There is something about January that gets children feeling a little...cooped up.
The holidays are over, winter seems to drag on, and the January blues can kick in (Hmmm am I talking about the students, or myself!?)
Well here's an idea...GET OUTA THAT TREATMENT ROOM!
Here are some fun ideas to get the students motivated and learning OUTSIDE of your room.
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Choose an empty hallway to explore.
Take with you post-its and a marker for drawing letters, or pre-cut alphabet cards. You could even use those foam alphabet letters with double sided tape stuck to the back.
Have the children label things with the appropriate letter by sticking the letter right to the object!
You can do this with beginning or ending sounds. "W" for wall, "L" for light switch, "R" for something red, etc.
Before leaving the therapy room, have the children draw a map or a list of the places they want to visit in the school. Talk about the route you will take with them so that it is planned.
Once out of the therapy room, allow the children to use the map or list as their guide and see if they can execute the plan!
1. Sit somewhere outside of the therapy room with the child. Play a game of I spy. The child has to listen carefully to all the clues. After they guess the correct item, then they will give you the "I Spy" clues.
2. This game works well with a group. Take the group somewhere that a little giggling won't be a problem, like an empty cafeteria.
Have all the students stand in a circle. They take turns saying one fact about themselves using full sentences, such as "I like hot dogs."
The students who agree with the statement jump as high as they can.
The students who don't agree with the statement sit down as fast as they can. It is a very simple game and easy to play, and they will love it!
1. Before leaving the therapy room, give the child two tasks (more or less) that they have to remember.
These tasks can be social in nature, or more silly:
For recall, encourage the children to cue themselves. This could be done by giving them a post-it note before leaving the room so they can write a little clue for each task in case they forget.
Even though you will be with them, the more independently they can remember the tasks the better!
2. Stand in the hallway and play Simon Says. You can do this with multi-step directions as well as simple directions.
Give each child a pencil and a paper. Fold the paper in half and then half again to make four sections.
At the top of each section, write a color. Then leave the therapy room and look for things in those color categories.
As the children find items, they will write the words in the appropriate section of the paper (or just use check marks for each item and then discuss which colors had the most, the least, etc).
To make this task more difficult, write more abstract categories in each section, such as:
1. Stand at the beginning of a long empty hallway. Give the child their target sound, word or phrase and ask them to repeat it ten times as they stand still.
After the ten productions they get to take a huge step forward for every accurate sound. If they got 8/10, then it's eight steps forward.
Then give them the next word or phrase. The goal is to get to the end of the hallway. You will get maximum output with this game.
Make it fun and positive!
2. Walk around the school and find items with the students' target sounds. Of course we want maximum productions, so once you find an item say it ten times, or have the student make sentences out of it.
If you have a less common sound, then get creative with a silly carrier phrase...
The items they find don't have to start with the target sound if you use the carrier phrase!
I hope these ideas help to ease the "January Blues" and get your kids invigorated for speech therapy again!