Seasonal, thematic lesson planning is my secret weapon for keeping my littles interested in our learning goals. Over the years, I have found that practicing the same skill over and over again can be made far more exciting by simply switching up the theme. For this reason, I am a huge fan of seasonal studies and holiday lessons! Today I am so excited to bring you my favorite, fun spring activities for hands-on learning! Add these to your rotation this spring to keep your littles engaged in your speech therapy sessions!
Simple Spring Flower Craft
I just love crafting with my kiddos! Not only are crafts super interesting and fun for my students, but we can also work on some serious speech learning goals in the process. Crafting will allow you to target specific skills with your littles and they won't even know it!
The name of the game with crafting for me is SIMPLE! I'm a big believer in keeping things easy, manageable and low-stress when it comes to crafting. With just a few simple materials, you can make these gorgeous Diffusing Flowers with your students!
- Diffusing Flower Paper (Amazon affiliate link)
- Markers or Dot Markers- either work just fine!
- Spray Bottle with water (check the dollar store)
- Bonus: Vocabulary Cards like these
Start by having your kiddos decorate their flowers with markers or dot markers. The more they color, the better these will turn out so tell them not to be shy! I like to have my students choose 3 colors for their flower and ask that they say the color name as they choose.
While they decorate, you can use this opportunity to ask some questions or talk about what will happen next in the crafting process. You can also ask your students to make guesses as to what will happen when we spray the flowers with water.
Once they have finished coloring, place the flowers on a tray and use the spray bottle to lightly mist the flowers with water. If you aren't ready to give your students full control of the spray bottle, have them count for you as you spray instead.
Your students will be amazed when they see the colors start to run together and blend. Ask what has changed and what "new colors" they see. This is a great opportunity for open-ended conversation between you and your students!
Once they are completely dry you can either glue the flowers onto construction paper with a stem and leaves or just leave them as is! They are really pretty to display on a spring bulletin board or send home as a Mother's Day gift!
Feed the Caterpillar Game
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I love the Eric Carle book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I think most teachers who work with early learners do, and for good reason! This classic tale is perfect for practicing counting, colors, describing, and sequencing. Plus, the pictures are so fun and colorful!
Since I love this book so much, I came up with a simple little game to celebrate spring and go along with the story.
- small plastic trash can with spinning lid (I found mine at Dollar Tree)
- plastic play food (Dollar Tree, again! Food flashcards also work for this too!)
- template for the Caterpillar face: You can search around on Pinterest for this or just make a quick and simple one out of construction paper!
For this activity, start by reading the book to your students. Then, you can have kids take turns "feeding" the caterpillar play food. This is a great opportunity to dive into describing words!
As they feed the caterpillar, ask your students how that food tastes, smells, and feels. This little game is always a crowd pleaser so we usually take our time and dive into practicing lots of other skills like prepositions and sequencing too! Use this caterpillar game as a diving-off point for so many SLP learning goals. You can easily adjust the topics in the game to fit each student's goals. And. . . don't forget to have fun!
Spring Sensory Bin
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of sensory bins. I love them for so many reasons, and I'm always looking for a way to add them to my lessons. Sensory bins are especially fun when they incorporate a seasonal theme, like this fun spring sensory bin idea!
Make the Spring Sensory Bin
To set this activity up, fill a bin with some dry black beans (to look like dirt) and cute spring-themed add-ins like faux flowers, plastic bugs, large kid-friendly tweezers, and maybe even a "bug box". I found all the things I used for mine at Dollar Tree!
Set the Stage for Hands On Learning
I love to start this activity by reading Bugs Galore by Peter Stein. This cute little storybook sets the stage for this bug-themed activity and is filled with vivid, descriptive language.
After we read the book, I invite my kiddos to explore the sensory bin for a couple of minutes. I might ask a few questions about what's in the bin, but mostly this time is just to let my curious kiddos take a peek before we dive into the activity. Giving them this moment to explore will help keep their attention much better during the next step!
Practice Key Skills
After a few minutes of exploring, I like to pull out my Grab and Go Preschool Vocabulary and start diving into some work on prepositions. To do this, you can use an activity mat like the one pictured (I just quickly made that one with clipart) or you open your book and use the scenes in the book as your "activity mat".
Have a student choose a card and then ask them to carry out that action with an item from the bin. For example, you could say something like, "place the flower next to the tree" or "put the ladybug under the flower."
This activity is also great for expanding utterances, labeling, and adjectives! There are so many ways to use sensory bins in your speech sessions to meet those learning goals in a fun way! You can find visuals for all of these skills and more in my Grab and Go Preschool Vocabulary, which will make this activity even more simple to prep.
This resource comes with over 400 vocabulary cards to help you target skills like verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and more! The best part of these cards is how EASY they will make prepping lessons. Grab a stack of cards and you're good to go!
Save These Ideas for Later
I hope you enjoyed reading through my favorite SLP activities for spring! Be sure to save this post on your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you're ready for hands-on learning in your classroom this spring!