The holidays are upon us! Time is in limited supply, especially for planning therapy. So, here’s an idea I think you and your therapy kids as well as their parents/caregivers will like.
This suggestion meets the theme criteria, takes minimal time and effort to set-up, allows for a variety of age and capability therapy tasks. The kids like the personalization, creativity and artwork, and they end up with a nice gift to take home. All you need is your computer, printer, and possibly, some markers or crayons.
What the big idea? Make and send home a Christmas card or a Holiday card (use for Hanukkah, if you wish).
I’m sending you to one of my favorite websites. In fact, I LOVE this site! It’s free, it’s easy, and it has a nice variety of themes. Create an account to save your cards. You and your therapy-kids design the card as you wish while addressing your speech and/or language targets in a fun and creative way. Go to Printable Cards.
(If this website looks vaguely familiar, I wrote about this site almost two years ago for Valentine’s Day but it bears repeating.)
Check in out and play with it before doing it with your kids. Basically, you end up with two pages in a large or small size. Select which one you want.
First, choose the cover of the card from a nice selection of ready-made pictures. They even have some line-graphics that the kids can color and personalize once it’s printed. The kids really like those.
The remaining pages can be personalized as much as you want. They have ready-made phrases to choose from. Another option is for you and the child to type in your own creative text, or, leave blank and have the child write his/her own message. There are also cute little “stickers” (graphics) you can click in to decorate it. Also, if you have relevant photos (like photos of the child) on your computer, you can also insert those.
Organize and implement therapy. Following are a few suggestions:
- Sequence the steps for making the card; review and see how many steps they remember and describe.
- Write their own message; focus on their intent vocabulary, syntax, connecting words, etc.
- Read it, either independently, or chorally. Do echo reading for challenged readers.
Consider adding a poem. Here’s a link for nice, simple Christmas poems for kids (there’s a bunch of other ones on the web).
- Read the passage and emphasize either the speech sound and/or the language. Ask, answer and discuss questions: “What does the poem mean to you?” “What words would you change to personalize the meaning?”
- Look up word-meanings; identify the rhyming words; identify the adjectives; come up with synonyms, etc.
When completed, send home the personalized card with a note to the parents wishing them a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah from you.
Hang in there, my friend. Take time to breathe and enjoy the holidays.