I think it’s probably safe to assume you guys know I love hands on learning in the classroom. No matter what I am trying to teach, I find that it’s much more fun and exciting for students to take an active learning approach in our lessons. Whether we are talking about classroom cooking, sensory bins, play-based therapy, or simple science experiments – I’m here for it! Today I am sharing my favorite Valentine’s Day activities for hands on learning. Your SLP students will love these fun and engaging activities!
LOVE MONSTER CRAFT
Have you guys read the book Love Monster, by Rachel Bright?
It is seriously SUCH a cute story to pull out this time of year. When working with preschoolers and early elementary, I find that using read alouds together with crafts can make for an especially engaging lesson!
Crafting is a great activity for the SLP classroom and I love mixing in a fun craft whenever possible. Crafts are perfect for practicing following directions, requesting items, sequencing steps, expanding on WH questions, and getting practice with spatial concepts!
SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED
- paper bags
- red tissue paper
- construction paper in white, pink and black
Before starting the craft with my littles, I like to prep the feet, eyes, mouth, ears, and heart ahead of time. I usually just “free-hand” these types of things and cut out enough for my group.
Once we are ready to craft, I have the students cut or tear small pieces of red construction paper and glue them to their paper bag until it is pretty well covered.
Next, I will ask them to glue on each specific body part. This is a great time to work on vocabulary! Point to your eyes, ears, mouth- naming each one. Next, ask your students to do the same and then repeat with the monster’s body parts.
You also can request they say each thing a certain number of times before gluing for extra practice. For example, “I can find his ears, ears, ears”. Have fun with this one, your students will love taking their own little monster home!
VALENTINE’S DAY SENSORY BINS
You knew we weren’t getting through a holiday without a good sensory bin right? Sensory bins are such a great tool for the SLP! You can target so many critical learning goals with sensory bins, not to mention students absolutely LOVE them! When working on expanding utterances, following directions, vocabulary, or sorting by category- sensory bins come to the rescue every time!
KEEP IT SIMPLE
When filling sensory bins, I will use just about anything I have on hand!
Sensory bins don’t need to be complicated or expensive.
Just get creative with what you can find. Some great filler ideas are:
- shredded red or pink paper
- red or pink sand
- pom-poms or cotton balls
- dry white beans or rice
- cut-up straws
- dyed noodles
ADD YOUR LEARNING ELEMENTS
Once you have a variety of simple fillers, hide some vocabulary cards or pictures in the bins. I love to use the cards from my Grab and Go Expanding Utterances pack.They are the perfect size to add to a sensory bin and so easy to customize to each student’s speech goals. Let students take turns pulling a card from the bin and target multiple learning goals.You can focus on articulation, labeling nouns and verbs, categorizing, and more!
Bonus Tip: The small silicone candy molds found at Dollar Tree are the perfect card holder when flipped upside down!
VALENTINE’S DAY COOKING
And finally, my favorite – classroom cooking!! You guys already know how much I love to cook with my speech students.
I firmly believe cooking and “no-cook” activities are one of the best ways to create an engaging, active learning environment. Students will be excited to participate every time and you will be amazed at the long list of skills you can easily target during these activities.
I love to pull out my recipe for Valentine’s Day Snack Mix from my Cooking and Craft Visual Recipes pack this time of year. It’s such a fun, low-mess “cooking” activity that my students always love. All of the recipes in this resource come with a full-color visual recipe card, vocabulary cards, and comprehension questions! There are 50 seasonal recipes included in this resource perfect for targeting learning goals in your speech lessons.
MORE COOKING ACTIVITIES FOR FEBRUARY
I just LOVE cooking with kids and believe in using it all month long. There are so many benefits to cooking with kiddos and visual recipes make hitting speech and language goals super simple!
During the month of February, I love to pull activities from my Visual Recipe Pack for the month. This resource also includes my Valentine's Day snack mix, along with 3 other fun, visual recipes that are perfect for the month of February!
In addition to the snack mix, you'll also find:
- Penguin Cookies
- Football Rice Krispie Treats
- Cupid's Shake
These recipes are all kid-friendly and will fit right in with your February lesson planning! Cupid's Shake is a fun Valentine's Day Treat, while the other two recipes will keep the cooking going after the holiday festivities!
All 4 of these visual recipes are "no-cook", meaning you won't need a stove or oven to make them. If you have access to a microwave (for melting ingredients) and a blender, you're good to go! The simplicity of these recipes makes them absolutely perfect for classroom learning, speech sessions or even at home with your own kiddos.
EXTEND LEARNING WITH VISUAL RECIPES
The best thing about the February Visual Recipe pack is all of the extra tools though. This resource comes with cheat sheets, to-do lists, shopping lists, and SLP client preference sheets. The cheat sheets are designed to help you target key vocabulary, core words and phrases, basic concepts, verbs, and adjectives.
There's also a list of suggested questions included to encourage conversation and language development among your group. These cheat sheets will help elevate your cooking activities and ensure that your students get the most opportunities for learning during your lessons.
And don't forget about the vocabulary cards and comprehension questions as well! Every recipe comes with them to help provide visual supports and a way to check in on student understanding. Adding these Valentine's Day cooking activities to your February lessons is a great way to promote even more hands-on learning with your kids!
VALENTINE’S DAY FREEBIE!
Want to try out a visual recipe in your classroom? Lucky for you, I have the perfect Valentine’s Day S’mores on a Stick freebie for you!
In this recipe, children will make festive, chocolate-dipped marshmallows- perfect for Valentine’s Day. It provides opportunities for working on reading the recipe and sequencing the steps, vocabulary, and more. Not to mention the sweet treat you end up with at the end.
Grab the freebie and get started cooking in your therapy sessions!
SAVE THESE IDEAS FOR LATER!
Pin these ideas to your favorite SLP Pinterest so you can come back when you need hands-on activities for Valentine’s day.