Ah, October…. Colorful leaves, cute boots, scarves, pumpkin-flavored everything…. 🙂 Just a few of my favorite things! Halloween is just on the horizon, and if you need some fun, easy ideas to fill in some holes in your therapy plans for the next week, check out these activities I’ve been using!
1. Alien sensory bag
I used this last Spring for an Outer Space unit, but what better time for a #TBT activity like this than in a Halloween post? 😉 I used green hair gel, but recently read about making sensory bags with colored water instead of hair gel. I haven’t tried that yet, so if you do- let me know how it works! You can buy cheap hair gel at the Dollar Store. Be sure to tape up the opening of the bag with some heavy duty packing tape or duct tape so it doesn’t accidentally open and spill everywhere!
Goal areas targeted:
-sorting googly eyes by size (small/medium/large) to target size concepts
-following directions: “Put X amount of sm/med/lg eyes in the bag” (e.g. “Put 2 small eyes in the bag” “Move a big eye above a little eye” “Make a row of 3 eyeballs”)
I love using my Cariboo vocabulary and phonology cards as the base for crafts– you can read my post on using them here. Printing them on colored computer or construction paper makes these crafts super easy! (Note: the Alien craft features pictures from Primary Punch’s No Prep Apraxia set, while Frankenstein and the pumpkin feature my Cariboo cards)
3. Playdough Monsters for Speech AND Language!
I first tried this out last year in my small group lessons in the ECSE classrooms, and the kids LOVED it! I cut some straws and gathered playdough, fruit loops, googly eyes, beads and some super skinny dowel rods that I happened to have on hand. BUT, this year, I used pipe cleaners instead of dowel rods when I did this in therapy and it was WAY better. I also only used beads instead of fruit loops, which still let me incorporate colors, but was easier than the fruit loops which sometimes crumbled.
Goal areas targeted:
-basic concepts/following directions (“Put two straws under the eyes” “Put 3 purple fruit loops on the tall stick” etc…)
-fine motor skills (Maybe if you ask your OT or ECSE teachers nicely, they’ll even have kids cut straws as a fine motor activity ahead of time to give you ;-))
-articulation (as a speech activity, each production gave them a piece to make a monster of their own. 5 productions = 5 fruit loops, 5 beads, etc…!)
4. Print and GO Craftivities –Haunted House + Pumpkin Patch
I have two print and go Halloween craftivities in my TpT store that are perfect for when you’re short on time (aka ALL. THE. TIME. #SLPLIFE) and can’t laminate/prep in advance.
“Spooky Speech” features early sounds /p, b, m, n, w, h, t, d, y, k, g, f/ and s-blends
There IS an option to laminate and assemble to make a large haunted house and get your kids up and away from the table, but if you’re short on time, just use the craftivity option!
“Pumpkin Patch Articulation” is a no-prep articulation activity that covers earlier AND later-developing sounds. Pumpkins are a great alternative to ghosts/witches etc… if you’re not allowed to use “Halloween” in therapy. There is a lot to color on the background scene page, which, again, is great to keep your kiddos busy when it’s not their turn in a group.
5. Halloween Wind-Up Toys
Grab these at Michaels for $2 a piece!
If you have kids working on combining two icons together with PECS, you can use wind-up toys to target this goal by having icons of the wind-up toys (either an actual photo or clipart of “pumpkin” “skull” or “ghost,” as an example using the toys above).
Combine the wind up toy icons with the icon for “go” (e.g. “go pumpkin” or, with the ‘I want’ sentence strip, “I want …’pumpkin go.’ ” You can also bring in some color concepts, and use icons “orange” + “pumpkin” or “white” + “ghost” to model expanded language, as well!
Hallie at Speech Time Fun wrote a post about using Wind Up toys with sheets she made based on language goals, while I’ve seen posts from Speech Room News and Crazy Speech World about using them with articulation sheets!
6. Halloween Erasers
I found these in the Target $1 spot about a month ago! These are perfect to use with a Halloween bingo game, or instead of Chipper Chat tokens on a token board. Danielle over at Sublime Speech also had a great idea to use the candy erasers for the Granny’s Candy game!
7. “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” book
Goal areas targeted:
-Body parts/clothing items
One of my super smart ECSE teachers gave me the inspiration for this activity! I used this book for one of my kids working on following 2 step related directions. I cut out the printable props from Toddler Approved but didn’t have time to color them, so I left them as is. Confession: My therapy materials aren’t always pretty 😉 I also used a die where you can insert your own pictures, and cut out the printables from 3Dinosaurs to put in it.
The kiddo I was working with rolled the die, and then I’d give him a directive to act out from the story. For example, if he rolled the pants, I’d tell him “Get the pants and make them wiggle” or “Find the gloves and make them clap” if he rolled the gloves, etc…
8. “Spookley” book
Which one of these activities is your favorite? What are some of your most favorite go-to activities around this time of year? Share them with me in the comment section below!