Need some easy first day of speech therapy activities? The beginning of the school year can be exciting, stressful, chaotic, and everything else in-between! SLPs can make life a little bit easier during this busy time with these simple, but fun, first day activities for speech therapy.
Back to School Tic Tac Toe Activity
Create your own simple first day of speech therapy tic tac toe activity! Draw the grid, then write some “getting to know you” questions in the boxes such as:
- Did you go to the beach this summer?
- Name one fun thing you did this summer.
- What is one book you read this summer?
- What is your favorite subject/ class? Why?
- Tell 1 thing you worked on in speech therapy last year.
- Name any pets you have.
- Name someone you look up to, and tell me why.
- What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?
- What do you hope to learn this year? Why?
- Name one hidden talent you have.
- What would you do if you won a million dollars?
- Did you go hiking this summer?
- Name one place you traveled to this summer.
Photocopy the tic tac toe board you created and pair it with either a magnetic wand and chips or bingo daubers for an extra fun activity!
P.S. I also created these speech therapy tic tac toe boards for the first day in speech!
Books for the First Day of Speech Therapy
Do you love reading books in speech therapy? Here are some books for speech therapy with a “back to school” theme that could be used on the first day.
- The Berenstain Bears Go to School (by Jan and Stan Berenstain)
- The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
- Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney
- What Should Danny Do? School Day (The Power to Choose Series) by Adir Levy
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
- If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books! by Lucille Colandro
- Turkey Goes to School by Wendi Silvano
Sensory Bin for the First Day of Speech Therapy
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ sensory bin? They’re engaging, fun, and provide a hands-on tactile experience! A sensory bin doesn’t need to be fancy to be effective. You can fill it with rice, beans, kinetic sand, sand, pom poms, etc. Here’s a whole list of sensory bin ideas.
Here’s a video tutorial from Youtube showing how to dye rice:
After you have your sensory bin filler figured out, try putting all sorts of “back to school” themed objects or pictures to fill your bin. Try using items like:
- Little People figures to represent “students”
- a toy school bus
- glue stick
- foam letters or numbers
Use these items to practice skills such as labeling vocabulary, stating the group/ category, or explaining the function of objects (“What do we use it for? What does it do?”).
First Day of Speech Therapy Worksheets
It’s always nice to have some print ‘n go options available!
These First Day of Speech Therapy Worksheets are the perfect way to ease into the school year! They are designed to be used with your elementary speech therapy students. Use them in individual sessions or small groups.
These beginning of the year speech therapy worksheets cover skills such as:
- following directions
- main idea and supporting details
An open-ended articulation option is also available.
Music for the First Day of Speech Therapy
Who doesn’t love listening to a good beat? This music video is perfect for the beginning of the school year.
Ask your students questions such as:
- How does the girl feel at the beginning of the song? Why?
- How does she feel at the end of the song? Why?
- Tell me some things the students were doing at school.
- Find some items with your target speech sound in the video.
Speech Therapy Games for Back to School
You certainly don’t have to have special, themed games for the first speech therapy session of the year! Instead, turn any existing games you might have into “first day of speech” activities- or play games that don’t involve any “special” materials at all!
- Simon (Hasbro Gaming)- your student has to watch the colors that light up in a specific order, remember the order, then repeat it by tapping on the game. Eventually, things will get tricky though- and when they do, they’ll ultimately end on a color (blue, green, yellow, or red). Pair the colors with icebreaker questions (for example, if they land on blue, they tell you where they vacationed this summer- if they land on the green light, they tell you their favorite school subject).
- Simon Says- play Simon Says- with a back-to-school twist! Gather some school supplies and set them on a table. For example, you might give prompts like “Simon Says… Tell me your teacher’s name” or “Tell me what grade you’re in.”
- Hang-Man- play this classic game using some school-themed vocabulary!
- Hopscotch- create a “first day in speech therapy” hopscotch game! Your student can practice target words, answer icebreaker questions, and more! Best of all, this activity will get your students up and moving.
- What’s in the Bookbag?- Stuff a bookbag full of school materials. Place a guessing game with your students! Can they make an inference and guess the item?
Back to School Idioms for Speech Therapy
Want some back-to-school-themed idioms to use with your speech therapy students on the first day in speech?
These education idioms will be lots of fun to review with your students on the first day!
- learn something by heart (meaning: have it memorized)
- bookworm (meaning: someone who loves to read)
- copycat (meaning: someone who copies the work someone else did)
- A for effort! (meaning: recognition of someone else’s hard work- even if it wasn’t perfect)
- old school (meaning: something that is out-dated)
You might also enjoy the education idioms found in this idioms resource.
Would You Rather Activities for the First Day of Speech
Why not have some fun with your older students? This Would You Rather Activity is the perfect icebreaker for the beginning of the year! It’s an easy way to get your upper elementary or middle school speech therapy students talking about their likes and dislikes.
“Would you rather go back in time or visit the future?”
It’s always so interesting to hear how your students will answer each question. Asking questions like this is such a great way to get the conversation going, and ease into the school year on that first day of speech therapy!
Oh, and bonus- you don’t have to only use these worksheets on the first day of speech therapy. You’ll be able to use them year-round.
Working on articulation? Have your student write down his answers, then highlight any words with his target speech sounds before reading aloud.
These worksheets also provide an easy way to work on sentence structure goals.