Speech Therapy Ideas for Spring
Springtime welcomes an abundance of opportunity for incorporating seasonal crafts and play in language sessions. Creating speech therapy activities according to the season is a great way to keep lessons fresh and relevant. These lessons can be created around both monolingual and English language learners. To help you get started, our team has put together a list of speech therapy activity ideas for spring to help inspire you.
As school based SLPs we frequently include books in our sessions as a way to work on vocabulary, narrative, and language skills. When selecting books to work with CLD students consider who are the main characters, the setting, and the concepts it includes. We also recommend you consider your students background experiences and family heritage when selecting literature for you sessions. Here are a few recommendations:
- Who Likes Rain? By Wong Herbert Yee | This is a great book for your preschoolers and work on basic concepts and rhyming. You can expose to your student to spring vocabulary while enjoying the simple and concrete illustrations.
- A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox by: Wendy Pfeffer and Linda Bleck | This is a non-fiction book that will help you talk about the different events of the spring as it relates to the science and different cultures. This book portrays both secular and religious celebrations around the world related to the Spring Equinox.
- The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring by Lucille Clifton | A story about a boy living in the city on a quest to find Spring. This is a great book to share with you beginner readers living in urban neighborhoods. You can go on an scavenger hunt with your students to find Spring just around a corner.
- When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger | This book tells the story of a Lenape Indian girl and how her family prepare and celebrate the different seasons, including Spring. This a great book for your elementary level students to talk about the changes in the season and how different families do different things to prepare for the season changes.
Springtime Vocabulary Activities
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite spring-themed vocabulary activity ideas to share with your students. Check them out below and let us know what you think!
Springtime Scavenger Hunt
Look for picture of items related to spring, which may be found in the areas around your school such as flowers, playgrounds or birdhouses. Keep in mind the context of the elements you select and consider is the child has been exposed to the concept before. Glue these pictures onto index cards, laminate them and then put them onto a portable ring that can be carried outside. Focus on things that the child can relate to and would be easily found.You may also decide to include more challenging items and use these as an opportunity to expose the child to new concepts . Label and describe the picture on each card. You can ask questions like: what is it, and where can you find it? After, go on a scavenger hunt walk searching for the actual items. For students working on articulation you may select words that include the sounds they are targeting and prompt themto use the word in a sentence when it is found.
Once outside, create conversations about the change in the seasons and the differences they notice. What can be seen around them? Does it feel different standing there than it did in January? What do they hear in the background? Are they noticing any smells? When finished, you may head to a shaded area or inside to make a journal of observations. You could adjust this for younger children by making a color hunt. Look for things that are red, blue, green, and more while walking around and commenting on the change in the seasons and the differences between the winter colors and spring colors. Kids can take a journal outside with them to sketch what they see for each color and be able to talk about it later.
As a follow up activity, ask your students if their families do anything special to celebrate the beginning of Spring or during the Springtime. You may talk about how in some places in the world the seasons never change and Spring is not special. Consider reaching out to students’ familiesand ask if they have photos of special springtime events, places or faces to share to tie in each students’ unique experience of spring. This can be a great way to embrace differences in families and to share unique backgrounds.
Outdoor Spring Bingo
Take time to brainstorm items and other things that are related to spring with your students. Talk about different sounds, sights, and smells. Next, hand each child a laminated outdoor spring bingo card to use. Make these ahead of time and include words on the bingo card that concentrate on vocabulary for the season. All of the words should be found around the building or area where you will be walking. You could include animals that you see regularly like squirrels, robins, or bunnies. Perhaps there is a flagpole, special tree, or flowers around – anything that students will be able to identify. Consider the previous exposure to the vocabulary and determine is you need to present the concepts before playing the game.
Hand each child a dry erase marker to use for marking their bingo card. These work well so they may be used additional times. Explain that as you walk outside and sit down in a designated area, they will have time to look around and fill in their card. The first person to yell bingo has to talk through where they spotted each item. This helps to practice language skills, articulation, and social pragmatics.
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