Speech Therapy
Fall Activities

I created a fun speech therapy fall activity that can be adapted for any goal and any age. I LOVE the fall. Who doesn’t love the beautiful colors, yummy foods, cool weather, cozy sweaters and orange pumpkins, right?! Well, most children also love it. So you can teach functional vocabulary and concepts and have motivated students. Win Win!

Read below to download a free fall activity and then learn how to adapt it for any child!

Download Fall Manipulatives now!

I created this simple speech therapy fall activity as a reinforcer for my articulation students, but as the day went on, I realized this simple activity could be adapted for all my students.

As I gain more and more experience working with children, I realize that the more functional and simple therapy materials are the, better. The complicated, step-by-step, materials aren’t what communication is all about. Instead, adapting daily activities/work/experiences to create speech and language learning is the way to go.

Therefore, this simple fall speech therapy material can be adapted to create the specific speech and language learning opportunity need for your child/client/student. 

Now, for the creative types with free time, gathering leaves and other fall manipulatives outside is probably the most functional. However, that is not in the cards for me this season.. So, if you are short on time, this one is for you :)

Click on the link above to download the pictures. Simply print them out and then cut out the leaves. Now, you are ready to go! Read below on how you can use this tree and leaves to target many different speech and language goals.  

Speech Therapy Fall Language Activities

Vocabulary: Toddler to Early Elementary

To work on vocabulary with young children, skip the flashcards. Learning while playing is the research proven way to go!

Below are some vocabulary words you can target while you glue leaves on a tree.

Cut

More

Fall

Glue

Leaves

Seasons

Sticky

Branches

Colors

For more info on vocabulary learning, check out preschool/elementary vocabulary learning. 

If your child is not talking yet, we can jump start his/her first words. Want to expand those first words? We created a lot of functional language games. 

Following Directions: Preschool to Early Elementary

Following directions is a crucial language skill needed for academic and social success. It requires a person to know vocabulary, have working memory skills, and adequate attention.

Below are some practice ideas for following directions while making a tree.

Sequential: This type of direction is multi-step and something has to be done first, second, etc..

  • First, find a red leaf and then a green leaf
  • First, glue on the yellow leaf. Second, glue on the red leaf
  • Cut out a leaf and then hand it to me

Before/After:  This is a temporal direction. Your child has to do something before or after he/she do something else. This is TRICKY!

  • Before you glue on a red leaf, give me a green leaf
  • After you cut out a yellow leaf, cut out a green one
  • Glue on a leaf before you cut out another one

Spatial:  Give a direction with a spatial aspect (under, over, above). 

  • Glue the leaf on the bottom of the page
  • Glue a leaf on top of the tree
  • Put a yellow leaf under the green leaf

Basic: Basic means one step, simple directions. If your child is having trouble, start here!

  • Cut out one leaf
  • Give me the glue please
  • Glue one leaf on the page

Complex Language Tasks: Toddler to Early Elementary Students

The game listed below targets both expressive (speaking) and receptive (listening) skills. Read below for some ideas! This section will look a little different than previous pages. 

I am just going to talk about MY FAVORITE game that I play all the time! I call it “no hands.”

No Hands (How to Play):

For this game, I put all the leaves on the table and each student gets a turn to pick out leaves to glue on their trees. HOWEVER, they can’t point to the one they want (hence the no hands name). Instead, the students have to describe which leaf they want by describing an attribute or using a targeted grammatical structure (they desired response is adjusted for individual goals)

There are many areas of language that can be targeted with this game. For example:

Vocabulary: 

  • Size: Have the students describe if the their desired leaf is big, small, skinny, fat, short, etc….
  • Color: Have the students say what color they want
  • Shape: The students must identify the shape of their desired leaf
  • Numerical qualities: Some leaf have one point, 3 points, lots of points, etc…


Cueing strategies: If a child is having trouble describing their desired leaf, I use the leaves themselves as visual prompts. For example, if a student says I want a red leaf, I will lay out all the red leaves. Then, I will verbal promp for another category such as size or shape if needed. As the student adds another descriptive vocabulary word, I will take the necessary leaves away and this will continue until one leaf is left. So, if the student says, my leaf has one point, I take the multi-point leaves away. Then, the student may say, my leaf is tall. I take away the short leaf. Finally, the student may say, my leaf is skinny. Yeah! We figured it out. For reinforcement, I usually describe the leaf with all the descriptive vocabulary words as I give it to the student.

After a few times with this game, the students oral vocabulary really improves!

Grammar:

  • Use of full sentences: Have the student say “I want a leaf that has….”
  • Subject-verb agreement: Reinforce use of correct verb tense
  • Etc….This has to be adjusted to individual goals

Sorting: Organize the leaves by attribute before starting the game. This is a great idea if your students need a lot of cues or still in the direct teaching phase of learning. Some ideas for categories are:

  • Tall leaves
  • Round leaves
  • Heart shaped leaves
  • Skinny leaves
  • Wide leaves

A solid foundation in speech and language skills in necessary for success in reading, math, social relationships, and language arts!  For more specific speech therapy activities, read more about our practice ideas based on age and skill level

Executive Functioning: Toddler to Early Elementary Students

For a quick review, executive functioning is basically our personal CEO. Executive function skills are our abilities to plan, control impulses and emotions, multi-task, pay and shift attention, and organize. Our executive functioning skills will continue to develop as our frontal lobe continues to grow; however, we can start things off on the right foot!

  1. Plan all the materials needed to make a tree with the given materials. 
  2. Sequence steps to make a tree. Focus on using sequence words while discussing steps (i.e., FIRST cut out the leaves, NEXT pick out the desired leaves, etc…)
  3. Talk about safety/rules when using glue and scissors.

Social Skills

Like I've said before, there is so much technology and SOOO much academic pressure put on little ones, social skill development is lacking these days. 

Social skills are really one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills we NEED to know in order to be a successful at school, jobs, and really any aspects of life. Social skills develop throughout our life through experiences, observation, and direct teaching. You can demonstrate good social skills from the start through modeling. 

When playing in schools, I usually give my group one pair of scissors and one glue. That way, the students have to talk to each and request turns. 

  • Practice asking for a turn with glue
  • Practice inviting a friend or family member to join in the play
  • If a child doesn't want to share, trade toys, or wait for a turn, talk about why it is so important. This will pay off in the long run!

Speech Activities

You can practice articulation skills while completing this speech therapy fall activity. 

Below are some words that will naturally arise when creating a tree. We created sample target words for all sounds in all word positions (beginning, middle, and end). 

If your child is working on any of these sounds, pick a word and practice it while you play make a tree. Very functional and easy! 

I also use this tree as a reinforcer during drill practice. Once a child says their sound/word/sentence 10 times, I give them a break by letting them pick out a leaf and glue it on. 

Read articulation therapy for how to do speech therapy at home and access free word lists!

For more information on specific sounds, read about our apps for speech therapy!

Sounds


Initial


Medial


Final


B

Borrow

Above

Describe

D

Done

Windy

Red

F

Fun

Colorful

Leaf

G

Glue

Again

Big

J

Giant

Project

Orange

K

Cut

Looking

Trunk

L

Leaves

Yellow

Fall

M

More

Pumpkin

Game

N

Need

Under

Green

P

Pour

Happy

Scoop

R

Red

Orange

Four

S

Small

Listen

This

T

Tall

Little

Next

V

Visit

Over

Above

Z

Zero

Scissors

Because

TH

Thank you

Something

Beneath

CH

Chilly

Branches

Match

SH

Short

Directions

Finish

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Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference.

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