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:
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!