Looking for some easy fall speech therapy ideas? Welp, it’s that time of year.
Goodbye, summer. Hello, pumpkin spice everything. It’s finally fall. Down here in the south, it means that we can actually go outside without passing out. The kids can tell the weather is nicer too and often itch to go play outside.
Luckily, I’ve got 10 perfect fall speech therapy ideas that your students will love. They’ll be so excited to come to speech, that they won’t even think about going outside. 😉 Plus, these activities won’t break the bank! (Amazon affiliate links included in this post).
1. Pumpkin and leaf crafts
I love a good craft. They keep little hands busy and minds engaged. Plus, crafts are great for following directions.
One thing I love about my accordion craft sets is that they lend themselves to a lot of trials but don’t take a ton of time to prep. That means more time getting other stuff done for me!
The fall craft set targets articulation but can be mixed and matched with any other set.
A few other crafts I’ve used with my students are this easy tissue paper pumpkin craft and a cute leaf wreath. Plus, check out these free crafts that go along with my favorite Halloween and Thanksgiving books.
2. Fall sensory bins
Of course, I always pull out my fall sensory bins during this time of year. They’re interesting and engaging and backed by research. Some fun ideas for filling it are: orange rice, beans, leaves, plastic pumpkins, mini erasers, play food, and more.
Not sure about using sensory bins? Check out this post on how to get the most out of using sensory bins in speech.
3. Nature walk
If it’s a nice day, head outside for a nature walk. The kids will love the change of scenery and you can actually target a lot of goals. Here are a few examples:
- Basic concepts: Find something bumpy, smooth, brown, dry, wet, etc.
- Following directions: Jump on a leaf, sit on the sidewalk, point to the tree, etc.
- Verbs: run, walk, rake, listen, see, hold, catch, throw, etc.
- WH questions: Where is the leaf? Who found the tree? What do squirrels eat?
- Expanding utterances: Follow the child’s lead and expand on what they are already saying.
4. Pumpkin playdough
If there is such a thing as pumpkin spice Pringles, there can be pumpkin spice playdough. I make a big batch of it every year. I add spices and glitter to make it interesting. Check out my IG DIY highlight for how I make mine.
Here are my favorite fall ways to use playdough in my sessions:
- Hide fall-themed mini objects inside and have students search for them.
- Have students make balls for smash mats, then use plastic pumpkins or apples to smash them.
- Make playdough monsters with googly eyes, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners.
- Make playdough turkeys with feathers, eyes, foam, and pipe cleaners. Grab some free visuals to use with your turkeys in my resource library!
5. Fall books
If you’re a school SLP, you’ve probably grown an unhealthy attachment to picture books. There are so many cute fall ones that are perfect for my preschoolers.
Here are my favorites for fall:
- Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin
- The Leaf Thief
- There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves
- Porcupine’s Pie
- Pick a Pumpkin
6. Printable fall worksheets
During progress report time, sometimes you need to pull out a print-and-go worksheet. You can spice them up with pom-poms, mini erasers, paint daubers, and stickers.
Here are my favorite fall worksheet packs:
- Pumpkin Mini Unit
- Bats and Spiders Mini Unit
- Forest Animals Mini Unit
- Autumn Worksheets
- 100 Dots for the Year
7. Pumpkin patch dramatic play
Do you use dramatic play to target language goals? It’s a great way to practice following a child’s lead, joint attention, and including their interests in your therapy.
You can seriously target almost any goal. And kids love it!
Set up a pretend pumpkin patch with plastic pumpkins, rakes, seeds, and leaves. Roleplay mini routines like raking leaves, planting, cutting, decorating pumpkins, etc. Set the toys up to incorporate practically any goal.
8. Mini containers
Turn something into a surprise and you’ve got engagement. Mini containers are so fun for my preschoolers.
9. Grids and fall mini objects
If you need to get in a lot of trials and want to keep therapy hands-on, grids and objects are the way to go. You can do multiple activities with the same template, so it can be used over and over again.
For fall you can pair the grids with pumpkin erasers, leaf erasers, candy corn, fall-colored poms, fall stickers, and more.
Check out this post for a free template and more ideas on how I use grids during my in-person and virtual speech therapy sessions.
10. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel
Do you have this game from Educational Insights? It’s perfect for fall and my littles absolutely adore it. I love that it works on turn-taking, colors, and fine motor skills all while being a fun reinforcer during my sessions.
I hope you got a few new fall speech therapy ideas! What activities do you pull out during this season?