Let’s face it. Kids don’t always want to work on language skills at home. They want to play their video games. Text or “Snappy Chat” their friends. Yes, you read that right…”Snappy Chat.” If you are lucky, they enjoy reading. But working on talking, answering questions, describing? That’s a big NO. But it’s ok. Sometimes during therapy sessions, they don’t want to work either. However, if you are eating or drinking? You’ve got their attention!
That’s where you insert a recipe for a fun hands on, language enriched activity!
Since it’s summer time, and 125 degrees in the shade, lemonade is a great recipe to make! You can make it easy and use a mix that you add water to. Or you can get crazy and make it from scratch…you know juice the lemons, boil the sugar. When I make it at home, that’s my preferred method. I can’t find my exact recipe but here is one that is very similar to mine. Nothing beats a good cup of cold lemonade…that the kids HELPED make! Making lemonade with the kids is a great language enriched task. Planning the grocery lists, measuring, is the water hot or cold, safety awareness around the stove top…ALL OF THIS SUPER BENEFICIAL to your child’s language skills!
Have your child get cups ready with ice. If he is old enough, have him pour the lemonade. Work on using pronouns like “Pour some in your cup” “Put ice in his cup” are just a few examples. As you enjoy the lemonade with your child, talk about the steps you went through to make it. What did you do first? What did you do last? Have your child get paper out and list or draw the steps.
How does the lemonade taste? Is it cold? Does it tastes sweet or sour? Pull in some science terms-is it a solid or a liquid? If you have an afternoon open, make different types of lemonade-raspberry lemonade, lavender lemonade, etc. Pinterest has TONS of recipes! Then talk about which one you liked best or which is least favorite. All of this gets your child talking and using those language skills!!!
Now…go make lemonade!!!
If you haven’t noticed by now, I freakin LOVE using crafts in my speech therapy sessions! So guess what? The pirate themed week was no different! I actually had two crafts I could switch between, depending on the goals of my clients.
Paper Plate Pirate Craft for Speech Therapy
I used this one for my little ones mostly. It was easy to work on requesting and increased MLU with this craft. Here’s what you need: each child needs 1 large paper plate, 1 wiggly eye, 1 sheet of black construction paper, 1 sheet of red construction paper. Since my clients are all smaller, I cut out everything for them. The beard and eye patch were cut from the black paper. A head scarf was cut from the red paper. The kids can decorate the head scarf if they choose. My clients did not and I think the craft turned out just fine. You can also have the kids color the paper plate a skin tone or leave it alone. We did not color ours.
Now to start assembling! I gave choices between 2 pieces (like the scarf and the eye) for some of my younger clients. Then using the phrase, “I want…” they had to make a request. We drew a nose on at the end and TA DA! One cute pirate!
Paper Bag Pirate for Speech Therapy
This craft I paired with “The Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish.” The kids loved it. I loved that my older kids questioned the book on each page. “How did he fit the plank down his throat? Where did he put the ship?” were just some of the questions. (Because the old lady swallowing Santa’s sleigh is apparently completely normal! No one ever questions the old lady!) I made some small cards that go along with the story. You can find them here for FREE! The kids could color them or leave them black and white. For my artic clients, I wrote their target words on the back of each picture. The child had to produce the target word correctly 5x before “feeding” it to the pirate.
How To Make the Pirate
Cut out materials like you did above for the paper plate craft…just make them slightly smaller. I did not make this a puppet so you glue the hat/headscarf at the top of the bag. The child should be able to place cards in the bag through the top. I prefer this way instead of cutting out a mouth in the middle of the bag. My kids will tear their bags too easily! Glue the beard, eye patch and wiggle eye onto the front of the bag too. Draw the nose on with a marker.
OPTIONAL IDEA: Make the paper plate pirate above as directed. Make the beard big enough to glue all the story picture cards on to it!
What are some of your favorite pirate activities?! I’d love to hear them!
Needing some additional pirate themed activities?
Check out this blog post or my TpT store for a speech and language companion to “Pop Up Pirate!”
While I try to read as much as I can, it doesn’t always work out. But today, I am bringing you five of my favorite books (make that recent favorites). Not all are speech therapy related or business related. Some are just for fun. Summer’s not quite over for you school SLPs, so you still have plenty of time to get one last fun read before school starts!
I read #GIRLBOSS a couple of Christmas breaks ago. It was after the holidays and I was feeling a little bored so I started researching books on Amazon. I’ve never been a “boring business” book but this one looked interesting. I bought it and read that baby cover to cover in less than 2 days! It was exactly what I needed-the motivation to start the new year off right. I started listening to her podcasts not longer after I went back to work to keep the motivation up. Even though Sophia is in the fashion industry, I still felt her struggles. New business struggle is the same in every industry. How will brand my business? What do I do to get my name out there? Where is my next paycheck coming from?? Those were all things I worried about what I started Speech Chick Therapy almost seven years ago. I loved that she was honest about her struggles and why she started her clothing business. Overall, a great motivating book!
How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul
I have no idea if I ever plan to profit from this blog (aka affiliates and advertising) but I like this book. It’s easy to read. I love the action plans that are at the end of each chapter!! Ruth takes the information she’s just given you and simplifies into a short “to do” list. I have already read it once but recently started re-reading it…just in case I missed something! Again, she goes through her struggles of why she started her blog and getting people to read her blog. Ruth started with more than one blog! I could not imagine trying to write more than one blog!!! It’s an awesome book to learn to profit from your blog without being a cheeseball salesperson.
The Unidentified Redhead
Not going to lie…I picked this book up based solely on the title! The Unidentified Redhead is great fun read for those times when we actually get to read for fun! It’s about a mid-30’s actress who was washed and lands a new hit show. She also catches the eye of the newest 20 something “it boy.” Follow the twists and turns in their relationship as she remains his “unidentified redhead” to the paparazzi. I took this book to the beaches of Destin, Florida and couldn’t put it down! Definitely one to read in your downtime!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
I read this book several years ago (way before it was a movie) and loved it! I am not sure if it was the mysteriousness of the characters, the special characteristics of the children or the odd relationship between the main character and his father. Again, this is another fun read! No therapy or work or business language. Just a boy who sees monsters, a girl that floats and a lady that turns into a bird. I suggest reading the book before you watch the movie. No particular reason…that’s just how I roll. Book before movie. I haven’t read the other two in the series but hopefully will get time (eventually!)
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
This one hit me right in the feels! The story begins in 1964. It’s about a doctor who delivers his own set of twins. The boy is born perfectly healthy. The girl, he recognizes immediately has Down’s Syndrome. Without telling his wife, he asks his nurse to place the child in an institution. However, the nurse keeps the baby, moves away and raises the child as her own. Amazing story with a sad reminder of how special needs children were treated back then. As I read this book, I thought of every child I had ever worked with Down’s. I thought of how amazing each kiddo was. I could not imagine seeing them any other way…or any child for that matter.
So for right now, those are the books I am crushing right now. Who knows…in a month I could have a whole new list. What are some of your favorite reads?
In honor of my son’s birthday, I thought I would take one of his favorite things and use it for speech therapy. He loves his Nerf guns as most boys his age do. But Nerf guns could also be a super motivating item to use during therapy…as long you establish rules and keep the chaos down!
Nerf Guns And Articulation
One easy way to use Nerf guns in speech therapy to shoot paper cups. Take a stack of cups (get the cheap ones!) and write target words on them. Place them on the table or shelf. Have the child produce the target word correctly 5x before “shooting” the cup. This idea can also be used in the home as a parent/child activity!
Another way to modify this activity for a group working a variety of sounds is write numbers on the cups instead of words. When the child shoots a cup, he has to produce a target word number of times on the cup. You can use this freebie in your sessions for a little drill practice too!
Nerf Guns and Language
You can use Nerf guns for a variety of language goals during your speech therapy sessions. If you are working in a group, you can address “my turn,” “his turn”, “your turn,” etc.to work on pronouns and turn taking skills. The child can stand somewhere in the room and shoot a dart. Then, using spatial concepts, tell where the dart is located. (HINT: Again, great ideas for parents!!) You can the language portion of the freebie to work on categories.
Take the cup idea above but tape pictures to the cups. Have the child describe the picture he is going to shoot. To address opposites or synonyms, write a word on each cup. The student has to give the antonym/synonym before shooting the cup.
You don’t need a big expensive toy for this activity. Go to your local Walmart or Target to pick a small dart pistol like this one!
How else would you use these popular dart guns?
Parents always ask me for tips to work on their child’s language skills at home. One of my favorite parent tips is bath time!! Bath time is a great time to work on your child’s language and articulation skills. If you have a young child, parent supervision is already needed while they are in the tub. So why not turn it into a language enriched time? Here’s some tips!
Tips for Bath Time Speech
- Foam letters: You can work on naming the letters, working on the sounds each letter makes, formulating simple words to work on articulation and literacy skills. For slightly older children, give them a letter and see if they can come up with an animal starting with that letter.
- Reading: For active kiddos, use bath time as reading time. As they play in the water, read a short story or picture book. For toddlers, purchase the waterproof books.
3. Flash cards: Use a flashcards while your child is in the bath to work on sight words, letters, math facts, articulation target words, etc! Just be sure to keep them dry.
4. Sequencing: Talk with your child about what you do first (turn the water on) and sequence the steps of getting the bath ready. Discuss what you need (towel, soap, shampoo, etc.) Be sure to use words like first, next and last.
5. Body Parts: Your little one can work on body parts and following simple directions. An example of a simple direction would be “wash your feet” or “put soap on your tummy.”
Families are busy in today’s time. Parents are more likely to use ideas that can be incorporated in everyday activities. Bath time can be a fun and enjoyable while still being language enriched. Have fun with it!
Needing more tips? Here’s one!