I don’t know about you, but I’m the speech therapist that always wants to go big for the holidays. Holidays are a great time to continue working on your students’ goals whether it’s learning seasonal vocabulary, direction following to make cute crafts, or reading themed stories to focus on grammar, comprehension, and retelling skills. Valentine’s Day is especially fun because it’s all about friendship, kindness, and love! Below you will find some therapy ideas that will work for your whole caseload.
ARTICULATION / PHONOLOGY
For several Valentine’s Days I have been using Peachie Speechie’s M&M challenge with my articulation kids and they LOVE it. The week before Valentine’s Day I take my weekly (okay, twice weekly) trip to Target and pick up a large bag of pink, red, and white M&Ms. Then, we use the M&M boards with a card deck set focused on the students’ articulation targets. Each student earns an M&M for every word, phrase, or sentence produced correctly with his/her speech sound. I challenge my students to accurately say their target speech sound 100 times in one session, and their goal is to bring home some well-earned candy. It is such a simple and fun activity, plus, they always seem to work much harder for chocolate. (You can also find a challenge board using conversation hearts here.)
I am also a total lover of books when it comes to servicing my caseload. You can target almost any language goal with a book. Some of my favorite Valentine’s Day books for the preschool and/or early elementary level are: Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day, Love Monster, The Day it Rained Hearts, The Night Before Valentine’s Day, Zombie in Love, and Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse. Using these books I can easily target prepositional and spatial concepts, ask a variety of wh- questions, sequence stories, work on social skills, vocabulary, inferencing, and even target articulation for my mixed groups. Plus, most of these well-known books have book companions online for free or for very cheap.
One of my favorites for mixed language groups is the book companion for Love Monster. You can target synonyms, antonyms, describing, comparing/contrasting, predicting, sequencing, and verb tenses using this book. Plus, it’s just a super adorable story!
My favorite book companion to use with my nonverbal or AAC students for Valentine’s Day is Zombie in Love. I also use iheartcommunication’s AAC core vocabulary boards for most holidays, including Valentine’s Day. This material includes Vday vocabulary and craft ideas. It is perfect for nonverbal students to participate in themed lessons and crafts. There is both core vocabulary and fringe vocabulary embedded into this product and it also targets increasing MLU.
The students on my caseload who are working on stuttering or rate of speech techniques enjoy reading Valentine’s poems or MadLibs using their different strategies. I often read one and ask the student to distinguish between bumpy vs. smooth speech or fast vs. slow. After the students have correctly identified my speech pattern, they take a turn. You can find both Valentine’s cards and MadLibs free online or at the Dollar Store in February.
The last thing I do for all of my speech-language kiddos is create themed sensory bins. My sensory bins for Valentine’s Day are made out of conversation hearts and pink and red “Easter grass” from the Dollar Tree. A sensory bin is a super easy (and cheap) activity that keeps kids engaged. I hide articulation cards, or small objects for students to describe, inside the bin. I also have a small mailbox I found in the Target dollar section last year that my older students enjoy putting valentines into for their teachers or friends. This is a painless way to target writing skills, too!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with love, gratitude, and lots of sweet treats!
FREE Resources to Download:
Find more on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) here:
|TPT Valentine’s Day Activities|
Author: Allison Ricks, SLP