Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Campers! Camping-themed ideas for therapy


Confession: I love s'mores. Like, really love them. I used to make indoor s'mores in the microwave as a kid all the time! I'd stick a marshmallow in there and watch it expand like crazy as it heated up, juuust to the brink of explosion, before quickly opening the microwave door and watching it shrink back to a normal size. Quite honestly, I'm surprised I never blew one up in the microwave! (You're welcome for that, mom)

Anyway, I thought a camping theme would be a great way to incorporate the fun of summertime s'mores into the speech room during ESY (extended school year, aka summer school).


Since we couldn't use a real campfire (or a microwave, for that matter), we made these indoor s'mores from Pre-K Pages (it's a great, very simple 3-step visual to use with younger kids and students who are just beginning to learn the concept of sequencing) using graham crackers, chocolate spread, and marshmallow fluff. I used this activity to work on concepts and sequencing (top, middle, bottom, first, last).



We also read the book, Curious George Goes Camping (yard sale find for 25 cents! hey-o! But you can purchase here on Amazon for $2.50 if you don't have it!) We answered questions about the story as we went along, and I discussed camping-related vocabulary with the little ones (tents, flashlights, sleeping bags, logs, etc...), as well! I printed out some pictures of camping vocabulary words and we played Memory with them to reinforce the words. You can find some free printables here at Homeschool Creations


To get the kids moving, I taped up some articulation cards around the room. They had to use their camping binoculars while walking around the room to spot a target word (you could play "I Spy" with this activity, too, and work on describing!). This was everyone's favorite!


                



The last thing we did was make these little campfire crafts for artic words and for categories. Jenn's sand castle craft was the inspiration for the fire one on the right! (although it's not complete-- I forgot to take a picture after day 2 when the student finished it with more "flames.") My love of s'mores was the inspiration for the marshmallow categories on the left :) Each stick represented a category and they had to name items in that category to get marshmallows to "roast" in their fire.



Do you do a camping unit in your therapy sessions? What are some of your favorite things to do with your camping theme? This was the first year that I implemented camping, so I haven't built up my materials & ideas as much as other thematic units.  Share your faves-- I would love to hear them!!

And, if you love s'mores, check out this link to "39 S'mores Hacks That Will Change Your Life" ... You're welcome.

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