So here we are; another winter is sneaking up on on us!
This is the best time of year for speech and language therapy in my opinion.
Everything about winter is exciting for children; the snow, the holidays, hot chocolate and sledding.
There are so many fun things to talk about, but few things are more exciting than a snowman!
Here are some snowman-based activities meant for wintertime learning.
Tell or read the story of Frosty the Snowman.
Ask the children to retell the story in their own words, or ask them questions about the story such as "what made the snowman come to life?"
Bring a hat and have the children pretend they are coming to life, just like the snowman. This activity is adaptable for children with varying levels of expressive language goals.
For a child with limited abilities, use word strips (see below) and carrier phrases to help. A child with more advanced goals will be able to come up with their own phrases and ideas after your model.
I am a snowman, I am....
Made of Snow
I am a snowman, I have...
A carrot nose
Talk about how to make a snowman with the child. This is great for children working on expressive language skills, and is also great for sequencing.
"First, you take a large ball of snow for the bottom. Next you roll a medium sized ball of snow for the middle, and then a small ball of snow for the head" and so on.
The books we will be using this month in speech include:
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a wordless book excellent for working on interpretation and language development. Have the child look at the pics and tell what they think is happening. Prompt them to notice details in the pictures and assist them in processing the clues to arrive at a logical narrative. This is a great activity for developing narratives, working on verbal expression skills, and improving grammar and written language. This task is also excellent for the child with weak processing or pragmatic language skills. Social skills weaknesses can be addressed by discussing how the characters may be feeling, why they feel this way, and how we come to those conclusions based on what we see or know.
The Mitten by Jan Brett is a classic story about a lost glove and the forest animals who find shelter there. This story lends itself to sequencing tasks and story retelling. There is also lots of advanced vocabulary to be learned in this version of the story. Jan Brett's website includes many freebies such as story masks, mitten patterns (which I like to hole punch for the kids to lace together), story characters (which we print and place into the laced mittens when retelling the story or sequencing), and other items.
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is about making Snow People from lots of items such as scraps of ribbon, toys, and natural items. It is a great book to read and then make your own Snow People. Paper plate snowmen are easy to make and you can find items similar to those in the book for decorating the plates. I like to supply the children with yarn, buttons, pipe cleaners, and an assortment of items. Or, you can take them on a nature walk to find items to add to their snowman such as acorns, sticks, leaves, etc. There are all kinds of 3-D snowmen to be made.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz is the story of a boy in the city who anticipates snow even when the rest of the town people say it is not going to snow.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is the quintessential book about snow activities. The boy ventures out and engages in all of the classic snow play activities. He also discovers that his snowball melts when he tries to stuff one into his pocket and take it home. Here is a cute YouTube link that retells the story with live action.
The virtual world we live in there are tons of great resources for children to practice their speech and language skills. Many Apps have been created to make working on our speech and language fun. Below are a list of Apps that I have found useful over the past few years.
*Articulation Station by Little Bee Speech
*SmallTalk Consonant Blends by Lingraphica
*The Entire World of r by Say It Right
*Articulation Scenes by Smarty Ears App
*Irregular Verbs by AbiTalk Mobile Learning System
*Irregular Plurals by AbiTalk Mobile Learning System
*Teach Me Sentences
*Sentence Maker by Grasshopper Apps
*Language Adventures Quiz Game Show by Lakeshore
*Kids IHelp - Analogy
*Jumbled Sentences 3
*Brain Pop Jr.
*Mad Libs World's Greatest Word Game
I hope everyone has a wonderful winter break. Don’t forget to read! It is the best way to help your children practice their speech sounds aloud. All talking can be used for practice. Remember to practice your speech sounds when telling and making memories of the holiday season!
Email is usually the best and fastest way to get in touch with me. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be going on Maternity Leave beginning in January. My substitute, Ms. Fein can be reached email@example.com or feel free to reach out to the child study team with any questions or concerns. 732-872-1476 x17
I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.