Let's Have a Picnic in Speech!
Let’s Have a Picnic… in Speech!
Anyone else love a good picnic?! I know my students love them which is why ending the school year with a picnic is ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA! Planning events helps to target so many different executive functions which all children can use extra practice with! This post is all about planning a picnic!
All good parties need invitations! Party invitations can help students target “wh” questions, and also plan out their event. Where should the picnic be held? Who do they want to invite? When will the picnic be? Do their friends need to bring anything to the picnic? Making invitations is a great way to showcase student’s creativity, BUT if you want a more simplified activity, grab these FREE picnic invites here! Made by yours truly, these invites come with a color or black and white option. Print them out and let your students fill in the details for their picnic!
NEXT… PLAN THAT PICNIC!
Now that you know the details of when and where the picnic will be, it’s time to start thinking about decorations, things that you’ll need for the picnic, and anything specific your students might want to have like games, crafts, snacks, etc. This is a great opportunity for kids to make lists and use short term memory strategies in real life, applicable scenarios! Make a list of what items you need to bring to a picnic. Are there decorations they want to make for the picnic?
MAKE YOUR OWN PLACEMATS
Have your students make and decorate their own placemats for the picnic! Use crayons, markers, stickers, paint, any craft supply you have to decorate their placemats. Use 8.5x11 paper then laminate it and will be sturdy, washable, and reusable! If your students are inviting a non-speech friend to the picnic, they can make one for them too! Weave paper strips together to create a checkered look to bring in that traditional picnic vibe!
PREPARE A SNACK
Preparing food in therapy can feel daunting if you’ve never done it, but it is so much fun and is an amazing way to target following directions, sequencing, recall/short term memory, and is a great way to use functional language while teaching life skills! Always have your students wash their hands before (and during the activity if ya need to because… ya know… kids), and if you aren’t going to use individually portioned ingredients for each student, non-latex gloves are always a safe bet! Here are three simple recipes that are quick to make, and easy to make in any room!
A classic! This recipe might require more prep work for you ahead of time but are a big hit with kids of all ages!
· Chocolate Pudding (can make ahead of time, or use individual packages of it)
· Oreo Cookies (finely crushed)
· Gummy Candies: Worms, Bears, Sharks, Fish, whatever you’d like!
· Flower Sprinkles
· Other topping ideas: Pretzels, animal crackers, M&M’s, you can put ANYTHING in these that you think your students might like!
** I have seen recipes that also mix Cool Whip into the pudding mixture to create a lighter, more airy mix but it’s up to you!
· Clear, plastic cups
If you are making the pudding in the moment, you will need pudding mix and 2 cups of milk, but if make this step ahead of time you can jump right to the assembly! Pour cold milk into a bowl, sprinkle pudding mix over top and stir until well combined. Let that sit for 5 minutes to thicken. If using whipped topping, gently “fold in” until well combined but be careful not to over mix otherwise the mixture will “deflate.” (Can anyone else hear David and Moira Rose arguing about folding it in?!)
Once pudding is ready, spoon some into the individual cups. (I’ve seen some recipes where you layer a little bit of pudding with some of the crush Oreos to create layers, but you can also just put all the pudding at the bottom and all the Oreo at the top.) Sprinkle Oreo on top, then fill your dirt with your favorite toppings!
GRAPE CATERPILLAR SKEWERS:
This recipe is allergy friendly, targets fine motor skills and is SO CUTE!
· Grapes (Use red and green ones to make a pattern and washing them ahead of time is helpful!)
· Bamboo Skewers
· White Frosting (ones like this are easiest!)
· Mini-Chocolate Chips
Give each student a bunch of grapes, have them slide the grapes onto the wooden skewer. Using the frosting, dot two small circles on the final grape, then stick a mini-chocolate chip on each one to create the eyes! If your students really like chocolate chips, they can add them to the rest of the caterpillar. Voila! SO, SO SIMPLE!
BUTTERFLY SNACK BAGS
This could be a two-session craft if you are using paint, but I recommend using markers for less mess and quicker drying time! I got this idea from this post by Juggling with Kids and it has some great pictures to help you visualize this snack.
· Wooden Clothespins
· Pipe Cleaners
· Snacks: Goldfish, trail mix, animal crackers, cereal, grapes, blueberries, ANYTHING YOU WANT!
· Snack Size Ziploc Bags
Color the clothespin however you’d like. Draw two eyes at the top (or use googly eyes!) Fold a pipe cleaner in half, curl the ends and glue the bottom of the V to the back of the clothes pin. Once your clothespin is decorated and dry, fill a Ziploc bag, half with one snack, half with another. Seal the bag, cinch the middle with your fingers then clip it with the clothespin. These butterflies are the perfect treat for a springtime picnic!
What would a speech picnic be without a story?! Here’s a list of my favorites:
My Core Vocabulary Boom Cards: Spring Themed Speech Therapy deck has tons of picnic themed tasks that target different core vocabulary targets! It’s perfect for expressive language and functional communication goals!