It’s March. Trees are growing their leaves back, flowers are starting to poke out from the ground, and the wind no longer whips the breath out of your lungs as you walk from your trailer to the main school building. The most important part of March, though, is not making sure all your IEPs are finished, but making sure your St. Patrick’s Day activities are fresh and ready to go for therapy. St. Patrick’s Day is only the most important holiday of March (unless you count National Peanut Butter Day on March 1st), so it’s important to make sure your therapy ideas reflect the joy that is St. Patrick’s Day. By doing so, you can not only bring some new, bright ideas and crafts into your therapy room, but you can also educate your students about St. Patrick’s Day. Talk about a language rich unit in speech therapy! In this post, I will show some awesome St. Patrick’s Day crafts that have been a hit with my students during speech therapy, and will explain how to recreate them for your own students- AND target all your kids’ goals.
When I think of St. Patrick’s Day, I simultaneously think of rainbows, pots of gold, and small green leprechauns putting four-leaf clovers into their suspender straps. For all my students, I ask what they think of when they hear the word ‘St. Patrick’s Day’. This lets us work on some new vocabulary, describing, and articulation. For my older students, I tend to give them specific, but open-ended tasks. For whatever reason, every fourth grader I’ve ever had loves to draw. For these students, I simply give them a blank sheet of paper and colored pencils, and tell them that they have 10 minutes to draw me the best St. Patrick’s Day picture that they can. For my articulation kids, I challenge them and ask them to incorporate as many pictures of words with their speech sound as possible. For my language kids, I will give them rules that they have to follow as they draw (“you need to draw a pot of gold under the rainbow, and a leprechaun on top of the rainbow”). I may ask them to describe various St. P Day items, or compare and contrast them. Another idea you could do is write ST. PATRICKS DAY at the top of a paper, and then separate each letter with vertical lines running all the way down the sheet. Then, I will give the students a category name, and they will have to name a member of the category for each letter in St. Patrick’s Day. For my younger kids, I like to make crafts from construction paper. This gives me a lot of time to get trials for articulation for each student, while the other children stay busy gluing and cutting their crafts. Crafting is also a super easy way to work on endless language goals. You can work on anything from core words, to following directions, to basic concepts and beyond. My students love to make rainbows with construction paper, pots of gold, and little leprechauns. Here are some pictures to inspire you:
Don’t forget to embrace St. Patrick’s Day as a new and exciting unit. There are endless possibilities to create and inspire some hands-on fun. Not everything has to be craft based- don’t be afraid to challenge your kids to a ‘pot of gold hunt’, where you can hide gold coins around the room, or within a sensory bin. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy it!
Author: Rachel Steinberg, M.Ed., CF-SLP