For starters, my language lessons begin when clients step up to the front door. The big pumpkin is usually a crowd pleaser with the younger ones while upper elementary-aged children (and most parents) love my handmade Harry Potter sign. I often hear clients labeling and commenting about the decorations when I answer the door.
This year, I went all out in my speech room by covering my table with a Halloween plastic cloth, hanging a banner on my windows, using cardboard haunted houses to store Legos and bean bags, and filling a beverage bucket with books. The colors and objects make the space so cheerful and most clients naturally comment and label what they see around them. The best part is: I'm a bargain shopper so all of my reusable decorations come from the Dollar Tree or after Halloween clearance sales.
Speaking of clearance shopping, I snagged a couple door coverings at Target last year and put them to good use this past week. The stickers remove easily if placed on the scene itself so several clients were able to enjoy this task. We worked on following directions like, "Put five pumpkins on the fence", "Give each pumpkin and ghost a hat", "Put the bat on the moon/window" and "Put the pumpkin on the ghost." I liked that I could work on familiar and novel commands and vary this activity to meet the needs of many clients.
Another huge hit this year was my Styrofoam pumpkins with plastic facial parts all courtesy of the Dollar Tree. We used this in language sessions to make requests using complete sentences like "I need a mouth" or "I want eyes." This task was especially perfect for my young language learners using speech generating devices. Everyone enjoyed taking these home and recreating it. Some caregivers commented that they liked this activity so much that they purchased more pumpkins and facial parts on their own and made them with siblings at home. I love it when something that we talk about in the speech room can be generalized to other settings!! What a great way to practice functional and seasonal vocabulary and language skills!
Finally, we have been making a scarecrow treat to practice sequencing, commenting, and requesting. I found this creative snack in a Pillsbury Halloween cookbook that I bought years ago when my son was a mere toddler. You can see the steps in the images below if you want to make your own, yummy snack this week.
|First, spread white icing on a vanilla cookie.|
|Second, shred some triscuit crackers to make straw.|
|Place shredded crackers on the sides of the cookie.|
|Add a candy corn nose.|
|Use chocolate chips for eyes and black icing for a mouth.|
|Add a gumdrop hat and then enjoy your treat!|