Thursday, March 2, 2017

Therapy Tip: 5 St. Patty's Day Language Ideas

Today is therapy Thursday! This is the day that I share a tip based upon my experience as a speech-language pathologist and a mother of a child with special needs. Today's tip is:

5 Language Ideas for St. Patrick's Day

Holidays give opportunities to focus in on language skills in new ways. St. Patrick's Day here in America is celebrated with children by decorations of leprechauns and clovers while wearing green.

Photo By jpmpinmontreal [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

With this in mind, here are 5 simple language activities for toddler and pre-school aged children.

1. Green/Not Green: Gather a variety of objects that are green in color. Choose a few things that are not green as well. Sort through the items in a game of green/not green to reinforce colors. I like to have two containers marked so that the children can see what they are sorting. This activity is great for a group of small children too. I like to go to dollar stores to look for inexpensive green items in the holiday section to find some unique things for the children. Here's some things I have used for my green items: play food lettuce, a cup, necklace, bow tie, toy car, toy train, socks, and fake leaves from a flower.

2. Move the Shamrock: This activity works on following directions. Again, this can be used in individual or group therapy sessions. Print off some green shamrocks and get them ready to go for this activity. For this, you will give directions with the shamrocks ranging from easy to hard depending on the child's ability. Examples of directions are: Put the shamrock on top of your head. Find a book, and put the shamrock inside it. Trade shamrocks with a friend and then sit down.

3. Guess What's Green: In this activity for older pre-school children, find some green objects that you will keep hidden from the child (or class). Choose one object to give a couple of clues about to the child to see if they can guess the hidden item. For instance, if it is broccoli, then you can say it is a food, and it is a vegetable. If they guess it, you can reveal the object to the child. This works on attributes, naming, and categories. If the child is working on questions, you can have them ask questions in order to figure out what the mystery object is.

4.  Green Collage: Gather up all your green crafting materials and make a poster collage of green items. You can gather green markers, crayons, and colored pencils for the child to make drawings with. Other items that the child can glue or tape on to the paper/poster board are: green streamers cut up in small strips, green feathers, green pipe cleaners, green construction paper cut up into different shapes, green stickers, etc. While creating the collage, you can target phrases "green feather." You can also target adjectives as you talk about big feathers, little feathers, bumpy streamers, and soft pipe cleaners. This is a good way to get rid of odd craft items you have laying around.

5.  Shamrock Sizes: Print off green shamrocks (or leprechauns) of various sizes. Depending on the child's skill level you can target big/little, small/medium/large, big/bigger/biggest during this activity. You can use containers to place the shamrocks in while sorting through the sizes.

Have fun getting ready to build language for this holiday!

Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended for therapeutic advice.

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