Gingerbread cookies, gingerbread houses, the Gingerbread Man book, and the Gingerbread Baby are classics for the holiday season. With these FREE speech therapy gingerbread activities, you can target almost any speech and language skill.
First off, these FREE materials are for the following books:
- The Gingerbread Man
- The Gingerbread Baby (my personal favorite)
Note: Personally, I think the original Gingerbread Man book is quite traumatizing. I know some like it, so I made who/where picture cards. I am more comfortable with the ending of the Gingerbread Baby. If you haven't read this book yet, PLEASE DO! It's amazing and has a lot more language practice and better illustrations. Click on image below for more info.
These story companions are meant to be functional and meaningful. There are prompts, visuals, and cues. These materials can be used to pre-teach vocab, practice answering questions, expanding utterances, categorization, etc...
Access Speech Therapy Gingerbread Activities
To download your FREE gingerbread activities, please fill out the form below. Once you have your materials, come back here and grab ideas on how to use them!
If you need the book, click the link below:
There are 3 different activities:
- Filling a basket with gingerbread cookies
- Decorating a gingerbread cookie
- Decorating a gingerbread house
You will practice MANY different speech and language skills. Read below for some ideas.
To work on vocabulary with young children, skip the flashcards. Seriously, skip them! Please! The best way to learn vocabulary is through structured play. While completing the gingerbread activities, focus on the following vocabulary words:
Following Directions: Preschool to Early Elementary
Following directions requires a person to know vocabulary, have working memory skills, and adequate attention.
Below are practice ideas for following directions while either decorating a gingerbread man/house or filling a basket with gingerbread cookies.
Remember, to be aware of your child's/student's language ability and receptive vocabulary. Pay attention to the "direction words" that you use.
Sequential: This direction is multi-step where something has to be done first, second, etc..
- First, glue on the eyes and then glue on the smile.
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 put the star cookie in your basket, put a gingerbread man in your basket.
Spatial: Give a direction which contains a spatial aspect (under, over, above)
- Put the candy cane under the sucker
Basic: Basic means one-step, simple directions. If your child is having trouble, start here!
- Give me a cookie
Complex Language Tasks: Toddler to Early Elementary Students
This is my FAVORITE language game. If you have been here before, you know all about it. If you are new, keep reading!
No Hands (How to Play):
For this game, put all the cookies, candy, or gingerbread parts (whichever activity you are doing) on the table. Cut them out ahead of time.
Each child gets a turn to choose a decoration to glue on the house/basket/gingerbread man. HOWEVER, no one can point to the desired pictures (hence the "no hands" name).
Instead, each person has to describe which picture he/she wants using an attribute such as color, size, pattern, shape, category, or function.
You can also target:
- Grammar (verb tense, complete sentences, complex sentences)
- Length of utterance
Cueing strategies: If a child is having trouble describing a desired picture, I use the pictures themselves as visual prompts.
For example, if a student says I want a cookie, I will lie out all the cookies. Then, I will prompt for another category such the color or size. As the student adds another descriptive vocabulary word, I will take the necessary cookies away and this will continue until one cookie is left.
Then, the student repeats the whole phrase. For example, "I want the small cookie with red stripes."
After a few times with this game, oral vocabulary improves!
Executive Functioning: Toddler to Early Elementary
Executive function skills are the abilities to plan, control impulses and emotions, multi-task, pay and shift attention, and organize. Executive functioning skills continue to develop as the frontal lobe continues to grow.
- Plan out everything needed to make a gingerbread house/fill a basket/decorate a gingerbread cookie.
- Sequence steps needed to complete the project. Focus on using sequence words while discussing steps.
- Talk about safety/rules when using glue and scissors.
You can practice articulation skills while completing any of the activities above.
Make a list of words containing the child's target sound before beginning an activity. Model many correct productions (auditory bombardment) and provide needed cues to help the child say the desired sound. If you need more information, read articulation therapy for how to do speech therapy at home and access free word lists!
If you use the printable activities (not story companions), you can use the games as a re-enforcer during drill practice. Once a child says a sound/word/sentence (you decide the amount), give him/her the desired picture to glue on paper.