With Thanksgiving right around the corner and many days off from school, read below for ways to get prepared for visitors coming to town AND work on your speech and language goals. While we may be inclined to send the kids away during prep time, there are many ways to include the kids in Thanksgiving preparations. See below for ideas addressing following directions, feeding, expressive language, and more!
Disguise a Turkey
Help the turkey avoid getting eaten for Thanksgiving by dressing him up as anything you like—animals, movie characters, foods, toys, etc. You can use paper, craft feathers, tissue paper, ribbon, fabric, macaroni, and more!
This fun craft is a great way to allow your child to get creative! You can work on perspective taking by talking about how the turkey might feel and why he needs a disguise before starting this craft. Have your child use descriptive language to talk about the disguise they are using and why they chose that disguise.
Ask your child to help you decorate place cards for your Thanksgiving table. You can use this as an opportunity to talk about different family members using. This is also a fun way to work on spatial concepts (grandma will sit next to mom, dad will sit across from mom, etc.).
Cooking and taste testing: let your little ones help you prepare the holiday meal and be your taste tester! Cooking is a wonderful way to target so many language skills– vocabulary, following directions, sequencing, compare/contrast, size concepts, describing, articulation– in a natural way
- Preparation: This is a great way to work on following directions, prepositions, sequencing, size concepts, and descriptive language. For example, you might give your child 1-2 step directions while preparing dishes (e.g., “put the sugar in the bowl” or “put the sugar in the bowl then stir”, etc.). Try working on labeling food items or, if your child doesn’t know the name of something, ask them to describe it to you. Have your child cut something into small pieces or compare the size of the different ingredients. Finally, ask your child to recall the steps for making a dish while it cooks
- Taste test:
- Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side write “I like it” and on the other side write “I don’t like it”
- Each time your child tries a food, write the name of the food/draw a picture of the food in the column based on whether your child likes/dislikes it
- Use another piece of paper to write down adjectives that your child comes up with to describe each food (e.g., sweet, salty, sour, juicy, crunchy, chewy, hot, cold, etc.). Once you’ve described all of the foods, you can compare/contrast the different Thanksgiving foods
There are so many fun Thanksgiving books to help expand your child’s Thanksgiving vocabulary!
- 10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnson
- The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
- Turkey Trouble by Wendy Silvano
- Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
- Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by James Dean
- A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
- ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
- Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman
- Run, Turkey, Run by Diane Mayr
Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!