Who else has to work next week!? For those of you SLP’s that have to set the alarm clock for the next week, I wanted to share some easy holiday activities for the busy SLP. They should actually be called holiday activities to help the SLP survive the last week of therapy before winter break. I thought the other title sounded a little more professional lol.
The key to getting through the week is to have FUN! This week therapy should be focusing on implementing goals in a natural way. Doing hands on activities in speech therapy builds schema and experiences to draw from when learning language. One important element to good speech therapy sessions is remembering to build meaningful relationships with our students.
Use this week to have FUN with your students.
So, put the data binder away this week and focus on the little people in front of you. I know it is hard to do this when you know you have paperwork to complete before winter break. Just remember that those holiday parties at the end of the week is the perfect time for you to close your door to finish your reports, IEP’s, 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 just what they need to hold onto during winter break.
Easy Holiday Activities For The Busy SLP
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 students who are non-verbal/limited verbal, you can work on initiating requests, making comments and sharing feelings about 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.
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, then you can use this youtube read a loud video too! 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 a great theme for the month of December! After you have read the book and worked on story retell, describing and grammar concepts, you can play this fun game that I created! I was inspired by Busy Bee Speech’s instagram photo using paperclips with gingerbread man pics. All you need is a Card Deck, paperclips, and a magnetic wand. I printed up some gingerbread men and foxes on colored craft paper (print more of the gingerbread men then the foxes). You can download the gingerbread and fox printables by clicking the yellow button below.
Click Here to get the Gingerbread Man Game Printables
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 down 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 great natural social communication exchange.
Have you seen the Elf movie? If you have watched my SLP Blogger Live segment on using Elf in speech, you will know that I LOVE this movie!! It is perfect for working on all sorts of language. Most importantly, it is THE BEST for working on social skills. Check out my blog post on how to use Elf in speech therapy.
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 to let my student’s watch a little bit of the video and then pause it. We can discuss making inferencing about the time of the year, where the person is and what the person could be thinking/feeling. We can also make predictions about 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. Just so you know, you might start crying during some of them lol. These marketers really know how to pull at their customer’s heart strings.
Christmas Commercials Worth Using In Speech Therapy
Well, there you have it! No more fretting about “what will I do all week?” in speech therapy. 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!
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.