Much of November is spent talking about giving thanks. A lot of the focus may be on special people in the lives of students. While this is important, it is crucial to move beyond that. It can be difficult to get to know students during different types of therapy sessions. Kids can be shy and scared to open up.
Why not expand on the thankful notion and think about favorite items from this season? Check in with families ahead of time to see what traditions they may have from where they are originally from. Embrace multilingual learners and share these unique items with everyone in the group. Encourage families to send items in which can be observed by others during sessions.
Sensational Fall Items
When working with younger children, it is often helpful to embrace the senses. Since kids learn from the world around them, multi-sensory activities get them actively engaged. Give each child a piece of paper with the five senses written on it. Brainstorm about their favorite autumn items which would fit into each category.
These will be used to make a flip book for future discussions. Use five sheets of paper to create each flip book. The sections of this book will be labeled with:
- Favorite Fall things I see
- Favorite Fall things I hear
- Favorite Fall things I touch
- Favorite Fall things I smell
- Favorite Fall things I taste
Make sure to incorporate anything which was sent in from home. Each child will complete these books by drawing pictures and adding words with assistance. This will give them a chance to work on fine motor, vocabulary, and more. When sharing, they can also act out their books out using gross motor and speech and language practice if that is in their goals.
Favorite Fall Activities
Older students will be able to expand the senses and look more closely at favorite activities from this season. Their flip books will be given to their families for Thanksgiving. They will feature their favorites in a variety of categories. These could include the following:
- Fall sports
- Fall weather
- Fall holidays
- Fall food
- Fall smells
Spend time sharing the complete book as a group. This will work on team building, social skills, and more. Allow others to ask questions and practice reciprocal conversation skills. Older students may also want to act out the pages in their book for fun and to be more actively engage. Think outside of the box and use what works for your students and their individual needs.
When all books are complete and used in sessions, send them home for families to enjoy. Include a note from you to thank them for their support. Remind them that everyone is part of the team helping their child to reach their development and skill goals.
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