When you are planning sessions for your preschool through second-grade students, consider the time of the year! When you pick toys and activities that your students experience in their daily lives, you give them functional practice their goals! Today, you will learn some spring play-based speech therapy activities you can do to cover LOTS of speech and language goals.
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Spring Themed Activities for Preschool Through Second Grade
During the spring season, your students may go on picnics with their family and friends. Why not work on play skills while going on a picnic!?
You can work on sequencing skills with the following ideas:
- Packing a picnic
- Shopping for food
- Inviting friends on a picnic
- Cleaning up the picnic
- What you did on your picnic adventure
Picnic Play-Based Speech Therapy Activities
Need some more picnic play-based speech therapy ideas? Here are some MORE ways to use a picnic play activity:
- Describe picnic items by attribute features
- Work on the categorization of food by fruits, snacks, drinks, vegetables, and entrees.
- Sort items by adjectives such as crunchy, sweet, soft, or salty.
- Target negation by sorting what students like/don’t like
- Use a basket from home to target spatial concepts
- Conversationally recast morphology such as plural nouns, third person singular, pronouns, and noun-verb agreement.
- Create a story using stuffies and picnic items
Plus, you can work on many social communication skills while eating your picnic lunch. Specifically, you can work on initiating requests for items to eat, making comments about how you like the food, and working on conversation skills while sharing a picnic meal.
Here are some play sets that you can buy for your picnic play theme:
Learning Resources Super Sandwich Set – this set is plastic, which makes it easier to disinfect after using with students.
Learning Resources has a picnic set that has a lot of foods that our students enjoy which is relatable to them.
Melissa and Doug have a felt sandwich toy set that comes with a variety of pita bread, slice bread, and roll type sandwich toys. They also have a wooden sandwich toy set that could be good for easy sanitizing after use.
You might also want to consider these play food toy sets if you would like to use them for a variety of play themes such as grocery stores or going to the farmer’s market.
If you need more play food ideas for preschool speech therapy, head to this blog post.
Insect Theme Preschool Play Activity
Using bugs in therapy could really be a year-long theme because a LOT of students love bugs. Going on a bug hunt can be a great pretend play theme for spring. Hands down, the BEST investment for a bug hunt play theme are the insect TOOBS or the Wild Republic Insect Polybag.
You can find a magnifying glass, net, and bug catcher at the Dollar Tree for cheap. But if you don’t want to go driving around looking for all the pieces, there are lots of bug hunt toy sets on Amazon.
Here are some speech and language goals you can target:
- Describing bugs by attributes
- Categorization of bugs by features such as wings/no wings
- AAC CORE words – look, see, yes, no, cool, yuck, I, my
- Build MLU and morphology by marking plural nouns, adding verbs, etc.
- Story retell and answering wh-questionse
- Sound-loaded words or carrier phrases
- Basic concepts for in/out, long/short, big/small (get different sized bugs), on top/bottom, under/over
Flower Shop Dramatic Play Ideas
You can find fake flowers at the Dollar Tree along with other gardening supplies to create a pretend play theme of a flower shop or planting a garden. Many of our students celebrate a mom, grandma, or aunt on mother’s day in May. This can be a great opportunity to talk about the vocabulary and social communication to buy flowers for someone they love. Ideally, buying flowers can teach the concept of giving, showing love with gifts as well as the verbs and vocabulary for making a flower bouquet.
A flower or vegetable garden theme could be a great way to incorporate the plant life cycle, and the process of planting flowers. As our students work on answering wh-questions, and explaining the process of planting flowers through play, it helps our students to connect with the words on a deeper level. And, the coolest part is that they can transfer those skills to the home environment when they plant a real garden with their family.
Flower Life Cycle Therapy Ideas
If you need more ideas for how to teach a plant or flower life cycle in your speech therapy sessions, head to this BLOG POST. There are activity ideas for younger and older students so that you can adapt one theme for a lot of ages and goals.
Need Resources for Play-Based Speech Therapy Activities?
When using toys in therapy, remembering all the ways we can use the toy can be overwhelming. By the end of a long play therapy day, my brain deflates like one of those bounce houses when they let the air out….all the air is just gone and it feels like I have nothing left to mentally give when I get home from work. Overtime, I have found that when I have cheat sheets handy in my sessions, I spend less time thinking of targets and more time meaningfully interacting with my students. If you want to save more brain energy AND feel prepared for play therapy without hours of planning, then grab these toy companion cheat sheets for speech and language therapy.
Furthermore, if you LOVE planning theme-based activities for your Prek-5th grade caseload and want themed cheat sheets for sensory bins and toys, the Themed Therapy SLP Membership provides those lesson plans to SLPs. Sign up HERE for a monthly or annual membership.
What Spring Dramatic Play Ideas Do You Use With Your Students?
Have you tried any spring-themed activities with your students? I want to know what spring play-based speech therapy activities you use to support speech and language goals. Let me know in the comments what spring toys, games, or play ideas you recommend for the spring season.