5 Facts About Me!

One of the wonderful aspects of being on TpT is the lovely people you get to meet. We are all over the world, working hard to help make children's lives a little better, one skill at a time. I want to thank Nikki, from Teaching Autism in the UK, for inviting me to share in this fun linky. I really enjoyed finding out more about her and thought that maybe you would like to get to know me a little more, too! 

I'm so much better at writing about therapy ideas than I am about myself! These facts seem pretty self-explanatory as well. But, feel free to ask me questions if any of this interests you! I'd love to chat!

Thanks to Krista Wallden at Creative Clips for the font and graphics.

Would you ever want to see photos of my quilts? What's your hobby?

3 Fun Free Speech/Language Therapy Ideas for Halloween!

Halloween fun doesn’t have to be expensive if you are working with littles. The three engaging ideas featured here are easy to do and only require basic supplies, like felt, tape and markers. Give it a try!

Fun, free and easy therapy ideas with felt for Halloween!
Preschoolers love to find hidden things! Hide small pumpkins with varied emotions faces are hidden inside the big pumpkin bag. After their targeted speech or language target was elicited, students picked a pumpkin out of the bag

One thing that is great about using felt is that the littles have something safe to hold onto and play with while waiting their turn!

Teaching emotions with felt pumpkins! Free and easy!
Language you can model includes spatial concepts (in, out, on,) emotion vocabulary, descriptive words (scary, spooky, funny, silly.)  

Little ones will have fun just playing the game, but you can make duplicates of  the emotion pumpkins to play and see who gets the most matches.

Felt is also such an inexpensive, versatile way to make your own therapy materials!  With every color available, you can make simple felt shapes to match every holiday and season. All it takes is the right color felt, a marker, a simple shape you can draw  (believe me, I’m no artist!) and a glue gun to keep it closed. In a hurry? Staple the sides together and put some scotch tape over the staple backs if you have concerns about pricking little fingers.

Get a piece of felt that is double the size of the shape. Draw the shape with the permanent marker, fold the felt in half and cut around the shape you drew. Glue gun (or staple- tape doesn’t hold) the sides together and  voila! You have a cute little felt bag to hide things in, or a puppet.

When there are no issues of tactile defensiveness, little ones love to  find whatever is hiding inside the bag. It’s kind of like getting a present! For kids with sensory issues, I’ve found it helpful to show them what is inside and then just place the bag on the table. Felt is a soft, familiar material and many kids will explore it on their own when they are totally in charge of the pace. For kids who still have issues, try making a mini version that you leave on the table in front of them and just let them peek or participate in whatever way they can handle until the activity is familiar.

Other ways to play this game include:
• hiding some little wrapped candies amidst the felt pumpkins
• placing small Halloween toys inside for the students to play with until their next turn
• putting pictures of varied Halloween vocabulary inside to be talked about after being picked. 
• You can also use the bag for a fun listening activity. Describe one of the picture cards you used that session to elicit speech/ language goals and see who can find the correct picture first to put in the pumpkin bag. Therapy and clean up all in one!

Here are some examples of the types of toys that could be used, but don’t put them all in at once.  Add a new toy, maybe every other session or so. You will see when your little ones get the language you’ve been modeling or start losing interest. After they have explored the new toy, bring out the non-familiar ones for a little describing and comparing/contrasting.  Did you notice there’s a variety of colors and textures there?

Easy free ideas for Halloween activities in speech/language therapy.

Did I say compare and contrast? You’ll notice there are two ghosts there. One works as a puppet and one doesn’t. One is small and one is big.  One is fuzzy (felt) and one is smooth (fabric.) One is happy and one is sad.

Puppets are such a great therapy tool for little ones! They let you adopt another voice, play little games like giving and taking a toy, or tickling in a way that is so much safer than interacting with a new adult.

Often I’ve had little ones who wouldn’t talk to me speak to the puppet with no problems at all.  Puppets even give us the freedom to be a little silly in a way that might be uncomfortable otherwise (especially with a parent observing!)

I love crafting therapy materials! Did I manage to convince you that you can do this, too?  

Teaching emotions and problem solving with a pumpkin theme!
If you don’t enjoy making materials, don’t have the time, or work with older students, take a look at my Halloween Emotions Game. Also lots of fun and there are emotions in this packet that I could never draw!


Spotlight Saturday

I'm joining up with Erin at Kindergarten Dragons for a last minute Spotlight Saturday post!  Those of you with little ones know that they can show a variety of emotions on Halloween. Stay tuned for my Tuesday post for some crafty ideas for an emotion game that is lots of fun! Here's a sneak peek!
Hope your Saturday was great!
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