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10 Fall Activities for Speech Therapy
Fall is in full swing here in New Jersey! The leaves are beginning to fall, the air is cool and crisp, and there are apple and pumpkin goodies galore.
I love incorporating fall-themed activities and books into my speech therapy sessions. Infusing information about the seasons into our sessions not only teaches seasonal vocabulary, but it also helps target emergent science skills. This is important to later academic success. Amazon associates link have been included.
Here are 10 fall activities:
- Baby Loves Fall
I LOVE reading! Reading is a wonderful way to have your child or student learn and understand new vocabulary words or practice language skills. One of my favorite fall-themed books is Baby Loves Fall by Karen Katz. My students enjoy lifting the flaps to reveal the answers to stimulating wh-questions. This book is great at targeting many different expressive and receptive language goals. I’ve created a book companion that’s jam packed with evidence-based parent coaching handouts, colorful cards, and easy to do puzzles to help you deliver effective and engaging speech therapy or early intervention coaching. Check it out HERE!
2. Create a Fall Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are great tools for children to develop their cognitive skills. When taking part in sensory play, children interact with different objects, allowing them to understand and build knowledge on their own. To build a fall-themed sensory bin, start by grabbing things that you have around the house. Collect leaves, fall-colored paper, mini pumpkins, or any other autumn-themed object. Dump these items into an empty box or shoebox, and allow your child or student to touch, explore, and interact with the objects. Encourage them to learn fall vocabulary such as “leaf, pumpkin, and acorn.” For tips on how to use a fall sensory bin to get your toddler talking, read A Fall-Themed Sensory Bin to Get Your Toddler Talking.
3. All the Leaves are Falling Down Song
Singing is a great way to teach your child vocabulary and speech skills! Music helps with language acquisition because it teaches children about language structure, beat, and rhythm. This cute fall song about leaves falling down is perfect for your child to learn fall-themed vocabulary. Check it out HERE and have fun singing!
4. All About Leaves Activity Packet
Fall foliage is one of my favorite parts of this time of year! I’ve designed this All About Leaves: Nonfiction Speech Therapy Packet to give children the opportunity to interact with and learn leaf vocabulary. This packet has 25 different worksheets, handouts, and activities that can be printed out or used digitally. Activities include vocabulary cards, vocabulary matching, cut and paste worksheets, preposition tracing worksheets, sorting activities, Venn diagrams to practice comparing and contrasting, wh-question worksheets, and MUCH MORE! Check it out HERE!
5. Sort Leaves by Color
A simple yet effective activity that parents can do with children is collecting leaves and sorting them by color. This is an especially good activity for young children who are still beginning to develop their vocabulary. Once you have collected all of your leaves with your child, spread them out on the table. Separate them into different piles depending on their color. Encourage your child to repeat the colors by saying, “This leaf is red.” “What color is this leaf?”
6. Press Leaves, Acorns, and Other Items in Play Dough
Another simple activity is taking fall objects, such as leaves, acorns, pinecones, etc., and pressing them into pieces of play dough to see their mold/mark. Compare and contrast the markings and have children describe how they are similar and different.
7. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game
This fun and engaging board game is a great game for preschoolers!
In preschool, children begin their formal learning experience. Play is essential to learning and is a developmentally appropriate vehicle to address speech and language skills but also executive functioning. You have to pay attention, wait, and take turns.
In the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game, children help the squirrels find their acorns. The acorns go “in” the hole and are matched by color. This game reinforces some academic skills like color learning and develops matching and early locative prepositions like “in” and “under” (“The acorn fell under the table.) Children pick up the acorns by squeezing a large tweezer and this in turn helps develop motor skills. Lastly, what sound do you think naturally occurs multiple times when playing this game?? S blends! I like playing this game and then using my visually appealing S-Blend articulation cards to get LOTS of repetitions!
Check it out here. Amazon affiliate link included.
8. Apple Pie in a Cup
Delicious apple desserts are in abundance this time of year! I love all things apple – apple fritters, apple sauce, apple cider, and most of all – apple pie! This apple pie in a cup is a fun activity to do with your children.
Target sequencing, listening and following directions, describing, using verbs and so much more. At the end, enjoy a delicious sweet treat!
Grab some graham crackers, apple sauce, whipped cream, and cinnamon and a cup and spoon.
Crush the graham crackers and put in the cup. I prefer a clear cup so the children can see the layers. Next, scoop out the apple sauce. Then, spray some whipped cream (everyone’s favorite part!). Finally, dash some cinnamon on top!
9. Apple Prints with Paint
Another fun apple-themed activity is making apple prints with paint. You’ll need: apples, paint, popsicles, paper plates and paper.
Begin by pouring paint onto a paper plate. Cut your apple in half vertically, making sure that they are flat. Next, stick a popsicle stick into the top of the apple (skin side). This keeps little hands free of paint. Then, dip the apple into the paint and stamp it onto the piece of paper. Continue as you fill up the rest of the paper and create a beautiful apple print!
Use old, rotten apples so you are not wasting food.
10. Pinecone Crafts
Transform the average pinecone into a cute creature! You can create hedgehogs, bunnies, owls, or any other creature you want to make. Add googly eyes, pom poms, ribbons, or any other decorations that you have on hand- don’t be afraid to get creative! Encourage your child to describe what they are making and how they are making it. Try to have them practice prepositions by asking “Where are the eyes?” and have them respond, “The eyes are ON the pinecone.”
I hope this post has been helpful, and if you try out any of these activities please share a picture and tag me! I would love to see them!
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