Holiday Speech Therapy Tips
During the holidays you’ll likely be spending a lot more time with your child. Whether your child has received a formal diagnosis or is experiencing some undiagnosed variety of language delay, Lynne Alba Speech Therapy Solutions has some holiday speech therapy tips incorporating elements commonly used in speech therapy materials to ensure that your child can continue to hone their speech and language skills during December and beyond.
Holiday Speech Therapy Activities
While you’re not a speech language pathologist, you can still practice speech with your child during the holiday season so they don’t lose out on progress. The holidays present many opportunities to generate activities for practice with your child. For example, during holiday crafts, younger children can practice requesting. Perhaps your child has all the necessary materials that you’ve given them, but there is one that is specifically not included. Encourage them in checking that they have all the items they need. Have them ask questions if they do not have everything. “Can I have some glue, please?” or “Will you please pass the paintbrush?” Older children might enjoy a little role-play, in which you make the craft according to their instructions as if they were presenting a crafting video on YouTube or television. This is excellent practice for language goals such as correct use of ‘first’, ‘next’, ‘then’, and ‘last’. Alternatively, a child working on specific speech sounds may benefit from practicing a phrase that can be applied to each part of the craft. For example, “I chose the green gumdrops because green is my favorite.” “I chose to put Rubble in the garden because he can help build the gingerbread house.”
Similarly, if your family decorates a Christmas tree during the holidays, it’s an excellent opportunity to practice and repeat weaker speech sounds. For example, children who struggle with the /l/ sound can help hang the baubles. Every time they hang one, they can ask for a new one from the box. “May I have a red bauble?” It can also be a source of guessing games. Your child can describe an ornament with clues, and you guess which one they are describing.
Holiday Speech and Language Activities
The holidays lend themselves easily to opportunities for practicing articulation and language skills. Holiday verses such as Christmas carols or Chanukah songs lend themselves easily to recitals in order to perform for relatives. It’s best if your child speaks these verses, rather than sings, in order to get pertinent practice with the sounds and speech pattern. Your child could receive some kind of reward for working hard and performing their recital— perhaps not a present, but an activity that they may look forward to like building a snowman or a trip to a grotto.
Wintertime Speech Therapy Holiday Activities
Winter offers many opportunities for speech and language development. We have a collated list of winter speech activities that can be enjoyed during cold weather.
A fun activity for children of all ages. This activity is useful for working on concepts such as big/little, cold, round, and colors. It’s useful for practicing articulation of sounds such as /b/ for ball, /k/ as in cold, and /θ/ as in throw, and vocabulary items such as roll, scoop, hide, and of course, throw.
Making a Snowman
Especially popular with young children. There are plenty of vocabulary items to use during this activity: stacking, different body parts, and vocabulary pertaining to building. You can practice giving and following directions, or focus on articulation— this activity is good for practicing s-blends such as ‘snow’, ‘sticks’, ‘scoop’, and of course, ‘snowman’.
This is another activity fun for children of all ages. There is plenty of time to incorporate work on language and articulation while scaling the hill for another run. Words like fast, down, and sled offer opportunities for sound practice, while vocabulary such as climb, steep, and incline can be incorporated. You can even discuss sequence steps with your child and have them explain which stage comes next.
This is a suitable activity for participating in with other children. Mixed groups can work together on this kind of project, and communication is integral to the fort-building, meaning a certain level of social skills is important. There is plenty of building vocabulary that can be practiced, as well as articulation of sounds such as /w/ in walls and /f/ for fort.
Best December Speech Therapy Ideas
You can take advantage of your child’s time off school to incorporate them into your holiday preparation routine. Writing and addressing cards and envelopes, collating and wrapping presents, baking, setting up the kinara, decorating cookies or filling and decorating sufganiyot, there are plenty of procedural activities that lend themselves to speech and language therapy-inspired practices. Encouraging your child to participate in holiday preparation (and not only participate but verbalize what they are doing and how they are helping) can result in a sterling level of engagement. Again, if necessary you can encourage their participation by offering a reward like a trip to the theater for a family movie, or the first of the finished cookies or donuts (once they have cooled from the oven, obviously). You could even dangle a visit to a holiday lights display as an incentive to participate. Holiday lights also offer opportunities for practical speech and language work. For example, you can establish a game with your child where you make an obviously false statement that they have to correct with their own sentence. “The polar bear is under the roof.” “No! The polar bear is on the roof!” There are plenty of options for children working on their sound production as well. For /l/ sounds alone, there are blue lights, yellow lights, igloos, snowglobes, polar bears, elves, and sleighs.
Speech Therapy Solutions for Your Family This Holiday Season
Lynne Alba Speech Therapy Solutions has been through more than 20 winters and learned a thing or two about how to produce Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas speech therapy activities, as well as activities suitable for other holidays. Our CCC SLP qualified staff are well-versed in the latest breakthroughs in the field of speech therapy and we are proud of the lengths to which they go in supporting our patients’ families all year round. If you are based in Los Angeles County and looking for assistance with your child’s communication disorder, we offer speech language therapy for a range of diagnoses. We look forward to hearing from you on our number: 310-856-8528