Articulation and Phonology, Equine Assisted Therapy, Expressive Language, Hippotherapy, Pragmatic Language and Social Skills, Speech and Language Development, Speech and Language Therapy

Our Favorite Fall Activities at Speech in Motion

Who doesn’t love Fall?  There are so many fun activities and toys that are Fall themed.  We wanted to share a few of our favorites that we have been using with our clients this Fall to help them work on speech and language skills in the clinic and at the farm!

  1. Apple and Pumpkin Picking Fun- We found these great apples and pumpkins on Amazon!  They open and are perfect for holding small objects and pictures.  There are 12 in each set.  We have been targeting noun and verb vocabulary, prepositions, concepts, pragmatic language skills, articulation and more with these great toys! Here are some of the ways we have been using these in therapy:
    1. Vocab: We printed and laminated 12 Fall nouns: squirrel, acorn, rake, pumpkin, apple, turkey, leaves, pine cone, pie, scarecrow, corn, jack-o-lantern and put one in each apple.  We then printed and laminated 12 Fall verbs and put one in each pumpkin: raking, sitting on pumpkins, sleeping in leaves, picking apples, eating corn, carving a pumpkin, painting a pumpkin, throwing leaves, cutting apples, driving a tractor, rolling a pumpkin, jumping in leaves.  We hid the apples and pumpkins in the clinic and at the farm and went “apple picking” and “pumpkin picking”.
    2. Prepositions: Clients practiced understanding and use of prepositional terms.  Clients were asked to “hide” the pumpkins and apples by putting them “in”, “on”, “under”, “next to”, or “behind” objects in the clinic and at the farm for other children to “find”.  We also had clients tell the therapist where they spotted an apple or pumpkin using the prepositions (i.e. “I see a pumpkin behind the tree”).
    3. Concepts: Clients practiced concepts such as empty, full, colors, and negation (i.e. “It’s not under the table”).
    4. Pragmatics: Clients worked on the pragmatic goals of joint attention, labeling, commenting, getting attention, requesting help and turn taking during this activity!
    5. Language Skills: Clients practiced labeling new vocabulary, answering questions, giving directions, following directions, asking questions (i.e. “Where is the apple?”).
    6. Articulation: We put different pictures in the apples and pumpkins to help clients practice articulation targets.  Some of the apples and pumpkins had bugs or toys inside, making it a lot of fun to open each one to find out what was inside!
  2. Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set– This activity is great to help target Fall harvest vocabulary, color identification and categorical sorting skills.  It can also be used to target labeling, requesting, turn taking, following directions and answering questions!

  3. Fall Themed Sensory Bins and Slime– We had a lot of fun making sensory bins this fall using baskets, leaves, apples, pumpkins and more.  There are so many great ideas for Fall sensory bins.  You can find 30 Fall sensory activities here!  We love including sensory play ion speech sessions to target articulation, language, and pragmatics.  The possibilities are endless, and the the sensory play helps kids stay motivated and engaged throughout their therapy session.

  4. Learning Resources Alphabet Acorns– This was a favorite for a few of our clients!  We used this activity to work on phonological awareness, vocabulary, “wh” questions, prepositions, concepts and more! This activity includes 26 acorns that open up.  The bottom has an uppercase letter and the top has a lowercase letter.  Each acorn also comes with an object that corresponds to it’s letter.  We added the pieces to our sensory bins in the clinic, and also hid them around the farm, during sessions incorporating hippotherapy, to make finding them a lot of fun!
  5. Attribute apples- This set comes with 27 apples in 3 colors.  The apples are small, medium and large, and some of the apples have leaves or worms on them.  We used attribute apples to target color and size concepts as well as negation (i.e. “it does not have a leaf”).  Clients were asked to classify, and compare apples by 5 attributes including size, color, and physical features (stem, leaf, worm).  We also used these apples to target prepositions. They are fun to play with in the container they come in, or can be put in a sensory bin.

What are your favorite Fall speech and language toys?  Share them in the comments!

Tina is the owner of Speech Language Pathology in Motion, a private practice on Long Island, NY. She is licensed in NY and VT. Her continuing education has included training in numerous speech language pathology specialized 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. Tina currently serves as the American Hippotherapy Association Inc. Board President. She is also a member, Registered Therapist and Certified Registered Instructor with PATH Intl.

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© 2017, Tina M. Rocco, M.A. CCC-SLP, HPCS. All rights reserved.

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