Thursday, December 21, 2017

Therapy Tip: Felt Christmas Tree

It's Therapy Thursday! It's the day that I share a tip based upon my experience as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and a mother of a child with special needs. Today's tip is a simple one you can create at home:

The Felt Christmas Tree

I like doing simple activities in therapy that families can replicate at home. If a project is too complicated, a family will most likely not do it at home. They will not want to run to several stores to try to find several materials to create a great activity. They have enough to do already. Simple is best!

To make your own felt Christmas tree, all you need is felt material. I purchased a small 10 piece felt package from Wal-Mart to make mine. I didn't use a pattern, which explains why my tree isn't "perfect." I just cut out all the pieces you see above (tree, star, circles that I called lights, and squares for presents). After all your cutting is complete, you are ready to work on some language skills. 

Here are some things I target with toddlers/two year olds using this tree:
-Spatial concepts/following directions: Try giving your child these directions to check their understanding of spatial concepts: Put the star at the top of the tree. Put the presents under the tree. Put this light in the middle of the tree. 

-Colors: I made the circles/lights different colors so I could work on pink, orange, yellow, and purple. You can hold up two different lights and have the child get a certain color. (Get the pink one). This works on color identification. If that's too easy, you can hold up two lights and ask the child which one they want. This works on color naming

-Saying family names: Tell the child the presents are for someone in the family. "This one is for (child's name). This one is for mommy." To change it up, you can ask the child who they think a present is for. 

-Shapes: The star, squares, and circles can also be discussed for children who are ready to work on shapes as well. You can ask them to find a circle/square/star after it is all decorated. 

-Phrases: Hold all of the pieces for the tree in your possession. Make the child say what he/she wants in order to receive the pieces. "I want the star. More light. I want light please." 

Have fun decorating your tree and building your child's language skills!

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

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