Christmas/Holiday Activities for Speech and Language Therapy

It’s my favorite time of the year! The days are filled with holiday cheer! School is out and kids are dreaming of Santa, cookies, and reindeer! What a fun time to remind children that they are dear! Christmas time is here! There is something sweet about witnessing the magic of Christmas time through the eyes of a child. Kids come to speech with a different excitement prior to and throughout the holidays. Christmas is the perfect time to make speech therapy fun through the use of themed activities to elicit interaction and engagement from your kids.

Since school is out for a good amount of time during the holidays, it is important to think about activities that you can send home with your students to work on during the break. These activities need to be FUN for the kids! Below I have compiled a list of my favorite activities to incorporate during Christmas time! Remember to think creatively, tailor the activities to each student’s needs, and to have fun!

  1. Merry Christmas, Splat by Rob Scotton

This silly book tells us about Splat’s Christmas adventure! This book can be used to target goals that include vocabulary, problem-solving, sequencing, predicting, inferencing, verb tense, speech sounds, etc. This book is perfect for preschool children and elementary children. When you incorporate books into therapy there are so many ways that you can get creative. You can read it aloud to the children and ask them questions about it. For older children you can have them read it to listen to their speech sounds. You can ask questions based on the pictures in the book, etc. You can even send home this link to the read aloud version of the book on YouTube so that they can practice at home over the break: https://youtu.be/P498jKxzU7E.

  1. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

This book is a holiday classic! Most children have either watched the movie or heard the story before which makes this book fun to use during therapy. This book is perfect for elementary students and late elementary students. It has a lot of /r/ blends and /er/ words in it making it a perfect book to work on that tricky /r/ sound. Furthermore, this book can be used to target many other narrative concepts such as vocabulary, inferencing, figurative language, grammar, social/emotional concepts, etc. This book can be found on YouTube with the following link: https://youtu.be/tPpAztcwj-s.

  1. The Tree That’s Meant to Be by Yuval Zommer

I love this book because it is perfect to talk about themes of acceptance and friendship with children. This book is about a little Christmas tree that is too small to be chosen at Christmas time. It tells the story of the amazing things that happen when the tree is left alone in the forest when all of the other trees were chosen. This book can be used to address many different speech and language concepts such as articulation goals, language goals, and fluency goals. The read-aloud version of this book can be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/biV1wYxQO5k.

  1. Teachers Pay Teachers Christmas Crafts:

Teachers Pay Teachers is a great resource for easy speech and language resources for Christmas. These activities can be sent home during the break for the child to continue to work on their goals at home. There are some phenomenal free resources to utilize. Here are some of my favorites (Click on the craft to go to the linked website):

  1. Sweet Southern Speech 12 Free Christmas Activities for Speech Therapy: Ashley Rossi is an SLP based out of Texas that has a blog meant to help fellow speech therapists out. This blog post has 12 free Christmas activities that she has created specifically for speech therapy. These are great resources that can be customized for each child on your caseload.
  1. Scrunched Paper Christmas Tree: This simple craft can easily be done with children of all ages. First, supply each child with a Christmas tree that is pre-cut. For older students, you can have them cut out their own tree. Next, provide the child with colorful tissue paper and glue. Have them roll up small pieces of tissue paper to resemble ornaments. This craft can target speech goals such as following directions, auditory processing/working memory, etc. You can even use it to target speech sounds. Once they produce the target sound accurately, they can glue on another “ornament.”

    Christmas1
  2. Cotton Ball and Q-Tips Snowman: This craft is perfect for kids that need simple directions. All you need is white paint, cotton balls, Q-tips, and a blue piece of paper. The child will glue the cotton balls onto the paper in the shape of a snowman. They can paint snow with the Q-tip around the snowman. This is perfect for kids that are sensory seeking. It can also be used to follow directions as well.

    Christmas2
  3. Decorating a Christmas Tree: Yes, I mean decorating the Christmas tree at home with their parent. Speech and language goals can be worked on during daily activities, believe it or not. Since we are talking about Christmas, what better activity than decorating a tree. Prior to decorating the tree, have the child describe the tree with their senses. You can have the child sort ornaments by size, shape, and color. You can have the child describe each ornament using adjectives. You can have them repeat certain words that target their speech sounds. After each correct target word, let them put an ornament on the tree. Get creative! Everyday activities are perfect activities to incorporate learning. I am using the Christmas tree in this example, but this can be tailored to any type of decoration in the household.

 

I hope these activities help make speech and language therapy fun during Christmas time! Enjoy and remember to have fun!

 

Author: Caroline Ousley, M.S., CF-SLP

 

Sources:
https://sweetsouthernspeech.com/books/the-tree-thats-meant-to-be/
https://sweetsouthernspeech.com/books/using-merry-christmas-splat-in-speech-therapy/
https://sweetsouthernspeech.com/books/using-the-polar-express-in-speech-therapy/
https://sweetsouthernspeech.com/12-free-christmas-activities-for-speech-therapy/
https://www.craftsonsea.co.uk/scrunched-paper-christmas-trees-2/
http://mamaot.com/christmas-fine-motor-activity-kids-cotton-balls-q-tips-snowman/
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