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Post-It Note Flag Fun

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Every once in a while I take a break from speech-language pathology posts and post about an activity or an idea that worked for keeping my toddler entertained on rainy or cold days.  Post-It notes/Sticky Note flags are one of those things that are so simple but keep my toddler entertained for a lot longer than I ever expected.  I really don’t use for myself but I have a ton in my house. I pick them up at conventions and such just for the purpose of entertaining my toddler.

We use them to talk about colors. We match the colors of the sticky notes to stuff in the house.

She likes using them to make rainbows on paper.

As pictured, we are using them to give her a manicure. It is even more fun to pick them off.

She loves rubber duckies – in the picture she has used the sticky note flags to make duck clothes and jewelry

She also loves all birds, so she likes to use the flags to make bird feathers on bird coloring pages. They are a fun, non-messy, way to add colors to a picture.

We even like them just to make collages like the one pictured below.

They are great for travel and entertainment in restaurants.

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Spring and Pond Activities

  • Spring is a time when there is a lot of talk about growth – plants grow, flowers bloom, baby animals are born.  You can talk about what grows and what does not grow with your children. Talk about how things grow and what each item might need to grow. For example – plants need sun, water, soil. Pets need water, food, plenty of exercise. Maybe things you talk about grow, but they grow in different ways. For example, a balloon grows in size when you put air into it. Instead of growing, some things actually get smaller as you use them like a candle or a pencil.
  • Bring in a few flowers. Have the children practice naming items that are bigger than a flower and things that are smaller than a flower. Or do things that are taller than a flower and things that are shorter than a flower.
  • Do a spring same/different activity.  Say 1 thing that is the same and 1 thing that is different about: bunny/chick, hat/short sleeve shirt, flower/grass, baseball/soccer, ice cream/popsicle, ant/bumble bee
  • For Earth Day – talk about what can be recycled and what can be re-used. How can the objects be re-used? Example objects are pictured below.

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  • Pretend you are going on a picnic. The children can only pick things to put in the picnic basket that being with a certain sound.  Start with /p/ for picnic and change the sound with each round.
  • Spring Up! – When you hold up a picture of spring, the children “spring up” and switch places. Before you play discuss that the word “spring” has two meanings. Also discuss what the pictures might look like before you play. You can also do this with phrases.  The children can “spring up” when they hear a phrase that has to do with spring.  For example: daffodils in gardens, leaves falling, Halloween costumes, bunnies hopping, building snowmen, planting flowers, birds chirping, swimming in a pool, playing at the beach, Christmas presents, flying kites, green grass, icicles forming.
  • Have all children stand in a circle for this phonemic awareness activity. The middle is the pond. Tell them you are going to say some words.  “If you hear a word that begins with the same sound as frog – jump into the pond.” Change up the sounds and the animals for each round.  “If you hear a word that begins with the same sound as turtle – walk slowly into the pond.” “If you heard a word that begins with the same sound as duck – fly or waddle into the pond.”  You can also reverse it. Have all the children get into the “pond.” If they hear a word that begins with the target sound they stay in, if they hear a word that does not begin with the target sound, they jump/fly/walk out.
  • Similar to the butterfly/caterpillar phonemic awareness games listed here – sort words that begin with /f/ like frog or /t/ like turtle.  Sort words that have 1 syllable like frog and 2 syllables like turtle.  Click the link to get more specific directions.
  • If you are allowed, take the children outside to look for signs of spring. Have the children practice saying what they saw using full sentences. “I saw a _____” or “I found a _____.”  Also have them practice expanding the sentence by saying where they saw or found each item.  For example, “I saw a bunny in the grass.” “I found a bug on a leaf.”  An example sheet is pictured below.

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  • A picture of a pond is a great way to work on using sentences with prepositions. Find a pond picture and pictures of pond animals, flowers, rocks, and other things you might see near a pond. Have the children place the animals on the picture and tell you where they placed them using a full sentence, “The duck is in the pond.” “The duck is flying over the pond.” “There are rocks around the pond.” etc.
  • You can also use the picture to complete a following directions activity with the children.  Give each child a picture of a pond and have them either draw or glue on the items as you give directions. For example, “Draw a green lily pad in the pond.” “Draw 5 rocks around the pond.”  Before beginning, I like to make sure the children all know the vocabulary used in the directions.
  • Do an elision task similar to this snow one but use sun words instead.  Sunglasses, sunscreen, sunny, sunshine, sunhat, sunlight, sunrise, sunburn, Sunday, sunset, sundown.  Click the link for directions.

More Speech and Language Activities for Dr. Seuss/March/Read Across America

photoSorry it is probably too late to use most of these but I wanted to add some additional activities that go along with Dr. Seuss books.  These can be done with both small and large groups. Some could be done in individual therapy as well.

Green Eggs and Ham - This is a good extension of the book that helps children expand and use complete sentences. Place 2 piles of category cards on the table. One pile for colors and one pile for food.  Have the students take turns picking a card from each pile. Have them name each color and each food. Ask the child “Would you eat (color) (food)?” For example – “Would you eat purple corn on the cob?” or “Would you eat a blue banana?”  Have the child answer in a complete sentence: “Yes, I would eat a blue banana.” or “No, I would not eat a blue banana.” For more advanced children, you can have 3 piles, the third containing locations. So the child has to say if they would or would not eat the food in the location they picked.  For example, “I would not eat a blue banana on a chair.”  After they play the game once with you, the children can take turns asking each other, “Would you eat _____.”

Wacky Wednesday – Teachers might be reading this book but children with language issues may not know what wacky means or they may have trouble explaining why the scenes are wacky.  Explain that “wacky” means silly. Tell the children that you have pictures of thing that are wacky like in the book “Wacky Wednesday.”  This is a good time to use all those “What’s Silly” picture cards. Have the children take turns picking on picture and practice saying why it is silly. Have the child show the picture card to the group and ask if there is anything else that is silly in the picture.

Cat in the Hat - Talk about different kinds of hats. Bring in a lot of different hats or have picture of them. Talk about different times you wear hats and have the children volunteer times they where hats. Talk about jobs that require hats. Have each child pick two hats – have them say one thing that is the same and one thing that is different about the two hats. Sort that hats with the children. Make piles for hats for warm weather, hats for cold weather, hat for jobs, hats for costumes, silly hats, men’s hats, lady’s hats, children’s hats, etc.  Play a blending words game with all “-at” words like the ones pictured above.  Finally, to leave or to get up to play, have the children tell you a word that rhymes with “hat.”

St. Patrick’s Day Activities Updated!

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You can go to the post here and find even more speech and language therapy activities for St. Patrick’s Day.  Have fun!

Fox in Sox Activity for Dr. Seuss Birthday

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This is a rhyming activity and class book you can make based on Fox in Socks.  It can be done with a large group and have each child make one page or with a small group and have each child made 2-3 pages.

You will need pictures of animals and pictures of clothing.  Talk about the book and fox wearing clothing on the cover. Show children pictures of the animals. Can they think of a piece of clothing that rhymes with each one?   If children are not that advanced, put the pictures of the animals on one side of the table and pictures of clothing on the other. Name each picture as you lay it out. Have the children take turns picking up an animal and the clothing that rhymes with it.   Have each child say the full sentence. “An ape is wearing a cape.” etc.

Here are the animals and clothing I used:

goat – coat

dove – glove

fly – tie

cat – hat

fox – socks

kitten – mitten

ape – cape

pig – wig

ants – pants

llamas – pajamas

Next make a class book using the pictures.  Have each child pick which animal they want. Have the pages pre-made so the children can simply glue on the pictures and color them in.  Or if your groups are more advanced, they could draw and write their own pages. Then read the whole book to the class or group. Make sure during this activity the children have plenty of opportunities to produce the rhyming pairs.

Check my previous entries. I have other Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Activities including a class book called “Nool in Our School” based on There’s a Wocket in my Pocket and a rhyming match game for One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Language activities for Hide and Snake

IMG_9342I would like to do more posts where I share children’s books that are particularly good for speech and language therapy and some activities to go along with them. I think this book works best for small groups so everyone has several chances to practice saying where they see the snake.

Hide and Snake by Keith Baker is one of those books. In the book a snake is camouflaged in many pictures throughout the book. In each picture his head, tail, and body are visible somewhere on the page.

  • I like to read the story through once so the children can get a feel for the rhyming words. Then during the second read we look for the snake on each page. This is a good book for practicing using full sentences and describing without pointing.  Challenge the children to use their words to describe where they see the snake rather than just pointing and saying “there.”
  • Have the children take turns finding the head, tail, and body and using a full sentence with a preposition. For example, “I see the head under the mitten.” “I see the body wrapped around the green hat.” For many children you will need to provide support to help them expand their sentences.
  • You can have the children practice asking each other “Do you see the snake?” or “Where is the snake” to have them practice asking questions or using correct syntax for questions.
  • You can also practice present progressive constructions by having the children answer “He is hiding____” or irregular past tense verb “He hid _____.”
  • For abstract thinking, talk about how the snake might have gotten into these places and what he might do there. Talk about how the children might feel if they saw a snake in these places.  Discuss other animals and places where they can hid.
  • Share a story about a time you looked for something you could not find and talk about how you found it. Have the children share stories about a time they could not find something.
  • After you are finished the read throughs. Hide paper or toy snakes around the room.  You can make some like the ones pictured above or you can by plastic ones at most dollar stores.  You can have this done beforehand and have the children take turns getting up to find a snake. Have them come back and say where they found the snake using all full sentence with a preposition and the location.  For example, “I found the snake under the pencil holder.”  You can also have the children take turns hiding snakes for one another.

Shadow Activities for Groundhog Day

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  • This works best with a small group. The children take turns being each others’ shadows.  Tell the children that your shadow does what you do. Demonstrate this with a light, going outside, or standing near a window that lets in light to make a shadow. Do some actions and have the children do some actions. Tell them each time, “If I (action), my shadow (action). Tell them now they are going to be each others’ shadows.  Put the children into pairs and have them stand face to face. One child is the actor first and the other child is his shadow. Tell the shadows to do what their friend does. Each child picks 2-3 actions to do and the shadow should do it along with their partner. Remind the shadows they should be doing exactly what their partner is doing. Then have the children tell you what they did using full sentences and cohesion words.  For example, “First we jumped, then we waved our arms, and last we put our arms out.” Then have the children switch and the child who did the actions gets to be the shadow.
  • This works for any size group.  The examples are pictured above.  Find large line drawings and cut them around their outline. They should be somewhat definable from the outline. Then trace their outline using black paper to make their shadows. Fold several pieces of construction paper in half. Glue the shadow on the front and the object on the inside. Show the children the picture of the shadow and have them take turns guessing what it could be the shadow of.  For each child’s guess, talk about why it might be or might not be that object depending on the shape.  When each child has had a turn to guess, reveal what the object is. Talk about how they knew. For example, “The carrot’s shadow had a point at the bottom” or “The ice cream cone had round parts at the top.”
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