I decided to join in Simply Speech's fun linky party all about summer therapy activities! Click her adorable image above to read more about it or to join in!
This post is designed to share what I have been doing/using this summer in therapy. I have provided links (click on the images) so you can find these wonderful activities for yourself! (Not promoting anything, just sharing!).
I work part time in the summer directing two programs at an non-profit community outpatient clinic. In June, I direct Camp Summer Fun for students who receive speech, occupational, and physical therapy services. All summer I direct a speech and language group therapy program with a local university's (WTAMU) graduate program. I am supervising 5 graduate students in their 2nd year. We run group therapy sessions for kids ages 2-10!
Here are some of the activities and materials we have been using so far!
New Sprouts Meal Bundles!
I found these on Zulily for a deal and they have been a hit in group therapy this summer! Click on the picture to find them at Wal-Mart (or sign up for Zulily and keep an eye out for them).
We work with many language delayed young children so we try to focus our activities on functional language. We have used this set for picnics, free play, following directions, describing, and more! I love using play foods because children easily identify them and can relate to them!
If you don't have this game and you work with young students, YOU NEED IT! It is so fun! The students roll this soft dice and pick a card corresponding to the color they rolled! Each card has a fun task for them to complete targeting motor and language skills. There are six categories of cards – emotions (giggle and laugh), body parts (rub your belly), animals sounds (bark like a dog), counting (count 5 fingers), colors (find something green) and actions (play pat-a-cake). The six categories were carefully chosen to support a range of learning areas appropriate for young children! This is a GO-TO for my preschool language groups this summer! We even take this one outside to play! I bought this on Amazon, click on the image to check it out!
Fishy Crafts and Snacks!
We like to do fun crafts and snacks in group therapy too (a nice way to easily incorporate functional and meaningful language into a session).
I found these sun catchers on Oriental Trading! (Click the image to see it on their website). It came with paint in easy to squeeze tubes! This week's theme was Splash (water) so we made fish sun catchers!!! I made a communication board for this activity using Smarty Symbols!
We also had a "fishy" snack this week of camp! We used pretzel sticks as "fishing poles" and dipped them in frosting. We had a "pond" (blue bowl) of goldfish that we caught with our poles! You would be suprised how well pretzels, goldfish, and frosting go together (I had to sample the snack first of course). I made communication boards to go along with this snack using Smarty Symbols!
We have a backyard area at the clinic so we do many things outside! Kids love playing outside so we channel that into therapy activities!
Giant Kerplunk!!! One of our physical therapists found this AMAZING idea off on Pinterest (click the image to go to a How-To page for his activity). We used this in group speech therapy a few weeks ago! Each student has to remove one of the sticks, hoping not to make all of the balls fall down! In between each turn we practiced articulation and language targets (we used super duper cards to drill while playing this fun game! )
Ollie the Octopus! This is a fun outdoor activity found by one of our occupational therapists! Ollie flies up high and floats down slowly for endless amounts of entertainment. We used this activity for social skills: turn taking, group cooperation, and listening skills. We also used this activity as a reward for working hard in therapy! This is made by a PE equipment company, click the image to check it out.
Yogarilla! We also used our back porch to do Yogarilla and language therapy! Yogarilla is a kid-friendly yoga program by Super Duper (click the image to view). We practiced following directions, naming animals, making animal sounds, and describing animals while doing this activity! The kids LOVED it!
More Snack Activities
Trail Mix! We had a cowboy themed week and we had Make Your Own Trail Mix! The students got to pick what they wanted in their mix by using the communication boards I made (made with Smarty Symbols!).
Sand Sanck! This next snack-craft is something I am planning on doing for my beach week! It is by an awesome SLP named Kristine Lindsay. She smashed up graham crackers to make "sand" and hid gummies and candy in it! How cute is that! Click on the picture to visit Kristen's blog: Live Love Speech!
Coffee Can Ice Cream! I did this activity at Speech Summer School for one of the school districts I serve! We used a large coffee can and a small coffee can to make the yummiest ice cream! The students took turns putting in the ingredients (with communication boards and visuals) and then we had to "Shake, Roll, and Stop" the can for about 20 minutes. I made hand held visuals on popsicle sticks for shake, roll, and stop for my non-verbal students to use! I also had a sequencing board (seen in the picture) that we used for each step. After the activity was over, I had some of the students sequence the steps of the activity with the board! Click the picture for an online recipe!
I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into my therapy this summer! I can't wait to read some other SLP's posts! Maybe I will get some good ideas to squeeze in before this summer is over!