Hello everyone! My name is Tamara and I am the newest clinical fellow at the Long Island Centers for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy. Since Fall is a very festive time of year, I thought you all might enjoy some Fall activities that are fun, inexpensive and best of all – target speech and language skills!
Take a walk outside and while you’re enjoying the crisp weather, harness your child’s observational skills and collect leaves of different colors, shapes and sizes. If you or your child suffers from allergies, feel free to stencil or draw your own leaves on construction paper and target the following:
• Sorting/Categorization skills – work on sorting skills by classifying the leaves by shape, size or color
• Counting – count all the leaves, count how many of each color (red, green, yellow, brown)
• Basic concepts – Identifying and labeling leaves based on which leaves are “big” and which are “little”.
• Spacial concepts – Target spacial concepts such as ‘on’, ‘under’, ‘next to’, or ‘behind’ by drawing a picture and placing leaves in various locations to depict a Fall scene: ‘ON’ the car, ‘UNDER’ the tree etc.
• Articulation – On the leaves, write the sounds your child is working on or words that contain these sounds and use the leaves to create an artistic design or tell a story.
• Matching – match leaves of the same shape or color. Older kids can even try to use their observational skills to figure out which leaves came from which tree.
• Listening skills and following directives – use markers or craft supplies to decorate the leaves with glitter, or write letters or numbers on each leave. Take turns (using good pragmatic skills) giving each other instructions such as “give me a brown leaf” or “write a letter ‘A’ with black marker on the green leaf” depending on how many steps your child can follow.
I hope this was a helpful way of introducing speech and language skills into everyday activities that require very little preparation and utilizes items found around the home.