Thursday, February 1, 2018

Therapy Tip: Hearts, Love, and Language

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

Hearts, Love, & Language: Using Valentine's Day for Language Activities

Here in America, we will be celebrating Valentine's Day on February 14. As you have noticed in some of my previous therapy posts, I like to use seasons and holidays to change up some things that I do in therapy sessions. Valentine's Day is no different. Even though I work with toddlers, there are still elements of Valentine's Day that I can use in sessions to target language skills.

Here are some language skills you can easily work on with simple items found around the home:

-Big/Little:  Make hearts of different sizes using construction paper. You can then compare two hearts and decide which ones are big and which are little. I like to have two different containers to place the sorted hearts inside to make it more fun for the toddlers.

-Following directions: Using cut out hearts, stickers, crayons, etc., make a card with your child. Throughout the craft, give your child some simple directions to follow. "Pick up a pink heart. Open the glue. Flip the heart over. Choose a crayon." Making the card from beginning to end will work on task completion as well.

-Colors: Cut out 2 hearts for each color of construction paper you have. Shuffle the hearts up. Help your child sort through them to find matching colors. For an identification task, spread all the colored hearts out. Tell your child to pick out a certain colored heart such as, "Find pink." Finally, you can work on color naming by having your child tell you all the colors of the hearts.

-Shapes: Obviously, you can target the heart shape in these activities. You can add any other shape you want to compare two shapes (heart, circle). 

-Body parts: If your child is working on body parts, you can have them put a heart on the part as you name it. "Put the heart on your foot/belly/head."

-Spatial Concepts: Using cut out hearts along with poster board or construction paper, you can work on spatial concepts such as top, bottom, left, right, and middle. Hand the child a heart and tell them where to glue it using those words. If those concepts are too hard, try using a heart with an object like a small container instead of poster board. With this, you can work on the concepts top, under, in front, behind, next to, and inside. "Put the heart next to the box."

Have fun working on language tasks during this fun holiday!

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

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