Fall Activities that Target Speech & Language Skills

I love Fall! When it comes to planning therapy during the Fall, I like to use things that I find in my yard or use decorations from my home. Two of my favorite things to use during therapy are pumpkins and leaves.

Leaves Activity: About 5 years ago I lived in the DC region and the leaves changed beautiful colors up there. Now I live in Texas and although some trees change colors, there aren’t as many varieties of colors. So when I was in DC, I decided to laminate these real leaves that I found.  I collected big brown leaves, pointy yellow leaves, small red leaves, round orange leaves. (The reason I use a variety of leaves is because I can teach a variety of descriptive concepts (size, color, shape) when using the leaves in therapy.) Next I drew a simple tree on two pieces of white printer paper and laminated it. Popped some Velcro on the leaves and tree and then I was finished preparing the activity. There are so many goals I target with this fun activity. Here are a few: 1) follow directions with one to two embedded attributes 2) child tells me where I should put the leave focusing on expressing spatial concepts (top, middle, bottom, side) 3) child asks for a leaf using a complete sentence and descriptive word (color, size, shape) 4) focus on producing the “l” in leaf while asking for the leaf or telling me where he/she wants to put the leaf. Here is a picture of my tree and leaf activity:

Leaves Activity

We also sing some songs about leaves. One goes with the tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and the other goes with the tune “Wheels on the Bus”.

Pumpkin Activity: I like decorating with real pumpkins. So after about a week of using them in therapy, I then add them to my Fall decor. I buy a big orange pumpkin, a variety of small pumpkins, a bumpy pumpkin, and multi colored pumpkins. There are so many to choose from in the grocery store. I made a book about pumpkins with basic facts and created questions (I included the option to have 3 picture choices of answers if the child was not able to answer correctly). Here is how the session looks: I read the book, the child answers the questions, then we look at my real pumpkins and talk about them. Possible goals to target: 1) Describe the pumpkins (color, size, shape, texture, stem length) 2) Follow directions – (i.e., Give me the big orange pumpkin. Put the white pumpkin next to the bumpy pumpkin). This week a child started stacking the pumpkins so I targeted spatial concepts and following directions (put the small pumpkin on top of the big orange pumpkin). It was a fun therapy session!

Happy Fall!