As the holidays approach, I’m very excited to pull out my holiday toys. Dollar Tree has a new type of empty holiday ornaments this year that are perfect for speech therapy. If you’re new around here, start by reading this post about how to make a mini object kit for sounds or language. After you’ve made your mini-objects kit you’ll start finding tons of ideas for using it! Trust me!
First of all, if you’re hoping to use holiday themed mini-objects you could of course collect lots of mini-objects from your own home and children’s piles. Dinky Doodad’s sells holiday themed objects if you’re looking for small objects. For a slightly bigger option, you can buy these American Girl dolls sized accessories in at Wal-Mart for about $8. The brand is My Life. You can also use my affiliate link here and get them delivered to your doorstep. Wal-Mart appears to be the cheapest option on this set though!
You’ll want to snag yourself a mini Christmas Tree. Try Five Below, Dollar Tree, and the Target Dollar Spot all have options. You want one that is a bit on the Charlie Brown side (sparse) because the ornaments are several inches high. I’m using one I bought at Five Below.
I snagged these screw bottom empty ornaments which means little ones can even open. In the past. I used ornaments that snapped together. The problem was that the kids couldn’t do it themselves, so I had to prep them and tape them closed. This set uses a twisting lid. That means “making” the ornaments can be the big part of therapy, giving you lots of options for therapy.
You’ll want to gather your mini-objects sort them for whichever style works best for you! I keep mine organized mostly by sounds (sounds and syllable shapes) with additional seasonal sets. Then get to work targeting all kinds of skills! This list is a jumping off point that should help you get started!
- Target your speech sounds while you fill the ornaments. Use words, sentences, and conversational speech.
- Sort contrasting sounds into two different containers to work on auditory discrimination. (ie: T and K
- Add three random pieces into an ornament and challenge your students to create a cohesive short story that weaves all the parts together!
- Do a writing activity that describes the tree and ornaments.
- Do sorting activity. Sort the items by categories (IE: animals, vehicles, clothing) and put like-categories inside ornaments!
- Tape a picture of a boy, girl, and group of children to the ornaments. Create pronoun sentences (i.e. She has a fish. This is her fish.)
- Do some complex directions activities to fill the ornaments. (i.e.: If the tree has a star, put the cookie inside the ornament.)
- Target simple core vocab while you fill the tree for your AAC users (on, off, empty, full).
No matter the activity, remember the biggest benefits to mini-objects…. Engagement, engagement, engagement.
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