Articulation and Phonology, Expressive Language, Feeding Skills, Home Practice Ideas for Speech and Language, Pragmatic Language and Social Skills, Receptive Language, Speech and Language Development, Speech and Language Therapy

Valentine’s Day Speech and Language Home Practice Ideas

Every February 14,  men, women and children across the United States and around the world, exchange valentines, candy, flowers and gifts all in the name of St. Valentine as an expression of friendship and love.  The holiday is often decorated with pink, red and purple hearts.

We hope that you will enjoy these Valentine’s Day activities with a speech and language twist from Speech Language Pathology in Motion:

  • Compare and Contrast Hearts: Valentine’s’ Day is filled with hearts.  Hearts that are different sizes, shapes, textures and colors can be seen everywhere!  You can use this as an opportunity to encourage children to use attributes (color, size, shape, texture, etc.) and to compare and contrast using their language.  Ask your child to tell you something that is the same about 2 hearts and then something that is different about them.  If your child has difficulty with this, see if your he/she can identify the hearts that are the same and the hearts that are different receptively on this free worksheet from ABC Teach.  You can model the expressive task by explaining to your child how the hearts are the same/different.
  • Valentine’s Day Pudding:  Cooking activities are a great hands on way to work on speech and language goals.  Use a box of vanilla flavored pudding mix and add some red food coloring to make a tasty pink Valentine’s day treat!  While making the pudding take the opportunity to work on requesting, problem solving, and following directions.  Practice the concepts wet/dry, empty/full, some/all/rest.  Some sample questions to ask are: “Is the bowl empty or full?”, “Is the pudding mix wet/dry?”, “What do we need to do with the box?” (open).  Be sure to encourage turn taking skills while mixing and pouring in the ingredients (“You pour some, then let me pour the rest”).  For some added fun serve this treat in a heart shaped container!  You can also add red fruit to this snack such as raspberries or strawberries or some candy hearts or red sprinkles.  **This activity can be modified and done with red Jello!  If doing this activity with Jello, use different size heart shape cookie cutters to cut out hearts and practice size concepts.  You can also practice following directions containing the location concepts top, bottom and middle while cutting out the hearts.
  • I like you because…:  This is a great activity to include while writing Valentine’s Day cards with your child.  This activity can help children who are working on social skills and children who are working on using attributes.  While making Valentines with your child, have them come up with a reason that they like the person they are making the Valentine for and say or write something positive about that person.  Suggest that they think of kind things about how their friend acts, thinks, plays, works or looks.   You may have to help your child think of ideas.  If this is difficult have them do it for a few friends or family members only rather then for the whole class.  Have your child deliver the Valentine’s on Valentine’s day!  **This activity can be modified to be done in a group or classroom setting.  Each child can come up with a reason why the like the child next to them.  The children can share what they came up with at the end of the activity.
  • Hunt for Hearts: This is a fun activity that can be used to work on many different speech and language goals.  The idea is simple.  Hide hearts around the house and have your child go on a treasure hunt to find them!  You can make the hunt simple or more challenging depending on your child.  Items can be peeking out from their hiding spot, or they can be completely hidden and have messages with clues attached to them that will lead them to the next item.  You can put pictured on the hearts that target a certain articulation sound (i.e. for the /t/ sound add pictures such as turtles, tiger, tie, cat, gate, butter etc).  You can use a search engine such as Google images to find your pictures.   When your child finds the hearts, have your child say the name of the item 3-5 times each or say them in a sentence when they find them.  If your child is not working on articulation, you can also use this activity to work on language skills.  Select items targeting the vocabulary words that your child is working on to help them learn the new words.  You can make this more challenging by having your child follow directions on how to find the items (i.e. to find this treasure you need to look: left, right, above, below, next to, across from, between etc).  You can make the directions simple or more difficult depending on your child and their goals.

Tina is the owner of Speech Language Pathology in Motion, a private practice on Long Island, NY. Her continuing education has included training in numerous speech language pathology treatment techniques including animal assisted therapy, Hippotherapy, PROMPT, DIRFloortime, The SOS Approach to Feeding, NDT, LAMP, and TEACCH. Tina has been recognized as a board certified hippotherapy clinical specialist (HPCS) since 2011 and is one of only ten SLPs in the United States to hold this credential.

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© 2012, Tina M. Rocco, M.A. CCC-SLP, HPCS. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Speech and Language Home Practice Ideas

  1. This is just what I need. I am an SLP working with a child with dyslexia and expressive language delays using hippotherapy. It has been very beneficial. It has helped in more ways than I can even list. I would love to talk to someone for more ideas.

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