“Are you ready for some football?”
Every Monday the Occupational Therapist (OT) and I meet to plan for our preschool SPOT (Speech and Occupational Therapy co-treat) group that meets on Fridays. We always start our planning meeting with how can we incorporate both of our goals into the group activities (this is a time that I also learn about the field of OT and what OT strategies I can be using in SL therapy). The second that an activity is focused all on OT or all on speech we loose the importance, and most of all the benefit, of a co-treat. It is very important that we don’t have a 15 minute activity that is just targeting OT and then a 15 minute activity that is only targeting speech and language goal. You must work with the OT to have 30 minutes of activities that simultaneously target speech and OT goals. Below are examples of how this can be easily done.
I was showing the OT some of the things that I recently purchased at the Dollar Store and asked if there was anything that we could use in group. She pulled out two items (the football game and the small cones). Fall is the perfect time for a football related activity! Within a matter of minutes we had football related activities to last for at least two groups. The first group (activities listed below) we will familiarize the students with football vocabulary and make items for our football obstacle course (second group). Check back on Wednesday for our Football Obstacle Course activities (which will use the cones pictured to the right).
1. GOAL!!!! To get the students in the football spirit we are going to have each of them flick the football to try to get a field goal using the game I bought at the Dollar Store(Can you tell that I have students working on accurately producing the /f/ sound?). Before they flick the football they have to expressively label one of the football vocabulary words that I made on boardmaker. (Here are some free vocabulary printables if you do not have boardmaker and/or the time 🙂 here, there is also this free beginning sound football themed activity from TPT you could use as well.) In this activity the students are working on fine motor movement with “flicking” the football as well as articulation and expressively labeling vocabulary. (This activity can be a receptive activity as well. Put the pictures in a messy field and ask the students to give you one of them. For example, “Give me the picture of the referee.”).
2. Lace up Vocabulary: Here is a great example of targeting both speech and OT goals at the same time. Students fold a piece of construction paper in half. Then they make five holes using a hole puncher (working on hand strength). Next they open the paper and draw lines to match the vocabulary words (working on pre-writing strokes and vocabulary). After they match the vocabulary words they start lacing up their “shoes” by following the lines that they made. (working on fine motor skill of lacing/shoe tying, prepositions (up, down, through) and articulation (saying the words as they match them with the string). Below are pictures of the steps.
3. For the next activity we made football bowls for popcorn. I saw this activity on pinterest. This activity targets lacing and pre-writing strokes (OT goals) and prepositions/following one step direction to make the football bowl (SL goals). At the end of this activity we talk about what we did first, etc. to make the football bowls (this targets the language skill of understanding order words).
Our last activity was making “spirit shakers.” This activity worked on both OT and SL goals by targeting articulation, prepositions, fine motor skills (the students used their fingers to pick up beads one at a time and put them in the water bottle), language skill of understanding/using order words and following directions.
Total cost for these activities: Game ($1.00 at the Dollar Store), rice ($1.00 at Dollar Store), water bottles (collected from staff-free), glitter ($1.00 at the Dollar Store), beads (I got them from our pre-school teacher but I do know that they have them at the Dollar Store for $1.00), string/ribbon ($1.00 at The Dollar Store). Total $5.00 *I got the yarn from my art teacher. They might have glitter, beads and/or ribbon they can give to you to use.
**Stay tuned for our Friday Football Frenzy (/f/ sound practice!) Obstacle Course. We are going to have students cheer each other on with the spirit shakers as well as eat popcorn from our football bowls in the “stands” all while they unknowingly work on both occupational and speech therapy goals.**