We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, but it certainly seems like the majority of the internet (and especially pinterest) do! I’ve seen some absolutely lovely activities that suit themselves to being slightly modified for speech therapy, so I thought I’d share them with you.
Thanksgiving + Speech
Every child’s speech goals will be different, so these ideas are to use as rewards and reinforcement while practicing your speech sounds during the Thanksgiving season. I love the Roll-a-Turkey idea from A Lemon Squeezy Home – roll a dice and it tells you which part of the turkey to draw. You could end up with some really crazy looking turkeys! Modify it for speech practice by getting your child to produce a certain number of targets before having their turn with the dice.
And in honour of it being a special day, you could use yummy food as a reward for speech sound practice. You could get double-duty from this cute idea from Makes and Takes – get your child to ‘buy’ the decorations for the rice crispy treats with their speech practice, and then they can eat it at the end as a big reward!
Thanksgiving + Language
Practice categories and word knowledge with the printable activity from speech2me. This is a great stand-alone activity that asks your kidlets to name multiple items within a Thanksgiving-related category, such as relatives, types of holidays and food. There’s a game board as well, to keep them motivated to practice multiple categories.
Want to develop some more specific deep vocabulary? Check out this vocabulary guide to the first Thanksgiving – do you know what a conner, a palisade or a mishoon are?
These conversation starters are a great way to practice conversation skills around the Thanksgiving table. This can be a great activity for children with communication difficulties – there will be so many different models of story telling, vocabulary and conversation around just one table – and not one of these are ‘right’. For a kidlet who is a little bit different, it can be such a powerful message – and it’s lovely to hear how other family members have dealt with challenges in their lives.
Thanksgiving + Literacy
Hosting a Thanksgiving party or dinner gives small children lots of opportunities to practice reading and writing. This lovely free set of Thanksgiving Stationery from Anna and Blue Paperie lets your child practice writing invitations, place cards and food labels. Listening, spelling, handwriting and reading comprehension practice all at once!
Emily Rose at Simply Vintage Girl has a cute idea for making a Thankful Tree – get your child to write down something that they are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving, and hang it on the tree. You could also get them to be the scribe for other people at Thanksgiving, to increase the amount of practice!
Mrs Kilburn’s Kiddos has created a huge Thanksgiving unit to purchase via Teachers Pay Teachers. One of the features is a book for emergent readers that you can download for free – Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, What Do You See?
Looking for more speech therapy ideas to use at Thanksgiving? Check out last year’s Thanksgiving Speech Therapy Round up.