One of the most popular holidays is finally here. Halloween! If you’re still looking for a costume, you still have some time left. While it may also seem like there will never be an end in sight as far as treats go (we love them too!), but are you concerned about your child getting wrapped up in the holiday and not making progress in speech speech therapy? Don’t worry a–our spooky speech therapists at Therapy Works Together have some great ideas when it comes time to put together speech therapy activities for toddlers at home.
Don’t get scared! I’m sure you can tell by the way we LOVE HALLOWEEN that this month is one of our favorites. Stay calm and work on speech therapy at home as you prepare for Halloween.
Are you concerned about your child having a speech or language issue. Most importantly – Don’t panic. With the help of a speech language pathologist and parents who are ready to help at home children make great progress with these speech or language issues.
You can start dealing with speech issues at home with some support from speech therapists and learning their strategies and techniques used to use during Halloween as therapy games.
Speech therapy is important for every child to improve their speech and language skills. Speech pathologists can help with the fun ways you may be able to help your child at home, as well as identifying any concerns about progress or regression that warrant seeing a speech language pathologist.
Speech Therapy at Home on Halloween Eve
Halloween is the perfect opportunity to start targeting goals for speech including for kids who are late talking toddlers, kids with Apraxia of speech, or other kids with speech language disorders. While many children may have a hard time sitting for speech therapy drills, Halloween themed activities will make it fun and interest your child to learn with these speech therapy activities for toddlers at home.
These tips for improving your child’s speech will come in handy no even if you work with a speech therapist at home. Speech language therapists usually assign homework, but some speech therapists give it as rewards or challenges so be sure to ask!
The games and exercises are all related to Halloween which makes them extra fun because everyone loves this spooky holiday- especially kids!
Speech Therapy in Disguise
We’ve found some great educational games that don’t cost parents anything and don’t require a lot of preparation – just Halloween-related things around the house and your spooky imagination . There is everything here from activities for articulation (such as “rhotacism” or difficulty pronouncing the “r” sound), language issues kids might have in grammar school (such as working on parts of speech), and targeting facial expressions and emotions for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder who may have social communication issues.
Activities with Pumpkins
Here are some games with pumpkins that will keep your child interested in (hidden) speech therapy activities at home and also produce some good results.
Learning to Describe
Try passing small pumpkin from one person to another and each person takes a turn describing each one of theirs or someone else’s. The goal is to describe and use different adjectives:
- “My pumpkin is heavy.”
- “Her pumpkin is green and orange .”
- “Your pumpkin is small.”
Learn Superlative/Comparative Adjectives
A superlative adjective describes “the most,” “the best,” or “the highest.” In this Halloween game, you’ll need a few pumpkins. You will also need prizes, like candies or even coins that you can give a prize or reward to each pumpkin depending on it’s characteristics. Tell your child that there will be contest for the pumpkins and you can both reward them:
- Superlatives: Parents can model saying the superlative: “Which pumpkin is the biggest/smallest,” and so on. Your child can find the right pumpkin and give it the reward.
- Comparatives: Modify the game and use comparative adjectives (“lighter” than or “heavier” than). Invite your child to compare pumpkins.
- Encourage your child to use more varied and interesting adjectives depending on their language and developmental level.
Use Your Candies
Your child definitely made out with a lot of Halloween candies and the speech language therapists at Therapy Works Together always invite their little clients to bring the candies they got to the speech therapy online session. These candies that can be used for pleasure and more useful purposes. Here are several games that are good for different ages.
Sort the Colors
Give your child a pile of different candies and let them sort into categories. You can do this by color, shape or type! If they’re too young for the sorting game try using names like “round sweets,” instead when you ask what kind it is in order to make things easier on their little brains 🙂
Explore Candy Quality
With an older child, there are two criteria you can use to sort sweets. For the first game they’ll have candies in different piles such as “like” and “dislike.” The next time parents play it might be based on more complicated types such as chocolates or lollipops instead!
Candy Wh- Game
This type of game helps develop sharing and social communication and not only speech skills. Get several child or people from the house to play this game.
What you do is give some sweets to each player and tell them that everyone needs to ask for candy and explain why they are choosing it. For example:
“I want this candy because it is orange flavor, I love orange. I think this candy is very yummy.”
Parents can also ask their child leading questions to help them along, such as:
- Why do you choose this candy?
- Why do you like it better than others?
- What is the tastiest candy?
Spoooky Books to Use for Speech Therapy at Home
Leading up to Halloween and on the holiday itself, don’t forget to pick up Halloween books. Invite your kid and they neighborhood to get into the mood by reading together, and then parents can ask questions about the story and perhaps what will happen on Halloween eve that is related to the story.
Speech therapy activities for toddlers at home you can work on include:
- Asking a child what a new word means
- Story retell (by memory or by looking at the pictures)
- Articulation (target “s” sounds: spooky, stinky, slimy)
Here are some Halloween theme books that our speech therapists love:
Work on Speech During Halloween
Halloween is a great time to work on speech therapy. It won’t take much prep. Spend this holiday having fun with your child’s speech language development by helping them learn more words as they explore their costumes, decorations or activities.
From the speech therapists at Therapy Works Together: Have an awesome, safe and healthy Halloween families! And don’t forget about speech therapy online to help you get your child to the next level in their speech skills.