I waited and waited for winter, and it came and visited for 2 days then left us with just months of BLAH. This week, however, it is certainly clear that SPRING has sprung!
The day lillies are flourishing, and our roses are in full force!
My hubby has been working away in the gardens. I don't really touch dirt, but I do cheer for him from my reading chair. Even the Black-Eyed Susans are raring to do (a little early this year).
I'm throwing this next pic in just for the purposes of joy.
New Orleans shutters and porches just make me happy. I love Spring!
It's one of the few times in South Louisiana that we don't sweat buckets everyday.
Everywhere I went this week, Spring was looking right at me.
Hello, cookies, you're beautiful but bad for me.
Check out this adorable bulletin board I spied at a school this week.
Yes, we are still in school; we haven't even had our Spring Break yet. Have you?
RIGHT NOW is - hands down - the busiest time of year for SLPs - at least in our district.
This is how my fellow SLPs and I are feeling....
No, I'm not even exaggerating a little bit. :(
To get you through Spring, the Frenzied SLPs are here to offer some fresh ideas for therapy...
There are so many spring themed books, that it's not hard to find some that are stories perfect for Spring. I always like to bring in props for my little ones to manipulate when using storybooks. I scored these Eric Carle goodies years ago when they were offered in Happy Meals, but any bug toy or plush will do the trick. Check out my favorite springtime book and activities HERE.
Feeding the caterpillar both articulation cards AND basic concepts are both a staple (and a crowd pleaser) in my therapy.
^^^^Somehow they never bore of it ^^^^
Another staple is Roll and Cover (for articulation drill!),
and I use these springtime foam beads for so many things- lacing making necklaces, roll and cover, and for hiding items in (like for my Spring quick drill game below). You get 1,000 of these little boogers for just a few bucks at Oriental Trading.
If you don't have anything to hide the cards in, that's totally fine. Kids like quick drill even just facedown on a table. It's strangely addictive, and they love seeing which cards they will pick.
One of my go-to games for spring therapy is Jumping Jack! Think "pop up pirate" except with a bunny! It's super reinforcing for any skill, because after they've performed a skill just the way I like, they get to pull a carrot from Jack's bunny hill. With my little ones - whoever makes Jack jump wins the game. With my older ones, you lose if you make Jack jump (yes, I get to make the rules :).
This game happens to be perfect with the the latest and greatest TpT packet I purchased called Jack's Garden of Carrots from Pam at Small Talk SLP
I also use it with this little dollar store bunny tower game I picked up years ago for a buck... (I still see it every year at Target or Walmart so keep your eyes peeled).
Kids can dot/daub or color the carrots after saying the target X times. This awesome packet has language targets, too, but I happened to use it with the articulation ones yesterday. It's my new favorite, and it was a hit with one little client in particular. I'll be using it with my little ones well through Easter - and probably pull it out anytime I'm in a time crunch.
Something else I whip out in a time crunch is a good old cut and paste activity. For groups, it gives everyone something to do while waiting their turn to drill. Best of all? These Spring cut, color and paste pages require absolutely no prep - Just print & use (for the days you are feeling frenzied).
Another favorite game of mine is Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt Game by Educational Insights. I bought this for my preschoolers, but even the big kids love it. Be the first to collect the colored carrots you need for your basket to win the game (or the MOST carrots- again I make the rules)! Like most games by this company, there is also a fine motor component, but if it's too hard for my kids, I just let them grab the carrots with their fingers.
As you can see, sometimes kids need TWO baskets which is fine with me because the game lasts longer!
When I only have one client, I get to play against them :)
It's under 10 bucks at Amazon and, nope, I don't get paid to hustle it; I just love it.
Of course, speech homework is a must. I use these (and more) pages from my Spring Fun Pack.
For me, artic dot art is also a must to get ton of repetitions in with zero moaning and groaning.
It makes for great homework, too. Win-win.
It's also just a great follow up activity after reading that classic caterpillar story.
Speaking of dot art, if you're into craftivities, this one is another great follow up activity to the Very Hungry Caterpillar... Coffee Filter Butterflies! I have my students paint the coffee filters with dot paint/bingo daubers (like the one pictures above) to minimize the mess. I purchased the butterfly bodies years ago at a craft store, but a colored or painted clothespin does the trick, too. Then we use pipe cleaners to make the antennas. Super cute, huh?
Lately, I've been using the heck out of my new interactive book for Spring.
It's hands-on and lots of fun. Sure, it takes a little time to make, but now I'll be able to use it forever...
...with both verbal and non-verbals kids.
The velcro and visual answer choices make it easier for kids with autism to respond and the hands-on factor keeps all my "babies" engaged. They even ask to do it again and again. For the older students who can read but need practice answer questions, I use the question cards that are more removed from the book and the questions are posed after the whole book has been read.
I just love little hands engaging with a book.
Today I'm trying out Spring Cariboo with a little guy for the first time (before it hits my TpT store tonight or tomorrow). Do you have Cariboo?? Honestly, you can use this with or without Cariboo, but it's definitely more fun with the Cariboo game.
I hope this post inspires you to get your Spring themed therapy on :)
Check out all of the Frenzied SLPs posts below to get even more fresh ideas.
Happy Spring to you!
Please feel free to link up with us and share what YOU are doing in your speech room these days!