Promoting seasonal vocabulary is important for children of all ages. This is especially true for students who are from multilingual families and may need more practice using new words. In addition to this, children that have speech and language deficits may be uncomfortable adding new words to the mix. Using new and inventive ways to expose words will assist them as they continue with their goals.
A fun way to practice vocabulary and or words in general is by using matching games. Vocabulary cards may be utilized in a wide variety of ways. Individual cards may be selected one by one to incorporate into a story, but it’s more fun to use them for matching games. These can be made on index cards that are easy to use and readily available. The best part of this is that the activity is extremely flexible for different needs. You can make a set of cards that are specific to each child. When they are done being used in SLP sessions, the kids may take the cards home for additional practice and fun. Remember, if this is done to send home, include a user guide that has some games on it, and make sure they are translated for people in the household who may not speak English fluently.
If you want to get a little fancier, use cutouts of pumpkins, apples, turkeys, or something else from the fall season to make cards. Be sure to laminate these so they will last. When finished with sessions, they can be sent home for further practice and fun. Younger kids may focus on words or subjects that they are working on rather than advanced vocabulary. Pictures of colors, shapes, letters, or numbers may be on one side of the card. When they make a match, have them use this to practice speaking. Find something in the room that starts with the letter sound. Perhaps there’s a photo on the wall that has the same color match. This will help to promote practicing articulation, asking questions, and adding to their confidence when talking within the group.
This may also be adjusted to work well with older children. Vocabulary words in the way of text or pictures can be used. Older students may also enjoy helping to prepare the cards. They can even draw their own illustrations to go with the words. When they are more involved in the process, they will have ownership in the process. When you practice in sessions, have older kids use the word to ask a question, or create a sentence. This will practice conversational skills and following directions.