It is Spring in my speech room which is one of my favorite seasons. Spring weather is fresh and new which means therapy activities are colorful, bright and cheery. I love the idea of flowers, vegetable gardens, baby animals, and flying kites. My childhood memories are strong and vivid for this season. Some of these memories include Easter egg hunts, new fluffy dresses with tiny purses, bottle feeding newborn goats, blooming daffodils and kite flying contests.
This article on Making Sure Children Get Their Daily Dose of Language Nutrition from Lauren Lowry at The Hanen Centre reminded me of WHY these childhood experiences are so vivid for me. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a generation where parents and grandparents naturally provided language rich homes. Older siblings and cousins enjoyed playing outside, experiencing nature, and exploring.
Today’s generation isn’t so lucky. Children are more likely to stay inside due to safety concerns, play on mobile devices rather than read a book, or watch TV rather than go outside and fly a kite. In this particular survey taken by The National Trust, while more than four-fifths (83%) of parents questioned thought it was important their children learned to use technology, nine out of 10 would prefer them to spend their childhood outdoors, developing a connection with nature. My favorite time to experience nature is Spring…
So what do I like to do in MY speech therapy room during spring? It is a GREAT time to get out the sandbox and let my students get their hands…and the carpet…dirty! Last year, I created this final consonant deletion activity for my 3 year olds. This year, I have completed it and posted it in my store for everyone to enjoy. My students enjoyed using the flowers with little pots it in the sand box but they also enjoyed practicing their sounds using the flowers on a play dough smash mat, with bugs while they worked on positional terms (in front, behind, around, beside), and using the Super Duper magnet chips. Using the sandbox allowed for multiple repetitions of Spring-themed vocabulary: shovel, pot, rake, stem, dig, plant, flower, insects, bugs, spiders, and more!
I’m pretty excited about the open ended worksheets I have added as well as the carryover/take home worksheet that is a color by code activity. I will be using them this week in therapy for sure!
Another activity I use every year with my older elementary students is this I have/Who has plurals card game. I have all four seasons available in a discounted bundle. The card game is easy to use and provides a TON of repetitions. My ESL students have trouble with regular plurals and the amount of repetitions in this game helps them with carryover into less structured activities.
What is nice about this product is it’s flexibility in language groups. Not only do we target regular plurals, but we have also targeted pronouns “I” vs “me”. I have been able to collect data on “Who” and “What” questions, seasonal vocabulary, using final /s/ in sentences, and describing items or giving the definition of the pictured object.
There is one more product I can NOT do without each season. Luckily I now have one for all four! This Spring Busy Book for Speech and Language is absolutely necessary on days when I am doing progress monitoring. Now that I have used them all year long, my students are able to work independently or in groups of two while completing the activities. The book is extremely low prep. There is only one page that you have to cut out pieces. The rest of the pages are print and laminate only. Add a few pieces of velcro and bind which takes less than 30 minutes to prep for hours of repeated use. When I’m getting information for progress reports, my students know this book means business! All they need is a dry erase marker to get busy…
I hope you have found these activities refreshing and intriguing enough to give them a chance in your therapy room this Spring. Please click through the links of my fellow Frenzied SLPs to see what they are working on in their speech rooms this season.