It’s finally here! It’s THEE holiday week! I don’t know about you, but for us therapists at Building Blocks, this week always seems to creep up on us. If you can relate and haven’t quite planned activities revolving around the holidays, we have you covered. Whether you’re a therapist, parent, caregiver, or anyone just wanting some fun and easy holiday ideas to use with children, keep reading. These ideas don’t just have to be used for speech therapy, either! We know some of our ABA therapists and occupational therapists will be using them too.
Holiday Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are one of our favorite activities to use with our kids because they allow us to get as creative as we’d like. Another plus is that they are inexpensive and so versatile. Sensory bins allow you to play with all the senses as much or as little as you want. For holiday bins, you can find a wide variety of festive fillers at your local target or dollar store.
Start with a base layer:
Some holiday base layers you can use include cotton balls, paper shreds, or even some fake snow if you’re feeling fancy.
Add in your fillers:
This is where you can get creative. Any and all holiday trinkets can be used including bows, candy canes, little trees, pinecones, and jingle bells. We like to use these holiday mini erasers because they are easy and festive.
There are so many different ways to use sensory bins in your sessions (or at home!). If you are working on articulation, fill your sensory bins with items that correlate to whatever sound you are targeting. If you are working on core vocabulary or prepositions, you can use directions such as, “take OUT the Santa,” “put the reindeer NEXT to the present,” and so on. If you’re working on expanding language, try playing I Spy! Options are truly endless with how you utilize these bins.
Holiday Virtual Tours
This one is a personal favorite because it involves minimal planning. It also gets bonus points because it’s fun, different, and educational! If you are working on asking or answering wh- questions, inferencing, expanding utterances, fluency goals, increasing vocabulary, or really anything language based, this is for you. Simply YouTube a holiday virtual tour and then get creative from there! A few of our favorites will be linked below.
Don’t feel limited with only watching the virtual tour. If you’re like us, curiosity will get the best of you, and that’s encouraged! You and your child can pull up a map to see where these places are, google items you may not have seen before to learn more about them, or even take it one step further and plan a trip there… okay maybe that one’s a little far fetched, but a girl can dream.
Make a Holiday Card
This is another activity where you can get as creative as you’d like. You can choose the simple route and use paper and crayons, or you can jazz it up and use stickers, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, sparkles, and more. The options are endless. There are so many different ways to target speech and language goals with this activity. You can have the child request what items they want to use, practice ordering and sequencing, or even work on greetings and formulating messages.
Here is a list of items we will be using on our holiday cards:
We hope these simple holiday activities can get you through the week! Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season. Happy Holidays!