Quick Tips for using Holiday Shapes in Speech Therapy
Do you know an SLP who doesn’t want quick and easy tips to save time for years to come? Of course not! So be sure to save this post to your tips board!
Tip 1: Add a little fun with holiday shapes.
Remember that the holiday vocabulary is not the focus of the session. Your students’ goals are. Since holiday words only get used yearly, it isn’t worth therapy time to teach those. But nothing says that we can’t incorporate holiday themes into our speech therapy goals. Then your students continue to make progress on their specific IEP goals in a festive way.
Tip 2: A bit of time makes an activity to use for years.
Cut out basic holiday shapes in different colors and laminate them. All you need is some holiday-themed colors of construction paper and a pair of scissors. There are so many free printables online. Just choose your favorite, trace, and start cutting. Of course, if you have access to a die-cut machine, it is even easier!
Try these holiday shapes:
- school buses for September.
- witch’s hats or ghosts for October
- turkeys or Pilgrim hats for November.
- trees, presents, or dreidels for December.
- snowmen for January.
- groundhogs or President’s silhouettes for February.
- shamrocks for March.
- bunnies or rain clouds for April.
- flowers for May.
- graduation hats for June.
You will have a school year’s worth of back up activities in no time!
Tip 3: Individualize holiday shapes for mixed groups.
Individualize the holiday shapes by adding pictures with double-sided sticky tape. If you don’t have double-sided, a rolled-up piece of tape will do! One easy way is to take the pictures from a worksheet you are using. Roughly cut them out and tape them on the shape. Use the pictures in a game to get additional practice. Then send the worksheet home for carryover!
You can also use a dry erase marker to quickly write on the words or phrases if your students read. Or let them say the words 5 times correctly and then write it themselves!
Tip 4: How to make quick changes between sessions.
Changing your holiday shapes is fast and easy!
If you don’t feel like making enough holiday shapes for all of your groups, just keep a full-page laminated sheet nearby. It is fast and easy to swap out a set of articulation pictures for a set of action pictures, for example!
Another idea is to just write numbers on the back of the holiday shapes. Students can request or turn over a shape and then give the answer for the corresponding number on a worksheet. Even little changes like this can make a worksheet more fun!
Tip 5: Change how you use holiday shapes and address many goals.
There are so many ways to use your holiday shapes! Make mixed groups easy by turning the picture side down and giving each student a set. Combine varied sets of holiday theme shapes to elicit descriptive words:
- the color item
- small or large
- old versus new, clean versus dirty
- the functions of the various shapes
Place the different colored shapes in a square array to have students request using positional words, such as on the:
- above/below the color item
Write question words on one side and a picture or word on the other. Students are only allowed to keep the card if they correctly ask and answer a question using both words.
Have students answer a question or say their articulation practice words before choosing a card. Add a little surprise like one of these to the backs of the cards:
- No homework today!
- You earned an extra point!
- Bonus minute for free time!
Then even your older elementary students will be excited to play.
The sky is the limit with how these can be used! Just remember to erase or take off the tape before storing them for next year!