Christmas and the holidays are a jolly time. But let's be honest, this time can also be hectic and tiring. With kids at home more often than usual and the burden of keeping up on skills falling on parents and caregivers, any shortcuts or ideas are welcome!
That's why we asked our Better Speech elves to come up with their top 3 at home, low/no prep speech therapy activities. Each activity can be modified to address your child's speech goals and we give a few ideas for each item.
Do you have questions on how to use these activities to address your speech goals? Feel free to contact our clinical director at Better Speech, Michelle. She's happy to chat. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Christmas Story Books for Speech Therapy
Head to the library (are those still open!?!?) or your local bookstore to pick up a favorite holiday story. Can't find a hard copy? You can always watch a read-aloud with your child on You-Tube.
Here are some for pre-school and elementary school students. You can target some of the following speech or language goals:
- Articulation: the L sound
- Feelings (we all get frustrated!)
- Colors and other adjectives (we love the illustrations in this book)
- Articulation: S blends (Snowmen, snowballs, scarf)
- Verbs: walking snowmen, flying snowmen, laughing snowmen
- Articulation: K sound (cat, cold)
- Opposites & Other Concepts: big/small, up/down, day/night
- Idioms: What does "Give it your all" mean?
You can also check out a digital copy from your local library from Overdrive Media Console. With one of the largest collections, it is used by more than 30,000 libraries so there is a good chance your library is listed there.
2. Holiday Countdown Calendar
You probably have one around anyway right? Or even the one from last year. Take a moment to repurpose it by filling each pocket with a card or photo that targets your speech or language goal. Your speech therapist can give you a printable with articulation or language target (like pictures of words starting with the /s/ sound or /g/ sound, or pictures showing action words like 'run' or 'sleep').
Just cut them out and put inside each pocket. Every day your child can take one out and practice their speech goals.
To motivate your child and keep the practice going, you can offer them a prize every 7 days. It can even be in the form of a clue as to what they may get as a holiday gift. Simple clues can also be a great way to practice inferencing for older kids.
3. Sensory Stockings
These are our favorite at Better Speech, and so many of our Better SLPs end up taking a session to put on together with little elf and their parent.
Just grab a stocking (from this year or on left over from last year) and stuff it with objects targeting your child's speech goals. Let your child feel around inside without looking at the object. They can describe what they feel and try to name it. Then they can pull it out and see if they guessed correctly. Depending on the objects you gather, you can work on:
- Articulation: S words like snowflake, Santa, string
- Language goals: put any objects you find in your child's room like small animals (dog, cow), cars, blocks
- Adjectives: blue/red/yellow cars, big/little cat, soft/hard ball
- Sensory items: for those kids that love to feel the texture of different items, stuff the stocking with all the goodies around during the holidays like string, wrapping paper shreds or tinsel.
At Better Speech we know you deserve speech therapy that works.
We have experts in your needs and assign the right therapist; not just the therapist that happens to be in your area. If you want to find out more about our services, contact us to schedule a free consultation.