January Speech Therapy Themes

January Speech Therapy Themes

When planning by themes for your elementary speech therapy caseload, knowing which theme to use can cause indecisiveness. When we are trying to decide which way to go with themes, it leaves us wasting time and procrastinating therapy planning. So, I am sharing a GIANT list of January speech therapy themes you can use with your caseload. And, if you still need to narrow down a theme for January, check out this blog post with tips for choosing a theme. 

One Thing to Remember with Theme-Based Therapy

As SLPs with high caseloads, remember that you DON’T have to use a theme for only one week. It can be time-consuming to plan when you constantly prepare for a new themed unit each week. You will lead yourself to burn out FAST switching materials each. We want to stay energized from lesson planning, so when you pick a theme, use the mindset that you will use this theme for 2-4 weeks of therapy. I talk all about that on the Real Talk SLP podcast episode 45. 

SLP Planner for the Year

Use my free-themed therapy yearly SLP planner to help you plan what themes you want to use for the year. It gives you ideas for what to prepare and has an editable lesson plan template to keep notes on what you did with a theme. When you have notes for your themed units, it will job your memory when you pull out the January speech therapy activities the following year. Click the pink button to download. 

January Speech Therapy Themes With Animals

Plan units around winter animals using books, non-fiction passages, sensory bins, and YouTube videos. If you focus on antarctic animals, break down the theme to learn about one animal a week. Here are some other winter themes with animals:

 

Arctic animals

Yeti’s (are they real or a myth)

Penguins

Hibernation

January Themes Focusing on Winter

The winter season is something that most kids experience in the United States and around the world. Although some places like Florida don’t experience snow, many kids live in colder climates. Or, they can quickly drive to snowy places in the wintertime.

Using winter themes in January is a great way to build background knowledge around the seasons and teach vocabulary and language skills around those themes.

One way to break down a broad theme like winter is to plan mini-themes related to the season. For example, you can plan to do a winter season theme for the entire month of January. Each week you can focus on a different aspect of winter, such as winter clothes, winter weather, winter activities, and winter sports.

Or, you can pick one of those winter topics and focus on one mini topic each week. If you choose winter sports, you can focus on ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, and the luge. For more winter-themed speech therapy ideas, check out this blog post

January-speech-therapy-ideas

More Winter Theme Ideas

  1. Snow Day – you can read the book Snow Day by Lester L. Laminack to talk about what kids do when it snows, and their school is canceled. 
  2. Snowmen – I have LOTS of blog posts with ideas for a snowman theme you can check out on the blog
  3. Snowflakes – you can find good articles on ReadWorks or Wonderopolis. I also will look on YouTube for snowflake videos. Plus, there are LOTS of excellent snowflake science experiments and activities you can work on for speech and language goals. Check out this idea from The Sprinkle Topped Teacher
  4. Hot Chocolate – who doesn’t love talking about hot chocolate? And it’s full of speech and language opportunities. I have a bunch in my store if you need some activities for a hot chocolate theme. Live Love Speech has some visual recipes for your co-teaching lessons.
  5. Winter Tools and Vehicles – this is the ultimate theme smash where you can pair winter weather with transportation. If you need a snowplow sensory bin, check out this one

If you need more January speech therapy ideas, check out this post from Busy Bee Speech.

January speech therapy activities

Check out the Themed Therapy SLP membership if you love using themes for your speech therapy caseload but struggle to find the time and energy to plan your lessons. The membership is for busy school-based SLPs who serve Prek-5th grade students and want to streamline their therapy planning process.

When you become an SLP themester, you can access three themed therapy units a month!

The January speech therapy themes are arctic animals, penguins, and outer space. An annual membership gives you access to over 24 theme

Themes Based on National Holidays

So many meaningful and fun national holidays would make for great themes to plan in January!

Here are some January speech therapy themes for national days:

Martin Luther King Jr. (this is an excellent kick-off for Black History month, which starts in February)

January 1st – New Years Day: focus on healthy habits, creating goals, and new changes

January 4th- Spaghetti Day

You can theme smash yetis and spaghetti with the game! I have a cheat sheet for the Yeti in my Spaghetti game in my TPT store

January 8-14th – National Pizza Week

Check out this blog post with ways to use a pizza speech therapy toy in your sessions. 

January 18th – Winnie the Pooh Day

January 18th – Hot and Spicy Foods – January 18th

What theme-based units do you plan in January?

Let me know in the comments what theme-based speech therapy lessons you plan for your elementary caseload. Tag me @themedtherapyslp with your themed activity, and I will share it in my stories!

Graphic Organizer for Sentence Structure

Graphic Organizer for Sentence Structure

One of the best ways to work on sentence formulation with your students is with graphic organizers. When you have a sentence structure graphic organizer that is easy to adapt across a lot of different activities, it makes language therapy planning easier! Today, I will share a free graphic organizer for sentence structure that you can use with any activity.

Why Use Graphic Organizers for Sentence Structure

For many of our students with language impairments, learning syntax and parts of speech can be overwhelming. Frequently our students are visual learners, and when they see words organized, it helps reduce their cognitive load so they can take in new information.

The free sentence structure graphic organizer has color-coding for the parts of speech which helps your students understand and remember how to build a sentence.

A parts-of-speech graphic organizer can visually break down how to build a sentence and provides a hands-on approach to learning sentence formulation.

How to Use the Sentence Structure Graphic Organizer

If you have syntax or morphology goals on your caseload, this free sentence-frame graphic organizer can help you cover many speech therapy goals.

In a group or individual session, you can use ANY photos related to your theme, wordless short videos, pictures, or images from your story books.

To start with the graphic organizer, you can show the student the video or image. Explain any unknown vocabulary or discuss concepts that will help build their knowledge of the item.

Then, you can brainstorm vocabulary words that describe the video, photo, or picture by the part of speech.

I will often write the words and allow the students to focus on verbally sharing their vocabulary words. Many of our students need help with spelling, and this graphic organizer is for you to work on creating sentences rather than how well you can spell a word.

After you brainstorm all the parts of speech on the graphic organizer, students can create sentences using the frames. Having the list in front of them helps your students to develop a novel sentence with less scaffolding from you!

And you can incorporate discussing morphology for verb tenses while using this graphic organizer.

Tips for Using in Mixed Groups

We all have had mixed groups where every student in the group has different goals. That can be so stressful for planning therapy, right?

You can use this graphic organizer for sentence structure activities and other speech and language goals.

For example, if you have a student working on R, give them some R challenge words when describing the photo that has R. Or, you can have the student circle all the generated words that have their /r/ sound.

Furthermore, you can have students working on speech fluency create sentences using their fluency strategies.

And, when you need to work with another student to explain some concepts or get 2-5 minutes of quick artic, you can have your language student use the pre-filled graphic organizer at an independent station to create sentences.

Sentence Structure Resources to Use with the Graphic Organizer

If you are doing a theme with your caseload, pull up real photos related to your theme from Google Photos. You can also find videos on YouTube of items from your themed unit. For example, I pulled up some funny squirrel videos and used them with the sentence graphic organizer. Check out this blog post for the squirrel videos.

Pull up any wordless short video and use it to describe what happened in the video. My favorite wordless shorts are from Simon’s Cat videos. You can use these cheat sheets to work on a LOT of goals. 

Find scenes or pictures you can use to describe with the organizer. You can use the images from my seasonal verb and vocabulary activities

One of your best therapy resources is the pictures from the books you are already using in therapy! Grab any book and describe what is happening in the picture. You can see how to do this with the book, “The Mitten.” Here is a blog post with more info about this book.

Need more grammar tips for your speech therapy sessions?

If you have a lot of students with syntax and morphology goals, check out these grammar blog posts:

 

How to Conversational Recast with Grammar Therapy

How to Implement Grammar Intervention

 

What activities or strategies have you used to help your students learn how to create grammatically correct sentences? Share your expertise or therapy material find in the comments!

Sneezy the Snowman Activities

Sneezy the Snowman Activities

When January hits, it’s time to pull out the Sneezy the Snowman book in your speech therapy sessions. You can target synonyms, s-blends, CORE words, sequencing skills, and story elements, to name a few skills! If you are doing a snowman theme with your elementary speech therapy caseload, this blog post will hook you up with Sneezy, the snowman activities you can use across the ages.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post for your convenience. When you use an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Where to Find the Sneezy the Snowman Book?

You can head to your local library, Amazon, or find a Sneezy the Snowman read-aloud on YouTube. To have access to the book digitally, Kindle Unlimited has it available when you subscribe as of 01/01/23. Your library may have a digital loaning service with OverDrive or the Libby app to get this book electronically for free!

Sneezy the Snowman Story Retell Props

To turn the sneezy snowman into an engaging story, you need to make a story prop kit! I talk about how to make your own for this book in this blog post. Not only can you use the story retell props for narrative language, but you can also use them for syntax, basic concepts, yes/no questions, and comprehension.

Sneezy the Snowman Sequencing Ideas

If you decide to do the DIY sneezy snowman story kit, you can work on sequencing what happened in the story (blog post link is above.) For your older students, you can use this free Sneezy the Snowman retelling worksheet from Rowdy in Room 300. After working on sequencing with Sneezy the snowman, you can continue to target sequencing with a snowman theme using ideas from this blog post

Sneezy the Snowman Activities for Vocabulary

Using this book, you can work on the shades of meaning for the vocabulary cold and hot. On the whiteboard, map out how words can be similar but grow in intensity.

For example, you can discuss the shades of mean for cold such as cool – chilly – cold – freezing.

Discuss with students when you might use those words to help describe a situation or the weather.

To help build depth of knowledge with some tier II vocabulary words in the story, have students fill out a personal dictionary, write the synonyms, and antonyms, use them in a sentence, state a kid-friendly definition, and draw a picture of the word.

Here are some of the vocabulary from the book that would be good for the personal dictionary: gigantic, shiver, new, build, melt, swirl, scoop, and surprise.

For category skills, you can work on winter clothing and sorting hot and cold items. Check out the snowman-themed language lesson plans if you need some hot and cold sorting. 

Sneezy the Snowman Crafts

If you need some Sneezy the Snowman activities using crafts, this blog post from Kindergarten Works has some easy ones!

Check out this template in my TPT store for a snowman craft to use with mixed groups. 

You can also use this free Snowman paper plate craft with your younger-aged students. 

Join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership

Join the Themed Therapy SLP membership if you want more themed therapy ideas like these Sneezy the Snowman activities. We provide 2-3 monthly themed units for your Prek-5th grade caseload, including book cheat sheets, no print materials, Google Slides, visual crafts, a toy guide, newsletters for parents, and MORE! You have access to over 24 themes simultaneously when you join the annual membership.

Sign up here.

sneezy-the-snowman-book-cheat-sheet-speech-therapy
snowman-speech-therapy-activities-sneezy-the-snowman

Reinforcer Speech Therapy Activities to Pair with the Book

Throughout the book, Sneezy drinks something hot and then melts and has to be made brand new. You can play the Build a Snowman game and have kids make their Sneezy “brand new” again. 

Similarly, students can use the snowman file folder activity from my language lesson plans to rebuild Sneezy. You can target any goal with the build-a-snowman file folder activity! Check out the blog post about snowman toys because there are other types of toys you can use for a build-the-snowman activity.

What Activities Do You Do With Your Students?

Do you have a particular activity you pair with the book, Sneezy the Snowman? Share in the comments the activity and how you use it to target speech and language goals. 

Best Speech Therapy Toys for Early Elementary

Best Speech Therapy Toys for Early Elementary

As speech-language pathologists, we LOVE to use toys to work on speech and language goals. Today, I want to share the best speech therapy toys to use with your early elementary students. Having speech therapy toys that are easy to adapt helps you plan more for many students in less time.

If you are new to using toys to address speech therapy goals, check out this blog post about play-based speech therapy HERE.

After reading this post, you are sure to have a list of toys that will increase engagement in your speech therapy sessions. 

Best Speech Therapy Toys for Speech and Language Goals

speech-therapy-toys-and-games

Pretend play food sets are so versatile for speech and language skills. You can use these to work on categories, describing, grammar, morphology, social communication, and speech sound goals. 

 

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post. I receive a small commission when you use my link at no additional charge. 

By far, the best sets for early elementary are as follows:

Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Toy Set because it has so many opportunities for social communication, and kids love talking about ice cream. This blog post shares ten ways to use this toy!

 

cookie or baking toy set can work on labeling kitchen utensils, sequencing the steps for making food, and using the food props for various goals. I have a blog post about using a cookie toy set for speech therapy HERE

solid play food set is an excellent addition to your speech therapy toys because you will use the food in so many themed units. For example, you can use food for a picnic theme, BBQ theme, pack your lunch for a school theme, or Thanksgiving dinner.

best-toy-for-speech-development

Toy Companion Cheat Sheets for Play-Based Speech Therapy

Check out The Ultimate Toy Companion Cheat Sheets to guide the SLP during play therapy (45 toy cheat sheets.) Have a speech therapy handout for all your favorite toys and games to use in treatment so that you don’t have to worry about remembering targets to use with the toys (that’s the cheat sheets job!)

Speech Therapy Toys That are Easy to Adapt

When you are looking to invest in new toy sets, you may ask yourself if you can use the toy to cover a variety of goals. And you should consider if it has a hands-on component and if it will get you opportunities for functional communication, cause-effect skills, or target cooperative play.

 

It’s an even better bonus when you can use the toy for speech sound goals!

 

Lego or Magnetic block sets are those types of toys! You can incorporate them with many goals, are hands-on, and kids dig them.

best-speech-therapy-toys

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and surprise party boxes from Learning Resources are easy to adapt for speech and language goals. These cause-effect toys can also entice students to want to communicate more in a session. Check out this blog post for more ideas on cause-effect toys to buy.

 

The surprise party boxes can be put in a sensory bin, hidden around your speech room, and you can conceal mini trinkets or small pictures in the boxes for any goal.

 

Mr. Potato Head can cover body parts, clothing, requesting, sequencing, and wh-questions. Check out this blog post for more ideas on how to use this toy. 

Toys that Help Language Development

Your k-2 crew with language impairments usually has several areas of need in the language domains. When you have a mixed group walk-in with a grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension goal, you want toys to target those goals together.

Using magnetic scenes is a great toy to cover story retelling, comprehension, labeling, grammar, and describing goals. Plus, your students will enjoy creating scenes, and you can use it as a barrier game. One of my favorite magnetic scenes toys is from Create-A-Scene. I also found these Magnetic Portable Playboard sets that are smaller, so you can easily transport them from site to site. 

 

You can use the Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Pad for a more affordable option. 

When you have students working on basic concepts, describing vocabulary and categories, and answering wh-question and syntax, you need a toy house! The Li’l Woodeez toy house from Target or the Fisher-Price Little People play house is excellent for targeting language goals. And it’s a nice break from flashcards or worksheets.

What Speech Therapy Toy Do Your Students Go Bananas For in Sessions?

If you have a toy, you find a winner with your early elementary caseload, share it in the comments below!

My biggest wins in therapy are when I can use a toy to demonstrate or elicit a speech or language skill without using flashcards.

That’s why I love hearing what toys work for your students so that other SLPs can get ideas for therapy.

Check out this blog post from Speech Room News if you work with early intervention and need toy ideas. 

 

Christmas Tree Craft for Speech Therapy

Christmas Tree Craft for Speech Therapy

In December, pulling out some festive activities with your speech therapy groups is fun. If your students celebrate Christmas and need mixed group holiday activities, you will love this Christmas tree craft for speech therapy. It’s easy to make and can be sent home as a functional decor that will remind your students to practice their speech and language skills.

If your students don’t celebrate Christmas, you can adapt this craft to be winter trees.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post for your convenience. When you use my affiliate link, I earn a small commission.

Christmas Tree Craft Supplies You Need

Make mixed group planning easier in December with this Christmas tree craft for speech therapy!

To make this Christmas tree craft for speech therapy sessions, you will need the following supplies:

Cardstock (you can print on regular paper, but it will be a little lighter. For a sturdy tree, the cardstock works best)

Colored pencils or crayons

Dot markers (optional)

Scissors

Glue

String or ribbon if you want to put a hole punch and create an ornament

Christmas tree craft templates

Assembling the Christmas Tree Craft

To make your 3D Christmas tree craft, you must fold each tree in half with the ornament side touching each other. Then, you will add glue to one half of the Christmas tree and glue that to another half of a different tree. Once all sides of your tree are glued together, your Christmas tree craft can stand up independently.

Make mixed group planning easier in December with this Christmas tree craft for speech therapy!

How to Use the Christmas Tree Craft for Speech Therapy

When you print out the templates, you can either pre-cut the trees or have students do it.

Your students can practice their speech and language targets with the printouts in the first session and covering with magnetic chips or erasers on the stimulus items. For ideas using magnetic wands, this post has ideas for you!

Then, in the next session, have students color or use dot markers with their trees. As each child is coloring, you can work on their goals.

After everyone is finished coloring, you can help students assemble their crafts.

You can keep your Christmas trees in your room for warm-up practice or progress monitoring. Plus, you can send it home as homework for students to use for practice until Christmas!

Make a Speech Therapy Bulletin Board with Your Christmas Tree Craft

If you have a bulletin board area in the hallway or your room, you can glue their Christmas tree crafts to colorful construction paper and hang them on the wall.

Or, you can punch a hole at the top of the tree and tie string or ribbon to make an ornament that they can hang on their tree at home.

With the Christmas tree language templates, there are mini homework directions to send home to help parents know how to use the stimulus items at home.

Make mixed group planning easier in December with this Christmas tree craft for speech therapy!

Need more Themed Crafts to Use in Speech Therapy?

Make mixed group planning easier in December with this Christmas tree craft for speech therapy!

Using themed crafts can be a great way to switch things up in your mixed groups when you need a break from worksheets and flashcards.

And themed crafts can help you plan literacy-based lessons for small groups and co-teaching sessions. The Themed Therapy SLP membership provides low-prep-themed crafts and visual supports for those crafts. You can also check out these blog posts for more ideas:

 

Easy Christmas Crafts for Speech Therapy

Ideas for Winter Crafts to Use in Speech Therapy

Easy Summer Crafts for Speech Therapy

Spring Crafts for Speech Therapy

3 Easy Valentine’s Day Crafts for Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy Gift Guide for SLP Accessories

Speech Therapy Gift Guide for SLP Accessories

Sometimes we need a speech therapy gift guide with SLP accessories to help us enjoy the job, right!?

In this blog post, I wanted to share a list of SLP accessories that would be nice to have during the workday.

You can send this speech therapy gift guide of SLP accessories to your spouse or family or use it for grad student gifts.

I put together a list of SLP accessories necessary to make the day brighter or help you stay organized.

*There are Amazon affiliate links and other affiliate links that I get a small commission at no additional cost to you.

 

Speech Therapy Gift Guide – SLP Accessories for the Car

On the hunt for a speech therapy gift guide for SLP accessories? This blog post has all the best ideas for stocking stuffers for SLPs

Most SLPs have a commute, and they bring LOTS of bags, at least I do!

One way to brighten your work commute is by having some fun audible books to listen to while driving.

Get your favorite SLP an audible subscription, so they don’t have to miss out on books because they are too tired to read in the evening.

We love having our cups for their beverages that fit in their console in the car. You can get this two-pack glass tumbler in various colors for iced tea, coffee, or electrolyte water. 

Grab these car hooks, so you can hang your bags nicely behind your seat instead of throwing them in your trunk.

A utility tote can help you carry all your stuff in one load. You can stick your lunch box, laptop bag, speech therapy materials, and water bottle inside!

Stocking Stuffers SLP Accessories for Coffee Lovers

On those days when just ONE coffee isn’t enough, it’s nice to have some yummy coffee beverages and accessories to make in your speech room.

Who hasn’t had their cup of coffee go cold because you ran to the copier before the bell rang and then forgot to drink it because your first group arrived?

If this is you, you need this coffee warmer for your office!

Add in a tea kettleinstant coffee, and some chagaccino, and that’s quite the stocking stuffer collection.

Chagaccino is a coffee booster that tastes yummy, and sugar-free, and is a superfood mushroom powder that boosts your immunity and helps your brain function. Use DRINK UP at checkout for 10% off your order. 

On the hunt for a speech therapy gift guide for SLP accessories? This blog post has all the best ideas for stocking stuffers for SLPs

SLP Accessories for Your Devices

Many SLPs use their smartphones and iPads or have workstations for their computers. Here are some cool tech SLP accessories that you might love:

Cord organizer for your desk, car, or home

Leather desk mat/mouse pad

portable Monitor is a game changer when you want to have two screens for teletherapy when doing paperwork and need to see two tabs simultaneously.  

Kids touch our screens all the time, so having a screen cleaner with a wiper is excellent!

Use an iPad/iPhone stand holder to help your posture when texting, and have your hands free when using the iPad with students.

Small portable phone chargers are great because we often sit in meetings and need our phones to stay charged all day. 

Save Over 70% with the SLP Winter Survival Kit

Suppose you are in survival mode and need help planning a winter theme for your elementary caseload. In that case, you can get a kit of winter-themed resources for over 70% off during the extended Black Friday sale from November 21st-December 3rd. You can get $100 worth of speech therapy materials for only $29. It will help you save time, reduce stress, and bring back joy to your therapy sessions. Grab it HERE.

What SLP Accessory Would You Add?

Do you have something you use at work that you love? Share in the comments something to add to the speech therapy gift guide for SLP accessories! If you are on the hunt for some toy ideas, check out this blog post. You can also find some great sensory toys and tools on this blog post

4 Squirrel Toys You Need for Speech Therapy

4 Squirrel Toys You Need for Speech Therapy

You are seriously missing out if you still need to plan a squirrel theme for your elementary caseload. Squirrels are the funniest creatures, and kids love talking about them.

This theme allows you to ditch your worksheets and easily target speech and language goals with toys and props. This blog post will teach you about four squirrel toys for speech therapy.

This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links which means when you use the link to purchase an item, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Squirrel Toys Speech Therapy Must-Haves

 Squirrel toy props for your speech therapy sessions that will increase engagement with your students!

Not only is the game Sneaky Snacky Squirrel for targeting speech sound goals, but it also has fabulous game pieces to add to sensory bins. In particular, this game is excellent for targeting s-blends. You can see all my favorite games for s-blends HERE.

The game itself provides opportunities for teaching colors, turn-taking, functional communication, commenting, and verb actions.

Plus, you can use the acorns to teach more, less, all, none, and for pretend play with squirrel figurines.

If you need a toy companion cheat sheet for this game, head to my store to snag the resource that gives you 45 cheat sheets for your most used toys and games.

Want to see how you can use a toy cheat sheet for your therapy groups? Try the bubbles toy cheat sheet for free in this blog post

Squirrel Dog Toys for Teaching Language Skills

One of my go-to places to find themed props is the dog section in stores or on Amazon.

There are always seasonal toys that can be used for your pretend play activities. Hands down, one of my favorite finds is the squirrel log dog toy.

You can target basic concepts, verb actions, answer yes/no questions, and grammar concepts, and hide other items inside the log. Put your acorns inside from sneaky snacky squirrel to work on plurals grammar markers, verbs (i.e., gather, find, carry, collect), and wh-questions.

For more ideas on where to find themed props, head to this blog post.

Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!

Join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership

If you are on the struggle bus with planning themed therapy for your Prek-5th grade caseload, let me take that off your plate!

You can use various printable and digital materials to plan a themed therapy unit without stress. When you join the annual membership, you can access over 24 themed units at once, like the squirrel theme!

Get the support you need to serve your students well.

Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!
Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!
Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!
Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!

Squirrel Figurines for Pretend Play and Sensory Bins

Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!

Another unexpected place to find mini-themed figurines is cake decorating store sections. I found these squirrel figurines on Amazon and knew they would be perfect for a sensory bin and play sets. If you own a treehouse toy or play house, check out how to make a squirrel takeover for play-based speech therapy in this blog post.

Squirrel Toy Speech Therapy Must-Have for High Trials

When working on speech sound goals, you always need props or activities that help make practice trials more fun. Use this squirrel ball popper to hit acorns with points you draw on the whiteboard. You can have students earn the balls after practicing their words several times. Set the flashcards for your language goals and have students try to hit a flashcard to practice.

Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!

What Squirrel Toys Have You Found for Your Caseload?

Squirrel toys speech therapy must-haves that will bring your sessions to life!

Have you found any fun squirrel toys you use with your elementary caseload? If so, share your finds in the comments of the blog post. For more squirrel lesson plan ideas, head to this blog post.

Thanksgiving Placemat Craft for Speech

Thanksgiving Placemat Craft for Speech

It’s November, so it’s time to make a Thanksgiving placemat craft speech therapy style!

Feeling the weight of all those assessments and IEPs, you have to write? I know November can be bananas with paperwork.

When you are overloaded, that usually means NO extra time to plan for therapy sessions.

So, I have a Thanksgiving Placemat Craft speech therapy style you can use with your mixed groups!

Don’t worry; this craft is LOW prep, easily adaptable for LOTS of goals, and something you can send home as homework.

Thanksgiving Placemat Craft Speech Therapy Style!

To make your Thanksgiving placemat craft, here is what you need:

If you want word lists for a Thanksgiving theme organized by sounds, we have those in the Themed Therapy SLP membership for November.

In the free download, there are a variety of templates so that you can use this craft with lots of goals.

For example,  you can work on naming foods, writing about thankfulness, or gluing words on the plate.

You can grab the full version of this craft in my TPT store if you want ready-to-go templates for different speech and language sounds.

Tips for How to Use Your Craft For More Sessions

After your students finish their crafts, you can laminate them to send home as homework for the Thanksgiving break. Your students can have it at their dinner table to remember to practice their speech or language targets.

Another way to extend the use of this craft is to keep them as warm-ups for collecting data or quick drill. 

Easy low prep Thanksgiving placemat craft speech therapy style to use with your mixed groups!

Love Using Crafts in Your Speech Therapy Sessions?

Easy low prep Thanksgiving placemat craft speech therapy style to use with your mixed groups!

If you need some more craft ideas to pair with your fall-themed units, check out this blog post. One of my FAVE crafts to use with most of my caseload is the windsock craft. Check out more about that craft HERE

Squirrel Play-Based Speech Therapy Idea!

Squirrel Play-Based Speech Therapy Idea!

One of the MOST fun themes ever includes squirrels! During the fall season, your students will see squirrels scampering about, darting, and scurrying around outside anywhere there are trees or plants.

They are some of the silliest creatures to watch, so why not incorporate squirrels into your play-based speech therapy sessions?

I want to share a fun squirrel play-based speech therapy activity that you can pair with your favorite squirrel book!

Many of my sessions are structured with a book and then a play-based activity to allow for direct teaching, incorporating literacy, and allowing the child to explore concepts while playing.

You will find Amazon affiliate links for your convenience in this blog post. When you use these links, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

What You Need For The Squirrel Play-Based Speech Therapy Activity

Change things up in  your traditional speech therapy sessions by using this squirrel play-based speech therapy activity!

To have your squirrel take over, you need any toy set, but the one that would be best is the treehouse toy set from Fisher-Price. You can also use this fun treehouse from Calico Critters or Li’l Woodzeez

You need these mini squirrel figurines, and if you want verb and vocabulary flashcards related to squirrels, you can find those in the Themed Therapy SLP membership. The squirrel theme is part of the September month, but when you get an annual subscription, you have access to all the themes throughout the year, so you can pick the theme you need for your caseload!

Goals to Target with the Squirrel Play Therapy Activity

You can hide different verb and vocabulary flashcards throughout the play set when doing your squirrel takeaway.

Have your squirrels gather all the cards that are hidden around the set. As your student’s squirrels find cards, you can target speech and language goals.

You can also work on verb actions for the squirrels, target pretend play schemes such as preparing for winter, or work on basic concepts with the squirrels.

With your students working on speech sounds, give them words to practice related to squirrels that have their sounds. Or, have some sound-loaded phrases to use while playing.

Change things up in  your traditional speech therapy sessions by using this squirrel play-based speech therapy activity!

For example, if you are working on s-blends, you can naturally target scamper, scurry, squirrel or snack. For students working on /l/, you can have them say “look” every time they find a squirrel or flashcard.

Or, if the squirrels are searching for acorns and nuts, they can “munch” or “chew.”

How would you use this squirrel-themed play-based speech therapy activity to cover goals on your caseload?

Need more Squirrel Speech Therapy Ideas?

Change things up in  your traditional speech therapy sessions by using this squirrel play-based speech therapy activity!

If you are sold on using a squirrel theme with your entire caseload, you need to check out this blog post for more ideas!

This is a very underrated theme because every time I use it, kids LOVE it. To help you rock a squirrel theme longer than a week, check out this squirrel language lesson plan guide in my store!

You can also find a sneaky snacky squirrel toy cheat sheet in this resource

5 Fall Language Therapy Activities for SLPs

5 Fall Language Therapy Activities for SLPs

When implementing a theme-based approach, you want to ensure your speech therapy materials and activities include the theme’s vocabulary.

That’s why today, in this blog post, I will share 5 Fall language activities you can do that incorporate fall-themed vocabulary words and concepts.

Mixed Group Fall Language Therapy Activity

Learn about 5 fall language therapy activities you can use with your mixed groups in this blog post.

Sequencing with fall activities is a great way to work on various language goals.

You can cover grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, description, and more! This research article found that when therapy focused on a broad range of language skills, students reading comprehension improved.

Working on sequencing the steps for raking leaves, carving a pumpkin, making an apple pie, or a squirrel collecting acorns for the winter, you can work on lots of different language concepts.

You can even show your students YouTube videos with the process for these fall activities. And, if you want digital Boom Cards to work on fall sequencing, check out these different fall-themed sets in my TPT store.

Lervåg, A. , Hulme, C. and Melby‐Lervåg, M. (2017). Unpicking the developmental relationship between oral language skills and reading comprehension: It’s simple, but complex. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/cdev.12861

Work on Comparing and Contrasting with Fall Vocabulary

If you ask classroom teachers what skills they are working on in language arts, one skill that they often share they are teaching is comparison.

Teaching your students how to feature match to find similarities and differences will help them analyze characters from stories and similar items.

You can work on the compare/contrast skill using fall-themed vocabulary. Check out the word lists at Words To Use for some ideas. If you want to avoid thinking of similar items, grab these compare/contrast cards for fall in my TPT store.

Want a free graphic organizer for comparing and contrasting? Grab this one in my store!

Learn about 5 fall language therapy activities you can use with your mixed groups in this blog post.

Use Fall Photos to Build Inferencing Skills

Learn about 5 fall language therapy activities you can use with your mixed groups in this blog post.

You can cover many language goals using real photos from a theme, so why not use fall-related images to target inferencing skills?

One of the main benefits of a theme-based approach is that while you are working on the theme’s concepts, you can build background knowledge simultaneously.

While asking your student’s inferencing questions, you can also help build schema around the fall season. To find fall-themed photos, you can use Pixabay, Google Photos (don’t post this on the internet because you could be violating copyright), or any free, open-source photo site. But, if you want to save time, you can use the fall inferencing photos ready to go with questions and thought bubbles. 

Teach Comprehension With Short Stories

Often we have students on our caseloads with various language needs who struggle with comprehension because vocabulary and syntax are significant areas of need. On top of that, retaining all the components of a story can be difficult if the text is long.

So, I like having short stories to help break down the wh-questions, help build vocabulary, and work on retelling while also targeting syntax.

To help me follow a theme-based approach, I have made fall-themed short stories with fall concepts embedded in the story.

You can find my scaffolded fall short stories in my Themed Therapy SLP membership and the fall sequencing short stories. If you are still deciding whether to try out the membership, I also have a set of fall-scaffolded short stories in my TPT store.

Build Vocabulary with Fall Sensory Bins

Making a fall-themed sensory bin can be a great way to reinforce vocabulary while keeping your students engaged during the session.

A typical therapy plan for me is using a fall-themed book and pairing it with a sensory bin.

You can provide direct teaching with the book and allow the child to explore and use the fall sensory bin to target goals. If you need a fall-themed sensory bin companion, I have this set in my store!

Plus, I have sensory bin cheat sheets in the Themed Therapy SLP membership. For more fall-themed sensory bin ideas, check out this post.

What Fall Language Activities Do You Plan With Your Students?

Do you have any fall language activities that are a big hit with your students? How do you plan for your language goals using a fall theme? Share any books, websites, or resources you use for your speech therapy sessions in the comments. For more fall-themed therapy ideas, check out these blog posts.

 

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