Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fall Crafts for Toddlers

I was hoping our SLP would take more initiative after meeting with the case worker. I decided not to plan anything the week after our monthly review. Surprise, surprise...we sat on the floor for an hour and a half and he gave me worksheets to fill out for homework. Not wanting a repeat of that session, I brainstormed activities on the way home from Jackson's school on Friday morning. My last minute "lesson plan" included a nature walk to collect leaves, sort leaves and make leaf prints, then cut open the pumpkins we painted to collect seeds. I expected these activities to naturally lend themselves to conversations about colors, sizes, and counting. I hoped they would use the words "leaves, big, small, yellow, orange, red, seeds, pumpkin". 

I'm still unsure of what the SLP's role is exactly, but the kids sure do love him. He's normally at our house before we are. I unbuckle the kids and they run to the driveway, yelling his name and tackling him with hugs. As long as I have a solid plan for our morning, he's able to keep the energy high, reinforce new words, and help facilitate activities. 

I didn't take any pictures of our leaf walk, but the kids did a good job. I've been walking with the trio every morning up and down our road (which is a quiet cul-de-sac) to get them to practice walking in a line and watching for cars. Maddie hoarded leaves, rocks, twigs, etc. Amelia was the model student exclaiming, "big leaf! baby leaf!" James was more concerned about cars parked on the road and whether or not the cat was following us.

Once we were home, I let the kids pick out cardstock and a paint color. I modeled how to paint the leaf and flip it over, pressing it onto the paper. 

The toddlers were excited and did a good job listening. Of course, their leaf prints were less refined and they ended up using the leaves as paintbrushes. 

Our final activity was to gut the pumpkins and pick out the seeds. I thought this would be a fun sensory activity. The pumpkins were so hard to cut! I ended up having to bang it on the counter with the knife stuck inside, splitting it open like a coconut. This scared Amelia and the SLP had to temporarily remove her to calm her down. Like most tasks, James took his job seriously, scooping out the seeds and placing them in a bowl.

Maddie loved every moment of the pumpkin cutting and seed counting.

Amelia eventually enjoyed participating, pulling out the pulp.

We cleaned, soaked, and roasted the pumpkin seeds in a little bit of olive oil and sea salt. 

The SLP gave me more "homework" though he told me I was advanced. He even said the two of us were doing everything we were capable of doing to promote language development right now, and the trio were increasing vocabulary and conversation every week. We have our six month evaluation at the end of the month, so I'm curious if the trio will continue with speech services.

Until then, I'll be sure to make meaningful plans that will best utilize our weekly sessions with the SLP.

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