Speech Therapy Ideas for Spring
Springtime welcomes an abundance of opportunity for incorporating seasonal crafts and play in sessions. Creating speech therapy activities according to the season is a great way to keep lessons fresh and relevant for your students. These lessons can be created considering the language needs for 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.
Spring Literacy Skills
As school based SLPs we frequently include books in our sessions to work on vocabulary, narrative, and language skills. When selecting books to work with culturally and linguistically diverse (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 your sessions. You can adapt any of these books to fit your lesson and students objective, while making it relatable to the current season. Here are a few recommendations:
- Who Likes Rain? By Wong Herbert Yee
This is a great book for your preschoolers to work on basic concepts and rhyming. You can expose 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 have conversations about the different events of spring as it relates to 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 pair of friends 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. After reading the book you can go on a 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 upper elementary level students to talk about the changes in the season and how different families do different things to prepare for each season.
Looking for spring themed vocabulary activities? We’ve put together a list of speech therapy activities you can do with your students.
Springtime Scavenger Hunt
Look for pictures of items related to spring; which may be found in the areas around your school such as flowers, raincoat or playground. Keep in mind the context of the elements you select and consider if the child has been exposed to the concept before. Glue the pictures onto index cards, laminate them and then put them onto a portable ring that can be carried around easily. Focus on things that the child can relate to and would be easily found in the setting you are in. You may also decide to include more challenging items and use these as an opportunity to expose the child to new concepts.
With your student, you can start by labeling and describing the picture on each card using the language of the session. You can ask questions like: what is it? where can you find it? After, go on a scavenger hunt walk searching for the actual items. If you are not able to go on a walk, find a photo of a scene that portrays all the objects on your cards to play I spy with my little eye using the photo.
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 new smells? When finished, students may make a journal of observations.
You could adjust this activity 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 special in a different way. Consider reaching out to students’ families and 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 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 in their environment and relate it to Spring. Consider the previous exposure to the vocabulary and determine is you need to discuss new concepts before playing the game.
Hand each child the bingo card with a dry erase marker to use for marking their card. Give the students time to look around and fill in their card with the objects they find. The first student to yell bingo has to talk through where they spotted each item. If you are not able to go outside you may play regular Bingo by calling out the words and have the students say where they would generally see that item during Spring. This activity will help to practice language skills, articulation, and social pragmatics.
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