I created a fun speech therapy fall activity adaptable for any goal and any age.
I LOVE the fall. Who doesn’t enjoy the beautiful colors, yummy foods, cool weather, cozy sweaters, and orange pumpkins, right?!
Most children also love it. Using these materials, you can teach functional vocabulary and concepts easily.
Read below to download a free fall activity and then learn how to adapt it for any child!
I created this simple speech therapy fall activity as a reinforcer for my articulation students, but as the day went on, I realized this simple activity was appropriate for all my students.
The more functional and simple therapy materials are the better. The complicated, step-by-step, materials aren’t what communication is all about. Instead, adapting daily activities/work/experiences to create speech and language learning is the way to go.
Therefore, this simple fall speech therapy material can be adapted to create any specific speech and language learning opportunity for your child/client/student.
Now, for the creative types with free time, gathering leaves and other fall manipulatives outside is the most functional. However, that is not in the cards for me this season. So, if you are short on time, this one is for you 🙂
Click on the link above to download the pictures. Print them out and then cut out the leaves. Now, you are ready to go! Read below on how you can use this tree and leaves to target many speech and language goals.
Speech Therapy Fall Language Activities
Vocabulary: Toddler to Early Elementary
To work on vocabulary with young children, skip the flashcards. Learning while playing is the research proven way to go!
Below are vocabulary words you can target while you glue leaves on a tree.
Bonus Free Resources:
Following Directions: Preschool to Early Elementary
Following directions is a crucial language skill needed for academic and social success. However, this skill requires a person to know vocabulary, have good working memory skills, and have adequate attention.
Below are practice ideas for following directions while making a tree.
Sequential: This direction is multi-step and something has to be done first, second, etc..
- First, find a red leaf and then a green leaf
- First, glue on the yellow leaf. Second, glue on the red leaf
- Cut out a leaf and then hand it to me
Before/After: This is a temporal direction. Your child has to do something before or after he/she does something else. This is TRICKY!
- Before you glue on a red leaf, give me a green leaf
- After you cut out a yellow leaf, cut out a green one
- Glue on a leaf before you cut out another one
Spatial: Give a direction with a spatial aspect (under, over, above).
- Glue the leaf on the bottom of the page
- Glue a leaf on top of the tree
- Put a yellow leaf under the green leaf
Basic: Basic means one-step, simple directions. If your child is having trouble, start here!
- Cut out one leaf
- Give me the glue please
- Glue one leaf on the page
Complex Language Tasks: Toddler to Early Elementary Students
The game listed below targets both expressive (speaking) and receptive (listening) skills.
I am going to talk about MY FAVORITE game I play all the time! I call it “no hands.”
No Hands (How to Play):
For this game, I put all the leaves on the table and students get a turn to pick out leaves to glue on their trees. HOWEVER, they can’t point to the one they want (hence the no hands name). Instead, the students have to describe which leaf they want by describing an attribute or using a targeted grammatical structure (adjust the desired response for individual goals)
You can target many areas of language with this game.
- Size: Have the students describe if their desired leaf is big, small, skinny, fat, short, etc….
- Color: Have the students say which color they want
- Shape: The students must identify the shape of their desired leaf
- Numerical qualities: Some leaves have one point, 3 points, lots of points, etc…
Strategies of cues:
Yeah! We figured it out. For reinforcement, I usually describe the leaf with all the descriptive vocabulary words as I give it to the student.
After a few times with this game, the student's oral vocabulary really improves!
- Use of full sentences: The student must say “I want a leaf that has….”
- Subject-verb agreement: Reinforce use of correct verb tense
- Etc….Adjust to meet individual goals
Sorting: Organize the leaves by attribute before starting the game. This is a great idea if your students need a lot of cues or still in the direct teaching phase of learning. Some ideas for categories are:
- Tall leaves
- Round leaves
- Heart-shaped leaves
- Skinny leaves
- Wide leaves
Executive Functioning: Toddler to Early Elementary Students
For a quick review, executive functioning is our personal CEO. Executive function skills are our abilities to plan, control impulses and emotions, multi-task, pay and shift attention, and organize. Our executive functioning skills will continue to develop as the frontal lobe continues to grow; however, we can start things off on the right foot!
- Plan all the materials needed to make a tree with the given materials.
- Sequence steps to make a tree. Focus on using sequence words while discussing steps (i.e., FIRST cut out the leaves, NEXT pick out the desired leaves, etc…)
- Talk about safety/rules when using glue and scissors.
Like I've said before, there is so much technology and academic pressure put on little ones. As a result, social skill development is lacking these days.
Social skills are one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills we NEED to be successful at school, jobs, and really any aspect of life. Social skills develop throughout our life through experiences, observation, and direct teaching. You can show good social skills from the start through modeling.
During group treatment, I provide one pair of scissors and one glue. That way, the students have to talk to each other and request turns. You can target:
- Asking for a turn with glue
- Inviting a friend or family member to join in the play
- If a child doesn't want to share, trade toys, or wait for a turn, talk about why it is so important. This will pay off in the long run!
You can practice articulation skills while completing this speech therapy fall activity.
Below are words that will arise when creating a tree. We created sample target words for all sounds in all word positions (beginning, middle, and end).
If your child is working on any of these sounds, pick a word and practice it while you make a tree. Functional and easy!
I also use this tree as a reinforcer during drill practice. Once a child says a sound/word/sentence 10 times, I give them a break by letting them pick out a leaf and glue it on.
Read articulation therapy for how to do speech therapy at home and access free word lists!
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