Gardens are a great theme to use in preschool and kindergarten speech therapy. There are many books and activities you can use. Here are some garden theme ideas for speech.
Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres. This book is great for working on prepositions and verbs for preschool children. Up, Down, and Around talks about how different garden plants and vegetables grow.
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert is another book to look at how to plant a garden and then how vegetables grow. It is also great for teaching verbs related to gardening, e.g., planting and dig. Growing Vegetable Soup also talks about the tools you need for gardening. Planting a Rainbow is another Lois Ehlert book about gardening.
Don’t forget that you can use some books classical “fall books” in the spring. You can look at Apple Pie Tree, or It’s Pumpkin Time from Shari Halpern. Talk about the sequences in these books and what part of the sequence occurs in the spring. For other ideas on how to use Apple Pie Tree, go here.
Sort real fruit and vegetables. Have the children sort fruit and vegetables in a number of different ways, e.g. by colours, shape, big/little, fruit/vegetable.
Describe the vegetables. Have the child describe the vegetables, or you describe the vegetables—the child guesses which one it is.
Grow a bean plant. This one is classic. You can work on sequencing and describing what is happening as the plant grows.
Decorate pots. Work on verbs and requesting by decorating a pot. Use different materials such as paint, glue, glitter, sequence. You can also use fabric and hodgepodge to decorate a pot. When you’re done, plant a plant inside.
Vegetable prints. Make stamps out of vegetables by cutting out shapes on firm vegetables. Work on verbs or prepositions (tell the children where to stamp).
Remember, before you give food to children, make sure you know your school/clinic’s policy along with any allergies a child may have. Target: verbs, describing, sequencing, etc. For more ideas on building language with cooking, click here to look at some handouts on Teachers Pay Teachers that talk about building language through cooking.
Make veggie soup. Have the children make vegetable soup. Precut all the vegetables also have some vegetables that are not cut so the children can see what they look like when they are whole. Use a variety of vegetables.
Make dirt and worms. In a cup, place chocolate pudding, then put gummy worms on top. Cover the pudding and worms with crushed chocolate cookies (e.g. Oreos). Note: most gummies contain gelatin. Some cultures do not eat gelatin.
Here are some of my favourite garden theme ideas for speech. What are your favourites?