Deck the Halls! by Jaimi Bird, M.A., CCC-SLP
Kids love the wonder of the holiday season, and it is so much fun to watch them and see the excitement of the season through their eyes! As parents, we sometimes cringe when little hands want to “help” decorate the Christmas tree, or want to play with a treasured family holiday heirloom. Here is a fun way for your child to participate and help “deck the halls” without the worry! In my therapy room, the past few weeks I have had fun embracing some seasonal traditions. I’ve really enjoyed doing some of these great ideas posted here on our blog last week. My kids have loved making their own candy canes with their sight words, vowel combinations and speech sounds on them! My walls have been graced with a few beautifully made snowflakes too!
However, my favorite holiday tradition, that most kids can relate to, is decorating the Christmas tree. I have created a kid-sized tree that I have simply cut out of felt and made “ornaments” using felt shapes of various sizes and colors.
Many goal areas can be targeted with this easy-to-make tree and ornaments. Here are some ideas on how to make this activity a learning experience too!
For younger kids:
- Practicing turn-taking with the ornament placement “my turn . . .Dad’s turn”.
- Naming the color, shape, or size of the ornament before placing it on the tree.
- Requesting a piece by using a simple word like “more” or a phrase like “I want__”.
- Following simple one-step directions:
- Put the star on the top of the tree.
- Put a red piece on the tree. (Color identification)
- Get a circle. (Shape identification)
- Get a big ornament. (Size identification)
- Put your piece under the star (Understanding basic concepts)
For older kids:
- Following two-part directions:
- Get a blue triangle.
- Put a yellow square on the tree.
- Following multi-step directions:
- Get red and blue circles and put them on the bottom of the tree.
- After you put on a triangle, put the star on the top of the tree.
- Get three small squares and put them next to the big yellow square.
- As you know, kids LOVE to be in charge! Take turns and let them give you an instruction too. This is a great way to practice their expressive skills. “Dad put the big, blue triangle on the tree!”
Most importantly, have fun! Creating memories with your children will be the best part of any holiday activity that you do together.
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
740 Community Drive, Unit A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131