15 ways of using leaves in speech and language therapy

I went for a walk in the park last weekend and was inspired by all the beautiful leaves. I thought of many different speech and language activities that I could use in speech and language therapy using leaves. Here are some of my ideas: 

  1. Use leaves to teach or practice prepositions. Hide leaves in different locations in the room and have the child tell you where the leaves are.
  2. Practice on and off. Tape a few leaves on a window or mirror and have the child take them off.
  3. Practice up and down. Throw the leaves up in the air and watch them fall down on the ground.
  4. Bury objects under the leaves to practice the preposition “under” or to answer wh-?
  5. Have the children describe the leaves, including colors, texture, shape, etc.
  6. Practice classifying by arranging different color leaves in different vases.
  7. Practice counting.
  8. Practice different verbs while manipulating the leaves: fall, gather, pick up, rake, tear, crumple, wave, move, etc.
  9. Follow directions with leaves and rocks, stones, and sticks. For example, “Put the rock on the leaf” or “Put the longest stick on the red leaf.”
  10. Make an art project with leaves, such as a vase with leaves or leaves glued on paper.
  11. Teach or practice plurals.
  12. Use leaves for pretend play. The leaves could turn into blankets for little plastic people or animals. The leaves could serve as fish or yummy desserts.
  13. Discuss the fall season: traditions and holidays, why trees lose leaves, characteristics of fall, etc.
  14. Use leaves to drill speech sounds or words: Tape or glue a piece of paper with a written sound/word or a copy of a small flashcard on the leaves and have the students pick the leaves from the ground, a box, a handmade tree, or real branches.
  15. Use leaves to teach vowels or simple syllabic shapes to children with severe apraxia of speech or speech/language delay. For example, throw the leaves up in the air and model “wow” or “wee.” Have the children blow the leaves for oral motor exercises.

Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP
Virtual Speech Center Inc.
Twitter: @vspeechcenter

Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP

Beata Klarowska is an American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech and language pathologist, licensed by the state of California.Beata cofounded Virtual Speech Center Inc. in 2011 and, to date, has developed more than 30 apps for speech, language, and cognition.



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