Those 2-3 weeks in December before school gets out can feel like an eternity. (When is break starting!?!) However, it can also be a time to add some fun, Christmas speech therapy activities into your sessions!
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Christmas Speech Therapy Themes:
To get your mind thinking about different possibilities this season, here are some theme ideas!
- Gingerbread (houses or cookies)
- gifts – receiving and giving (see social skills idea below)
- Mail (Letters to Santa or Holiday Cards)
- Christmas trees/pine trees
- Hot Cocoa
Christmas Speech Therapy Activities:
Whether you are looking to add a Christmasy-twist to some old favorites (like following directions or WH- Questions) or you want to target some holiday-specific social skills, I’ve got some ideas for you!
Christmas Crafts for Speech Therapy
Any craft can be made into a rich language experience. (Tip – choose something that is not too challenging for your students so they can focus on the language.)
When I worked with students in a substantially separate classroom setting, I found that a lot of crafts were too hard due to challenges with fine motor skills. Gluing with glue sticks was a task that these students were successful with. This Roll-a-Reindeer craft uses gluing and a simple dice game to incorporate early social skills (turn-taking, passing the dice, and speaking to a group).
If you are looking for a craft to keep your students’ hands busy while working on articulation or language goals, you could try this “Cookies for Santa” craft! The cookies have articulation or language targets on them. Students can practice each target while they color, cut, and then glue to get more trials in!
Christmas WH Questions for Speech Therapy
Do you feel like you are always targeting Wh- Questions? You can shake things up by using some Christmas WH questions with your students!
I made these Christmas WH- question cards that include lots of visuals to help your students with comprehension of both the question and of the answer choices. (There’s also a BOOM Cards version here)
I like to use this FREE Wh- Types Chart to teach (and prompt) the different types of Wh- Questions.
RELATED: Using Visuals to Teach WH- Questions
Christmas Social Skills Activity
Social skills around gifts can be tricky for students on the autism spectrum. A fun Christmas social skills group activity is to practice opening a “bad” present. You can set this up by wrapping a few presents in boxes with lids and in gift bags (not in wrapping paper) so that they can be used repeatedly. You can put in something silly or just something a little dull like socks.
Have the students practice saying something nice even if they don’t like the item. If you use the Social Thinking Curriculum, this can be a great time to work on the “social fake.”
Next, have a discussion about how this might work at their own holiday celebrations. You can also have students share about gifts the students have received in the past that were not their favorites.
I also did a similar activity with students with early communication skills, most of whom used a combination of AAC and verbalizations. In that group, we practiced saying “thank you” in the way that would most likely be used at home during the holidays, whether that was AAC, verbally, or with sign language.
RELATED: Winter Speech Therapy Activities
Christmas Coloring Following Directions Activity
Coloring is so motivating for some students. (And it can be a calming activity – bonus!) For early communicators, you can work on holiday vocabulary, requesting colors, and expanding utterances. You can pair this with any simple holiday-themed coloring page – I like to check out the Dollar Tree for coloring books.
For students who are working on following directions goals, you can use Christmas coloring sheets paired with directions at their skill level. If you want a print-and-go version of Christmas coloring pages and directions, you can check it out here.
RELATED: Following Directions Coloring Activities (plus a freebie)
Christmas Favorite Things Activity
Who doesn’t love talking about their favorite things? I like this holiday-themed booklet because it is “errorless” and focuses on sharing opinions. (Just because there are no “right” answers, doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of opportunities to practice language skills – like social skills, holiday vocabulary, turn taking, etc.)
This “Christmas Favorite Things” booklet (also has a “holiday” version) is a fun activity that encourages sharing opinions with peers for students who benefit from visual choices. (Plus, it can be differentiated, making it perfect for speech groups!)
In this Christmas speech and language activity, students fill in five pages about their favorite holiday things (i.e. Holiday activity, treat, character, decorations, etc.) by gluing in a picture or by writing and drawing. Some students might be generating their own ideas while others are using visual choices. They can share their answers with the group or compare with a friend.
Christmas Bingo with a Language Twist
Games are always a fun way to celebrate an upcoming holiday while still getting tons of work done!
This Christmas Language BINGO game can work for 1:1 sessions, small groups, or whole class push-ins. You can choose whether you focus on Christmas vocab (kind of like playing Zingo with a Christmas theme), riddles/inferences, or WH- questions.
There is even an option to print black & white boards that students can color in to mark their spaces. The “two-step directions” calling cards are made to go with these black & white boards. You can find Christmas Language Bingo here.
Speech Therapy Cooking Activities
Cooking is always a fun group speech therapy activity (or for a speech/OT – “SPOT” group)! This is especially popular to do with students in a life-skills program or with students in a substantially separate classroom where you’ll have access to an oven and a refrigerator.
Cooking is an important part of the Christmas tradition, and there are plenty of simple recipes for the holiday. You can use a visual recipe to make the steps more accessible for students who benefit from the use of visuals – like this Banana Buddies Visual Recipe or Cranberry Orange Muffins Recipe.
In a cooking group, you can target turn-taking, following directions, sequencing, requesting and so much more! Cooking is also great for sensory input – smells, textures, temperatures, etc. – and for teaching vocabulary related to those senses!
Christmas Articulation Practice
Spice up typical articulation practice with a Christmas-themed set of BOOM Cards where students “feed the (cute) monsters” to work on those articulation drills!
Want to Bundle and Save?
Here’s a Bundle of early language activities (includes lots of visuals!):
Or You might like this Christmas Speech-Language Bundle :