I don’t know about you, but the holidays always seem to sneak up on me. I think part of is that after starting the new year, just about the time we get into a good groove, BAM – it’s holiday time! It can be a hard time to keep students focused and engaged in class or therapy. So, how do you plan meaningful SLP instruction for your students during the holiday season and still keep their interest? With holiday speech therapy activities your students will love. These quick and easy holiday activities are sure to add some holiday cheer to your SLP classroom this month!
HOLIDAY SPEECH THERAPY ACTIVITIES
I am so excited to share 3 of my favorite holiday themed activities to fill these short weeks before the joyous holiday break! You will love the ease and simplicity of these activities! Break out these holiday activities with your SLP students to make some serious progress towards your learning goals and outcomes before the winter break!
1. ADAPTED PIECE BOOK SETS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
I think you guys already know about my love for the “How the Catch a……” book series by Adam Wallace & Andy Elkerton. With everything from How to Catch an Elf to How to Catch a Gingerbread Man and everything in-between, you are sure to find the perfect engaging story for your holiday speech therapy activities this year. Your students will love the stories and won’t even realize how many skills they are practicing.
Reading the book to my students is seriously one of my favorite activities. My students just love the silly stories that follow the adventures of various creatures and the children in search of them.
After reading the book, it’s time for some comprehension activities. Each “How to Catch” Adapted Piece Book set comes with a variety of reading comprehension questions. These questions cover many different reading skills. You can use all of the questions, or pull out the questions that help you target the learning goals of your students. I like to start with the questions that focus on the skills my students need, but I keep the rest of the questions handy too. That way if we have extra time we can go through the remaining questions. A little extra reading comprehension practice never hurts!
When I’m using the printed cards and sentence strips, it’s important to me that my students are able to manipulate the cards and make changes as they learn. Because of this, I attach velcro dots to the sentence strip and cards so students can easily move the cards as they answer comprehension questions. It is a great way to make the activity interactive and get in some fine-motor skill practice too.
Be sure to check out some of my favorite adapted book sets for the holidays which have everything you need to help you meet your winter learning goals for your students.
After completing our adapted piece book lesson, I also send a link to the Boom Card set to parents. This makes it convenient for families to continue their holiday speech therapy activities during winter break.
Love the “How to Catch a….” adapted piece book sets as much as I do? Grab my entire Adapted Piece Book Sets Bundle.
2. SENSORY BIN HOLIDAY SPEECH THERAPY ACTIVITIES
You guys, I LOVE sensory bins for speech activities! They are inexpensive, versatile, and always a huge hit with my kiddos!
Typically, I will do a dollar store run to put these together with some festive, cheap fillers. You can find a wide variety of items for holiday themed bins at the local dollar store. I love to use plastic pencil cases for my sensory bins because they are so easy to take with me to in class therapy sessions, but you can use any container. You can create your sensory bin as big or small as you’d like.
FILLING THE SENSORY BIN
Start by filling your bin with a base item such as:
- Dried beans
- Paper shreds
- Cotton balls
- Fake snow
Then add in themed items for students to search for. I love to include items that I know my students can use to reach their goals and targets during our therapy session.
SENSORY BIN FUN!
There are so many ways to work with sensory bins during our therapy sessions. For example, if I have a student working on core vocabulary or prepositions you might hear me say, “take the reindeer OUT of the box put the red bow NEXT to Santa.”
If I am working with a student on producing words or a specific articulation sound I will make sure that sensory bin is filled with items that they can pull out and label or describe. By using a base item with a holiday feel, I can use picture cards or other items that I know will help them meet their target.
And. . . if I was working on language development like sentence formation you are likely to hear me say “red ornament”. Then once the student found it, we would use a carrier phrase and prompts to help them create a sentence like “I found a red ornament”.
These are just a few examples of how you can use holiday themed sensory bins to engage your students. Sensory bins are a great, low-cost activity to capture your students’ attention and get some solid skills practice in.
For more expanding utterances ideas, check out my Grab and Go Expanding Utterances set. This comprehensive resource is a great way to incorporate your lessons with sensory bins all year long!
3. PEPPERMINT PLAY DOUGH VISUAL RECIPE
And finally, one of my most favorite holiday speech therapy activities, a simple no-cook peppermint play dough visual recipe!
I am a firm believer in classroom “cooking” for a number of reasons including student engagement, learning to follow directions, and crucial speech skills development.
Adding some simple cooking or “no-cook” recipes to your speech therapy sessions or classroom small group time is a fantastic way to help your students practice target skills in a fun and engaging way.
I like to start out by inviting the children to explore the visual recipe card and ask questions about what ingredients they think we will use.
It’s also important to ask your students to learn to identify the cooking tools and point them out by name. I do this by handing out the vocabulary cards to the group and then asking them to identify the object on their card. Then they point it out on the recipe poster I have printed and laminated.
My kids absolutely LOVE “cooking” in class! They think they are just having fun, but I know they are learning to understand sequencing, following directions, and lots of other important speech-language therapy goals.
HOW TO USE THE RECIPE TO MEET GOALS
When they are mixing their play dough, I make sure to remind them to practice slowly stirring and working on those important fine motor skills. Once the play dough starts setting up they can get their hands in there too! All that squishing and molding really gives those little hands a great work-out!
Try providing some rolling pins and alphabet cookie cutters to get some letter identification or sound practice in when your students are done making their peppermint dough. All kids love using the letter cutouts to build their names and small words.
Using holiday cookie cutters is another fantastic way to get your kids excited about learning key skills. Practicing counting, making patterns, ordering by size, sorting by type, and verbally describing the shapes are all great options for this fun and festive activity.
I know your students will love adding these simple holiday speech therapy activities to their lessons. As an added bonus for you…you can expect your classroom to smell delightful!
This Peppermint Dough Visual Recipe FREEBIE is the perfect addition to your holiday lessons before the long break! This resource includes a full color, visual recipe card that will help your students easily follow along, comprehension questions for follow up and a set of vocabulary cards!
NO MESS COOKING IDEAS
If you love classroom cooking as much as I do and want to incorporate some more holiday recipes during the month of December without the mess, check out my Winter Theme Visual Recipe Boom Cards!
This resource features 3 “recipes” for virtual cooking. Students will still work on the same important skills of vocabulary development, sequencing, following directions and comprehension by “cooking” with these digital Boom Cards. Your students will love making gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate, and a marshmallow snowman with this holiday activity!
As always, this resource features many ways to practice key skills in a fun and engaging way.
SIMPLE HOLIDAY SPEECH THERAPY ACTIVITIES
I know you will love bringing some holiday magic to your classroom with these simple holiday speech therapy activities your students are sure to love.
Just because December is a short month of classroom instruction, doesn’t mean you have to leave out the holiday fun! Make your SLP lesson planning complete with these festive, holiday activities!
SAVE THESE SIMPLE HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
Be sure to save these holiday speech therapy activities to your favorite winter or holiday SLP Pinterest boards so you can easily access them when you’re ready!