St. Patrick’s Day is the holiday that makes me feel super lucky because it comes right in between winter break and spring break and planning for it feels effortless. Disagree? See below how you can make this holiday fun, engaging, and super simple!
Froot Loop Rainbow Challenge
All my kids love our Froot Loop challenge. I print out rainbows for each kid (I got mine free here) and use Froot Loops cereal to reward correct articulation sounds, descriptions, answers to questions, verb tenses, and elements of a story during my groups. The students’ goal is to fill up the whole rainbow before the session is over.
A friend from grad school got me this material off TPT (linked above). This was a hit last year with my preschool kiddos. They loved putting the different visuals in their spots throughout the book- using prepositions and spatial vocabulary to tell me where it went. There are written vocabulary words to target on each page. You can use the smash mat to sequence and/or re-tell the story. Throughout the story you can also target inferencing or predicting by having your group guess what will happen next.
St. Patrick’s Sensory bin
Each spring, I take a quick trip to the Dollar Tree and pick up yellow gift bag grass or shredded crinkle paper for the base of my sensory bin. You can also pick up oversized tweezers in the academic section which is a great tool to use for fine motor skills and turn-taking. Print common objects on gold coins to work on object/function, describing, or articulation words. For more fun, add paper clips to the pictures and use a Chipper Chat magnetic wand to remove the items.
Social / Mixed Language Barrier Activity
With younger kids or my social language groups, I target feelings using blank leprechaun faces. The students’ create facial expressions to describe how they are feeling or to describe a character’s emotions from a short Pixar video clip or story. You can quickly find blank leprechaun faces via Google images (I’ve also linked one here). This freebie is also awesome for your social language groups to share events in their lives when they felt certain emotions.
I love using barrier activities with my social language or mixed language groups to promote asking and answering questions (typically with spatial vocabulary embedded), turn-taking, and following directions.
I give directions and we compare our scenes afterwards to see if both students followed directions correctly. Then, I let one student give directions to the other student, cuing them to be more specific when necessary.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover
I love the Old Lady books for all holidays. I print out the old lady face, cut a hole in the mouth, and decorate it with construction paper for each holiday. The kids enjoy “feeding” the old lady their articulation words or themed vocabulary. This is also great simply for reinforcement.
St. Patrick’s Day snack/ craft
The most engaging way to target following directions or re-telling/sequencing for my kids is always with a snack or craft. Last year we made green, glittery slime! We also made a simple recipe for my preschool kiddos focused on numbers and colors. They made a fruit mix of cantaloupe and green grapes which we ate on the rug for a “picnic.” You can also make a simple trail mix or popcorn mix with Lucky Charms or Froot Loops cereal.
Author: Allison Ricks, SLP