Authors: Smart Speech Therapy LLC
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There are many fun yet highly educational therapy activities we can do with our preschool and school-aged clients in the fall. One of my personal favorites is bingo. Boggles World, an online ESL teacher resource actually has a number of ready-made materials, flashcards, and worksheets that can be adapted for speech-language therapy purposes. For example, their Fall and Halloween Bingo comes with both call out cards and a 3×3 and a 4×4 (as well as 3×3) card generator/boards. Clicking the refresh button will generate as many cards as you need, so the supply is endless! You can copy and paste the entire bingo board into a word document resize it and then print it out on reinforced paper or just laminate it.
Fall vocabulary words include: corn, crops, farmer, scarecrow, apples, acorns, oak leaf, maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, grapes, mushrooms, salmon, geese, squirrel, jacket, turkey, Jack-O’-Lantern, rake, pumpkins, harvest moon, hay, chestnuts, crow, and sparrow
Halloween vocabulary words include: witch, ghost, skeleton, skull, spider, owl, Jack-O’-Lantern, devil, cobweb, graveyard, clown, pirate, robot, superhero, mummy, vampire, bat, black cat, trick or treaters, alien, werewolf
Now the fun begins! Some suggested activities:
Practice Rhyming words (you can do discrimination and productionactivities): cat/bat/ trick/leaf/ rake/moon
Practice Syllable and Phoneme Segmentation (I am going to say a word (e.g., ghost, spider, alien, etc) and I want you to clap one time for each syllable or sound I say)
Practice Isolation of initial, medial, and final phonemes in words ( e.g., What is the beginning/final sound in mummy, vampire, robot, etc?) What is the middle sound in bat/cat/geese/rake etc?
Practice Initial and Final Syllable and Phoneme Deletion in Words (Say spider! Now say it without the der, what do you have left? Say trick, now say it without the /t/ what is left; say corn, now say it without the /n/, what is left?)
Practice production of select sounds/consonant clusters that you are working on or just production at word or sentence levels with those clients who just need a little bit more work in therapy increasing their intelligibility or sentence fluency.
Language (in the context of the game or contextual intervention):
Practice Categorization skills via convergent and divergent namingactivities: Name Fall words, Name Halloween Words, How many trees whose leaves change color can you name? How many vegetables and fruits do we harvest in the fall? etc.
Practice naming Associations: what goes with a witch (broom), what goes with a squirrel (acorn), etc
Practice providing Attributes via naming category, function, location, parts, size, shape, color, composition, as well as accessory/necessity. For example, (I see a pumpkin. It’s a fruit/vegetable that you can plant, grow and eat. You find it on a farm. It’s round and orange and is the size of a ball. Inside the pumpkin are seeds. You can carve it and make a jack o lantern out of it).
Practice providing Definitions: Tell me what a skeleton is. Tell me what a scarecrow is.
Practice naming Similarities and Differences among semantically related items: How are pumpkin and apple alike? How are they different?
Practice explaining Multiple Meaning words: What are some meanings of the word bat, witch, clown, etc?
Practice Complex Sentence Formulation: make up a sentence with the words crops and unless, make up a sentence with the words skeleton and however, etc
Or you can just add your own language and literacy goals to go along with these games.
So join in the fun and start playing!