I am finding it hard to believe that it is the end of November. Today as I sit here writing, it is the first time that I have allowed myself to think about Christmas. I am not ready for Christmas. Where did I store those Christmas decorations! Here in Australia we are not only preparing for Christmas but also for our summer holidays, so we have all the end of the year stuff as well. So with the end of the year racing towards Christmas, here a list of Speech Therapy activities to spice up your therapy for the festive season.
As I wrote about last year, in our clinic we like to acknowledge the end of year and the exciting time of Christmas. We make reindeer food as it is something which is economical for our workplace, fun and, with so many allergies on the rise, not food related.
I have been shopping this morning for glitter, cellophane bags and oats, in preparation for our last sessions of the year. Click through for your freebie Reindeer Food tags. The resource also contains pictures to support language so that the activity can become part of your session. With younger children, you can target requesting, or use the pictures to set up a sequencing activity about Christmas Eve. This can be expanded for older children to be the beginning of a narrative.
So, what else is out there?
Well heaps – here are few of my favourites.
On a recent trip to Kmart I found these Christmas erasers to add to my collection. Of course, I bought two sets to increase the number of activities I can use them for. I am thinking about teaming them with some fake snow or white play dough (even though snow is the last thing on our minds in an Australian summer) to target sentences with verbs and pronouns, following instructions and with older children as a basis for a narrative. They are so cute.
As a lover of playdough for therapy this idea sparked my interest as another idea for a Christmas gift. Play dough is easy to make and inexpensive. There is a link to an easy homemade recipe on the site. All you need to do is grab some cellophane bags, tinsel and a few sparkly things and you are ready to go. There are free playdough bag labels available on the Learn with play at home site. I imagine it would be easy to incorporate the setup into sessions targeting prepositions, sequencing and requesting.
To continue the playdough theme. Print off some Christmas themed Playdough mats from Totschooling. You can target vocabulary through a what’s missing? game. A barrier could be set up by printing out two mats and setting up a barrier. Use different colour playdough to increase the level of difficulty.
Want to make your playdough a little more festive? Check out Peppermint Scented Candy.
The Gingerbread baby is a great Christmas book. This pack includes lots of printables. There are gingerbreads in different sizes to work on comparatives and concepts of size. The story planner can be used to support a retell as well to brainstorm vocabulary. There is a worksheet on colours and so much more.
Everyone loves a game of I Spy (Simple Play Ideas) and a Christmas theme makes it even more fun. It is such a versatile game. Vocabulary can be targeted through generating clues. By using the legend at the bottom a matching activity can be set up. You could also pick two items and talk about how the items are similar or different.
What’s in the stocking? So many uses for this one. I am heading out to buy one! You could fill it with items (or cards) to target articulation sounds, or put anything in the stocking and use a sentence starter such as– In Santa’s stocking there is a ……. for targeting /s/ or st. For a language based activity place items in the stocking and start a 20 questions guessing game.
For older children working on literacy, a Christmas envelope will motivate them to write a Christmas letter. The templates are available in black/white and colour. At Kmart, I found some Christmas stamps which are great for illustrating a letter or Christmas cards.
Barrier games are a favourite of mine. Dress Santa (from Picklebums) can be played with a dice or print off two and use descriptive language to give instructions to dress Santa. Olaf is still popular with both girls and boys. This printable creates many language opportunities. It contains heaps of pieces to build Olaf. Using specific language for the eyes alone will expand their descriptive language skills. Nuturestore has a great printable including Santa, elves, deer, and presents. Couple these with playdough (maybe white) and you have set the scene for working on prepositions, colours, and pronouns to name just a few.
I love using charades when working on social thinking skills. Charades targets many skills, including thinking about others, how they will interpret your body language, how you can use your body to send a message and more. This links to a list of winter words (there are more words than just Christmas words) to use as a basis for your game of charades.
Bingo is an oldie but a goodie. This Christmas Bingo game can be paired with speech or language cards or use it as a matching game.
And finally, for those of us in Australia – substitute snow for sand, cold for hot and have fun these last few weeks before Christmas