February is here! And so are our themed therapy activities. We love thematic learning – it is relatable and helps kids make meaningful connections within their everyday lives.
Here are some of our favorite ideas to try incorporating at home:
Books about Feelings and Love
Themed books are a great way to teach vocabulary, encourage early literacy, and promote positive relationships and acceptance. When reading books with your child, we recommend using the “PEER” approach.
P: Prompt your child with a question about the story. Prompting your child focuses attention, engages the child in the story, and helps the child understand the book.
Point to something in the picture, for example, a balloon. “What is that?”
E: Evaluate your child’s response.
“That’s right! That’s a balloon.”
E: Expand on what your child said.
“That’s a big, red balloon! We saw one of those in the grocery store yesterday.”
R: Repeat or revisit the prompt you started with, encouraging your child to use the new information you’ve provided.
“Can you say big, red balloon?” Each time the book is reread, the expanded vocabulary words are verbalized again.
Here are some books worth checking out:
- Froggy’s First Kiss, by Jonathan London
- The Day it Rained Hearts, by Felicia Bond
- Guess How Much I Love you, by Sam McBratney
- Love Splat, by Rob Scotton
- Love Monster, by Rachel Bright
- Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch
- The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
- Llama Llama I Love You, by Anna Dewden
- No Matter What, by Debi Gliori
Arts and crafts activities are a great way to work on making choices, requesting and describing during play. Here are some useful strategies to incorporate during the craft at home:
- Provide two choices during card-making: “Do you want the heart or the lip sticker?” or “Do you want the purple or red crayon?”
- Model the use of adjectives: “Ooo, I pick the sparkly, red and white heart!” or “I’m going to draw a big chocolate candy.”
- Teach location concepts: “Do you want to put the sticker in the middle or on the side?” or “Let’s write your name on the front.”
- Practice “who” questions by asking who your child wants to make the card for.
- Sabotage. Give your child an unsharpened pencil or a glue stick with the lid still on it so that they need to ask you for help.
Trip to the Post Office
Once your Valentines are complete, we recommend taking your kids on a trip to your local post office. Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate speech and language skills into the outing:
- Teach related vocabulary: stamps, envelope, delivery, etc.,
- Model comments: “I see a mail truck!” or “Wow, look at all of those mailboxes!”
- Verbally sequence the steps to mailing a package: “First you fill the box, then you tape the outside, next you write the label…”
- Take turns dropping mail into the mailbox and discussing who the mail is for.
- Practice ordering stamps at the counter.
- Bonus: Let your therapist know if you went on the outing, that way it can be a topic of conversation in their speech session. :)
We wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day and look forward to hearing how your activities go! We LOVE meaningful activities, making connections, and all of our wonderful families at SmallTalk.
Author: Julia Navarra, M.A., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist