Valentine’s Day can be a great time to celebrate friendship, love, and family with our therapy students. Not to mention, it can almost always involve sweets! As the case with any holiday, you can easily adapt the goals you are working on with your students to incorporate the holiday theme. Below are a variety of activities you can use with your speech and language students during therapy sessions for Valentine’s Day.
I love working with this age group on any topic, especially with Valentine’s Day! Typically, I use some very basic sorting and hands-on activities with these students. I like using Valentine’s Day cards, which are easily purchased at the dollar store or those famous cheap bins at Target. I tape one to a brown paper bag and have the students sort them by animal, shape, color, or whatever attribute I can come up with. They love it and it keeps them entertained! Another hands-on craft activity I enjoy doing with this age group is making simple Valentine’s Day cards. As always with crafts, you can work on pragmatic language skills, prepositions, following directions, letter recognition, etc. Crafts that I’ve included with this age group include piecing together parts of a heart that have each letter of their name written on it, or something as basic as a heart that they have decorated and made their own – the possibilities can be varied and endless!
With this age group, I also enjoy using Valentine’s Day cards to target describing. Each student gets a Valentine’s Day card and they can practice their expressive language skills by utilizing a target vocabulary word, speech sound strategy, or fluency strategy to describe the card. If you have pairs of the same card, you can also use them for a simple game of Go Fish or Memory to target the same speech and language deficits. I also love working with these students on rhyming skills with writing Valentine’s Day cards to their friends – I give them a word and we brainstorm for a rhyming word and then develop a cute Valentine’s Day poem to go along with it! This can easily turn into a pragmatic language activity by practicing delivering cards to each other, followed by “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” etc.
This group can be used to target more higher order thinking skills, such as predicting, inferencing, complex comprehension, etc. Speech Time Fun has developed some fun, free, and simple inferencing cards for Valentine’s Day. Written expression can also be easily targeted with this age group. I like giving them a curriculum-based vocabulary word and have them write their own Valentine’s Day letter or rhyming card to be delivered to a friend or crush. I usually take this opportunity to teach my students how to address a letter.
The possibilities with themed holiday therapy ideas are endless, and with a little creativity they can be tailored to meet the therapy needs of any student at any age!
Author: Griffin Parrott, M.Ed., CCC-SLP