If we were to ask our students, we would most likely see that their families are all different. One student may have the traditional family of a mother and a father while another is being raised by grandparents or aunts and uncles. Another student may have two moms or two dads, and little Johnny may live with foster parents.
There are so many types of families; yet, we continue to have the traditional mother’s day and father’s day. Let’s add to that and point out that even if everyone had a traditional family, fathers get robbed when it comes to cute crafts and activities that celebrate them during the school year. That is why I did not celebrate mother’s day during the school year with my kids in the past. Now, I plan to hijack Mother’s day and use it to celebrate all types of families and the caregivers that take the time, patience, and love to raise our students. Check out three ways you can celebrate all types of families during your speech therapy sessions.
CRAFTS: Crafts are a great way to address a variety of goals! You can easily target following directions, wh-questions, description, summarizing steps required to complete the craft, and carryover articulation at the sentence level. Check out a few fun and simple craft ideas that you can easily incorporate in your speech therapy sessions.
- Salt Dough Ornaments – This non-bake activity will take more than one speech session. Of course, you do not have to use just handprints (though as a mom, I could tell you, I love having my daughter’s handprint at different ages).
- 10 Things I Love About ______ – Have students paint their hands and put both palm prints on a piece of paper. For each finger, have them write something that they love or appreciate about their family or a specific caregiver (mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, foster parent, etc..)
- Student Drawn Family Portraits – Students can share with the group about their family, family traditions, and the pictures make great bulletin board displays.
- Create an Award – Students paint and decorate the back of a paper plate sharing what they appreciate and love about their caregiver(s).
ALL ABOUT BOOKLET: One of the cutest things that my daughter ever made me was an All About My Mommy booklet when she was in kindergarten. I adored that booklet because it gave me a way to peek into her mind and how she perceived me. For example, it was great learning that I was the best at making…. coffee! Yeah, that told me that I needed to try to make more home cooked meals or practice more because for some reason I was not the best ‘cooker’ in our home like her daddy was. I did learn that I was the best at hugs and making her feel better though. I think that was a pretty fair assessment actually.
You can grab this ALL ABOUT BOOKLET FREEBIE that can be adapted to celebrate ANY member of the family or caregiver! This booklet is perfect for students working on articulation (see if students can use words that use their sound to complete the pages), language, or fluency (have students practice describing their person using their strategies) when the booklet is complete.
LITERACY-BASED SPEECH THERAPY: Yes, we can completely incorporate books! As we know, representation is important and can teach all of our students about the importance of kindness, acceptance, and love! Not only can using literature help to celebrate all families but it is such an easy way to target a variety of language goals (receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, function, description, compare/contrast, sentence formulation, wh-questions, sequencing, etc..), articulation/phonology goals (identifying words with sound, placement of sound in the word, rhyming words, minimal pairs, articulation carryover using language tasks), and fluency goals (using fluency strategies at the word, phrase, sentence level, discussion of situational desensitization). Check out the books below about different types of families.
- Who’s in My Family? All About Family by Robie Harris
- Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas. Not Mommies and Daddies by Gayle Byrne
- My Friends and Me by Stephanie Stansbie
- Fred Stays With Me by Nancy Coffelt
- A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary
- Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
- In Our Mother’s House by Patricia Polacco
- Two is Enough by Janna Matthies
- In Every House on Every Street by Jess Hitchman
- We are Family by Patricia Hegarty