Who else has to work next week!? For those SLPs who have to set the alarm clock for the next week, I wanted to share some easy Christmas speech therapy activities for the busy SLP. They should be called holiday activities to help the SLP survive the last week of therapy before winter break.
The key to getting through the week is to have FUN! This week therapy should focus on naturally implementing goals. Hands-on speech therapy activities build schema and experiences to draw from when learning the language. A critical element of good speech therapy sessions is remembering to build meaningful relationships with our students.
Focus on Having FUN with Your Students in Speech Therapy
So, put the data binder away this week and focus on the little people in front of you. It is hard to do this when you know you have paperwork to complete before winter break. Remember that those holiday parties at the end of the week are the perfect time to close your door to finish your reports, IEPs, Medi-Cal billing, and updating therapy logs. Some of our students go home to environments that aren’t the most pleasant, so just remember that a little extra love from you may be what they need to hold onto during winter break.
Easy Christmas Crafts for Speech Therapy
Make a Christmas Countdown Chain! I used my Any Craft Companion Pack to have stimulus items for everyone on my caseload! I printed out the pages I needed, cut the pictures into strips, and then let the kids finish cutting them out in the session. My articulation students now have words to practice every day before Christmas. My younger students working on basic concepts got LOTS of practice with the vocabulary words: on, over, and through while assembling. If you have non-verbal/limited verbal students, you can work on initiating requests, making comments, and sharing feelings about the project with my AAC Starter Kit CORE boards. I also included some amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience.
This candy cane craft is in my TPT store for FREE! Print on red paper and one of the templates for an easy and FUNctional craft. This one is perfect for your 3rd-5th graders because it targets word associations, adjectives, and antonyms.
If you need Christmas crafts, you use can with mixed groups; I have a 3D Christmas Tree Craft and an ornament craft that students can take home to add to their tree or decor. You can make these crafts over a couple of sessions and use them as a therapy activity while you get progress monitoring data or work with students.
Easy Christmas speech therapy activities for your elementary caseload
Have you heard of the book Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini? It is a cute, fun holiday book to read this week! If you can’t get the book on Amazon or your library, you can also use this YouTube read-aloud video! Buy some brown pipe cleaners and plastic beads from the dollar store or craft store to make moosetaches. Each time your student says their speech sound 5x, they can string a bead on the moosetache as a Christmas light. If your students are working on describing items, they can get a bead for every attribute they can share about the noun. Naming items in category groups, creating sentences, and sharing expected behaviors are more skills you can target!
The Gingerbread Man is an excellent theme for December! After you have read the book and worked on story retelling, describing, and grammar concepts, you can play this fun game I created! I was inspired by Busy Bee Speech’s Instagram photo using paperclips with gingerbread man pics. You only need a Card Deck, paper clips, and a magnetic wand. I printed some gingerbread men and foxes on colored craft paper (print more gingerbread men than foxes). You can download the gingerbread and fox printables by clicking the yellow button below.
Check out the Christmas Language Activities for Building Vocabulary and Grammar if you need some vocabulary and verb flashcards.
Easy Christmas Co-Teaching Lesson Plan
Who doesn’t love holiday ugly sweaters!? I push into my K-2 SDC classroom for whole-class instruction. My SDC K-2 teacher came up with this fun craft! We had the best time working on lots of skills. She had lots of stickers, pom poms, and extra art supplies and set them out on the floor using art trays. Here is a tutorial about how to make a vest out of a paper bag. During the craft activity, I was kneeling next to a student asking them questions while they were decorating. Another student tried to squeeze behind me without initiating an “excuse me” or “can I get by?” This clever SLP decided to block the way every time the student had to get more decorations, so we could work on initiating “excuse me.” It was a tremendous natural social communication exchange.
Need more YouTube videos this week? Have you tried using Christmas commercials in speech because they are packed with language skills to target? I like letting my students watch a little of the video and then pause it. We can discuss inferencing about the time of the year, where the person is, and what the person could be thinking/feeling. We can also predict what might happen next by looking at the clues in the video. You can also work on summarizing the commercial and working on the main idea.
For an alternative to Christmas commercials, try using Elf movie clips.
List of Christmas Commercials for Speech Therapy
The Magical Cookbook (Tear jerker)
Well, there you have it! In speech therapy, there is no more fretting about “what will I do all week?”. The key to a great week is cozy coffee drinks, yummy lunches (so get some good stuff), an ugly Christmas sweater to sport, and some festive music to listen to while doing paperwork!
I hope you have a great holiday. Make sure you include some “ME” time, so you can reflect on all the blessings of this year. I will keep those of you that are going through a difficult time in my prayers. Lamentations 3: 31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. Keep this close to your heart when you are feeling love. I also love reflecting on Philippians 4:8-9.