and understand our students’ needs since they are also working with students.
Customer service is another reason why I love this new company and the resources that they create! They are extremely helpful and willing to help with trouble-shooting and share tips and lesson ideas in their various social networking platforms. I think that extra effort to help everyone become a Green Screen Queen is tremendously helpful for both new Speech-Language Pathologists and those of us who have been in the field for some time and may not be as technology savvy.
WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO I HAVE FOR IMPROVEMENT?
The one thing I noticed is that on some of the felt sets, they did not remain up on my felt screen for a long time. This was a quick and easy fix by adding a small Velcro circle to those pieces that did not want to remain on the screen. It would be helpful if a few little Velcro pieces could be added to the kits for those few felt pieces that want to be difficult.
To be honest, that was the only helpful suggestion that I could think of for improvement. This is a young company (only a few months old); however, they are sharing their knowledge via social media platforms, make time to answer questions and help troubleshoot, provide free backgrounds and ideas, offer pre-made felt sets and/or visuals that you can purchase separately to create your own props, and they save the rest of us so much time for a fraction of what we might be paying trying to recreate it on our own.
My only other feedback here is to keep it up, ladies! The work you are doing to help the rest of us that are Green Screen Hot Messes to become Full Fledged Green Screen Queens is greatly appreciated! I look forward to seeing what future sets you may create and therapy ideas you share.
I really appreciate the resources and support provided by PlaySpark Toys. With just a few hooks, I can easily put up and take down my green screen with ease and do not have to worry about making additional holes in my wall. I am pretty sure my Hub appreciates this too since I do not need to borrow his height to set up my green screen or take it down over and over (ie. “Please, can you hold this side up so that I can put the pushpin in again. Oh, wait! No, it is not over far enough. Got it! Wait.. that side is far too low and does not cover part of the wall that I need to be covered”). My 10-year-old daughter has also enjoyed playing with the green screen and her imagination has sparked mine too and has led to additional smiles and giggles between us as we played.
The Green Screen Distance Learning Kit retails for $45.00 at PlaySpark Toys. They also offer additional accessories and felt sets at a retail range of $5.00-$20.00. I will definitely be looking into the additional felt sets as they continue to grow!
LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION AND ADDITIONAL TIPS TO BE A GREEN SCREEN QUEEN?
You can get additional ideas on ways to use their resources and expand your own imagination in the Green Screen Speech Therapy Facebook Group and on their PlaySpark Toys Youtube Channel.
How do you think you would use this product? Tell me in the comments below if you have PlaySpark Toy’s Green Screen Distance Learning Kit or if you have used their tips to successfully create your own. How are you using a green screen for speech therapy? Do you have any favorite therapy ideas?