Updated: Feb 5
After a year that seemed like it was modeled after Jumanji, we have somehow made it to 2021! Happy New Year!!
Since planning sessions on the last Sunday of winter break is always the stuff of nightmares, I thought I'd share a list of winter-themed therapy activities and ideas that I've been slowly compiling over the past few months. Almost everything listed below is totally FREE but there are a handful of paid resources sprinkled in.
Looking for additional, non-winter themes? Bookmark this blog post that I compiled with the fabulous Lucy Stone of The Speech Express (@the_speech_express): The Ultimate List of Themed Speech & Language Activities.
Valentine's Day Activities
Pete the Cat Valentine's Day is Cool book read-aloud on YouTube
Olivia and the Perfect Valentine book read-aloud on YouTube - good for recalling details mentioned in the story
Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink book read-aloud on YouTube - focuses on perspective-taking and social skills
Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine book read-aloud on YouTube - great for working on figurative language, multiple meanings since this is loaded with idioms
Arthur's Valentine book read-aloud on YouTube
Free Valentine's Day Boom Cards List - The Crafter Teacher put together a huge list of free Valentine's Boom card decks for speech. From this link, click Files, then click Free Valentine's Day Boom Cards - List, click Buy. Navigate to your library, click Files at the top, and download the list. You will be able to click the links directly to all of the free Boom decks listed!
Valentine's Games, Videos, and Activities on Nick Jr. - huge assortment, great for preschoolers and early elementary and games include popular characters like Peppa Pig, Dora, and Bubble Guppies
Waldo Loves Muffy game on PBSKids - can be used to work on requesting using location concepts / directional vocabulary to guide Waldo to Muffy around obstacles on the board
Make a Valentine game on ABCya - choose paper color, borders, stickers, and text boxes to design a valentine card
Valentine's Puzzle game on ABCya - good for preschoolers making very basic requests about objects and location concepts
Make a Cupcake game on ABCya - choose cake, icing, sprinkles, and toppings (including hearts) to design a Valentine's cupcake
Love Monster Boom card game by Spiffy Speech - includes clipart with articulation words in all positions and in blends
Cupid's Arrows Boom card game by Spiffy Speech - includes pre-made board games with artic words and language skills (describing, comparing/contrasting, synonyms, antonyms, multiple meanings). Also includes a blank version where you can type your own words onto the game board spaces!
Love Notes Articulation Boom card game by Speechable Moments - board game includes Valentines that you can complete using articulation words (with clipart) to make silly messages similar to MadLibs
Free Valentine's Bingo* in my Freebie library! Join my E-mail list at the bottom of the page for the password
Activities for Older Students:
Personality Quiz Valentine's Day at Hogwarts - Who's Your Magic Valentine - ideal for middle school and up
Valentine's Day Social Scenarios* in my Freebie library! Join my E-mail list at the bottom of the page for the password
What Might Happen Valentine's Boom card activity by Spiffy Speech - work on inferencing and answering other critical-thinking questions given Valentine's Day scenarios
Language Activities for Valentine's Day by Spiffy Speech - includes activities for formulating sentences about photos, revising sentences, determining meaning from context clues, answering critical thinking questions about a story or retelling a story, and adding adjectives to make sentences more descriptive
10 Love Idioms for Valentine's Day from KSEAcademy
34 Hilariously Sweet Valentine's Jokes for Kids from Red Tricycle - explain the jokes to work on multiple meanings or sound-alike words
Valentine's Day Virtual Escape Room - work on reading comprehension skills, describing, comprehension of directions including attributes, and more!
Valentine's Day Jeopardy on Jeopardy Labs
New Year's Activities
New Year Reflection Boom Card Activity - students answer questions about the past year (type into boxes using Annotate)
Interactive Happy New Year Game (open-ended & free!) by Mrs Peters Speech - plays in PowerPoint on the computer or iPad, includes customizable cards (or can be paired with any therapy activity without cards) and has sound effects!
New Year's Conversation Starters by The SLT Scrapbook
Following Directions New Year's Eve Theme by The Chatty Classroom
Squirrel's New Year's Resolution book read-aloud on YouTube
The Night Before New Year's book read-aloud on YouTube
Free New Year's Bingo by Artsy Fartsy Mama - use for describing, naming from description, location concepts, comparing/contrasting, explaining word relationships
10 Fun New Year's Facts & Traditions on Today's Life Online - work on reading comprehension including tier two vocabulary
Winter Activities for Younger Students
Sesame Street Seasons Spinner Game on PBS Kids - ideal for preschoolers, includes a winter sledding game that can be used as a break or reinforcer but also has some winter vocab (ex: clothing items)
Sesame Street Dress Up Time Game on PBS Kids - ideal for preschoolers, includes winter-themed costumes
Make a Snowman Game on ABCya - great for requesting, turn-taking, describing using specific vocab and attributes, categorization
Holiday Party Game on Nick Jr. - includes winter mini games (basic side-scrolling games like Mario) with familiar characters like Dora and Paw Patrol, kids collect items for a holiday party, language opportunities such as giving dkirections with specific vocab and attributes, location concepts, and basic/opposite concepts
Sid the Science Kid Snow Search Game on PBS Kids - kids can dig in the snow to find hidden items, good for working on location concepts and following directions if you can give mouse control (ex: Dig in front of the shed)
Sid the Science Kid Snowflake Match Game on PBS Kids
Paw Patrol Snow Slide! Game on Nick Jr. - ride a snowboard down a hill and do tricks, works best as a quick break or reinforcer game
Molly of Denali Super Snowboarder Game on PBS Kids - similar to the above, ride a snowboard down a hill and do tricks, works best as a quick break or reinforcer game for elementary students
Team Hamster! Fish Force Game - shoot a fish out of a cannon to get the plushie to the target, works best as a quick break or reinforcer for elementary students
Winter Vocabulary Sensory Bins (free) Boom Card Activity - find hidden winter objects in a virtual sensory bin, great for expanding utterance length (ex: I found a _____), using specific vocab and adjectives, describing, comparing/contrasting
Open-Ended Winter (free) Boom Card Games - includes four games to pair with any goal!
Winter Talk and Find Boom Card Freebie - search for winter vocab in the dark using a flashlight
Winter Bingo (free) Boom Card Activity - can be used for describing, naming from a description, categorization tasks, and finding/describing locations. Other free winter Bingo boards can be found by searching Google Images
Speed Snowman Boom Card Game by Spiffy Speech - students race to build their snowman first by removing igloos to reveal snowman body parts! There is an open-ended version as well as articulation versions for all common speech sounds in all positions.
My Gingerbread House Articulation Activity by Spiffy Speech - students draw artic words and then overlay a gingerbread house (with windows/door cut out on three sides) so the windows and door can reveal their artic pictures. Boom game version coming soon!
Gingerbread Pronouns Boom Card Activity by The Speechie Frenchie - you can do so much with this interactive game featuring two draggable gingerbread cookie characters and a variety of items!
Hot Cocoa Loco Articulation Boom Card Game by Speechable Moments - find the ingredients to make hot chocolate (or artic words with target sounds) hiding behind the colorful mugs!
Sneezy the Snowman book read-aloud on YouTube
Snowman Magic book read-aloud on YouTube
Winnie the Pooh Here Comes Winter book read-aloud on YouTube
How to Catch a Snowman book read-aloud on YouTube
Pete the Cat Snow Daze book read-aloud on YouTube
How Do You Know It's Winter? book read-aloud on YouTube - nonfiction, winter facts
The Wish Tree book read-aloud on YouTube
Winnie in Winter book read-aloud on YouTube
A Loud Winter's Nap book read-aloud on YouTube
Winter Video Clips on Nick Jr. - includes a handful of winter TV show clips from popular shows like Dora an Blues Clues
That’s Silly Winter Scene by Highlights - ideal for elementary students for describing, finding items described, formulating sentences, pronouns, prepositions, etc. etc. and works great as a green screen background too
At Home With Olaf video clips on YouTube - motivating and can be used to work on WH questions, expanding utterance length
What Might Happen? Winter Boom Card activity by Spiffy Speech - work on making predictions with a winter-theme! This resource includes photos making it appropriate for a wide range of ages
Winter Green Screen Activities:
Join my mailing list at the bottom of the page for instant access* to my Freebie library, which has over 200 FREE green screen backgrounds-- including pre-made winter backgrounds such as the snowy day scene described below! *Password appears when you enter your E-mail address!
*Change your virtual background to a snowy day scene. 1) Print/cut pictures of snowman components (ex: three snowballs of different sizes, a carrot, pieces of coal, scarf, etc.) Have the student sequence steps to build a snowman and request each component. Stick pictures onto the green screen to assemble the snowman. For more opportunities to request, describe, and compare/contrast, print multiple options for clothing items (ex: scarves that are different colors, carrots that are different sizes). 2) Pretend to dig in the snow using a real shovel that you have at home. Describe items for the student to name and then pull them out of the snow magically using a green tube or pocket. These can be pictures of winter items, pictures of arctic words, or actual household objects.
Follow the SLP/OT Green Screen Queens on Instagram (@playsparktoys) and their Facebook group, Green Screen Speech Therapy (Distance Learning) for tons of green screen ideas and freebies!
Winter Activities for Older Students
Winter Jeopardy Games on Jeopardy Labs - play pre-made winter Jeopardy games or create your own
Winter Crossword Puzzle on Squigly's Play House - Google "winter crossword puzzle" and tons more free ones come up
Narnia Virtual Escape Room - can be used to work on reading comprehension
Virtual Winter Escape Room* - includes direction-following with descriptions (ex: "Click on the picture of the small, red and white scarf for your next clue"), reading comprehension passages and short videos with questions
*Answer key for winter escape room:
Snow Sculptures Gallery on Nat Geo Kids - great for describing, comparing/contrasting, formulating sentences about a picture given target words
Snow-Themed Articles on Nat Geo Kids
Snow Jokes by Fun Kids Jokes - great for explaining multiple meanings, sound-alike words, and word relationships
Winter Paragraphs by Spiffy Speech - work on reading comprehension, main idea, tier two vocab, finding the evidence, critical-thinking skills, and writing intro/conclusion sentences
Winter Words Game by Spiffy Speech - describe and name items without saying forbidden words in the style of Taboo, play with a free buzzer
Winter Semantic Feature Analysis by Spiffy Speech - compare/contrast winter items using semantic feature analysis charts
Winter Themed Mini Unit by The Speech Express - address all goals included reading comprehension, context clues, inferencing, articulation
Also be sure to check out my new Winter Bundle which includes 6 winter-themed speech-language resources and continues to grow!
Make sure you're following me on Instagram (@spiffyspeech) so you'll be notified of future posts like this one, speech freebies, toy/game recommendations, and giveaways!!
Don't forget that you can find even more themed activities (for tons of different themes) over on The Speech Express's blog: The Ultimate List of Themed Speech & Language Activities!
Be sure to bookmark the page while there because we will continue to add on! There are other blog posts over on The Speech Express website that provide tons of teletherapy tips, ideas, and activities too!
Now to go throw a blanket over my head and pretend tomorrow isn't already Monday...