Celebrating Birthdays in Speech

Hi SLP friends!

Let’s talk about celebrating birthdays in speech. I LOVE celebrating birthdays in speech. I always know when their birthdays are and make sure we have the best day ever.

Want to listen to the audio version of this blog post? Check out this episode on the All Things SLP podcast.

So, don’t think you have to do anything elaborate for a birthday. You don’t need to buy anything, you don’t need to spend a lot of time prepping, and YES, you can still work on goals. The whole point of celebrating birthdays is just to make the day extra special for them. That continues to build rapport which will lead to more successful sessions and progress.

So let me tell you one of the easiest activities that you can do that is so fun. Get some computer paper. Just some plain white paper. And you are going to make a birthday sash and/or a birthday crown. So with a birthday sash, all I do is cut wide strips of paper and then connect them with either a stapler or tape. And you continue cutting strips until it’s the right length. If you choose to do a crown you could easily just wrap strips together to fit their head of if you wanted to be a little fancier, you could print out a free template from google. The thing is though, they don’t care how fancy it is, they are just excited to do this activitiy that is all about THEM.

So then we decorate the sash and crown and the whole time we are decorating, is when we work on our goals. Now, I do this a few different ways. If it’s a language client, I can usually just work it into conversation and with the activity, for speech sounds, it’s a little harder to be discreet. So what I will tell them is, “I am so excited to be with you on your birthday and have a ton of fun today together BUT we do have to do a litttttllleee bit of work but don’t worry, we are going to have so much fun while we do it. And then I’ll use dot markers or stamps or something similar and use that to decorate while working on speech. That way it’s like an easy and fun way to still get a lot of trials. And then we just have fun! If they finish decorating and you have extra time, just have fun!

Again, building rapport is so so valuable and birthdays are special to our clients at their age so let’s do our part to make it special! And honestly, it makes for a super easy no prep today.

Alright now what if they aren’t in to the whole decorating a sash or crown, what can you do. Well you could still make it birthday themed!

You can:

  • make a birthday cake with playdoh
  • have a birthday party with stuffed animals or puppets
  • google together the history or birthdays and discuss it
...the opportunities are endless! And if none of that is enticing your client, again, just make it a super fun day. Play into their interests. I’ve done birthday sessions in a gym, I’ve done them sitting in a ball pit the whole time, or swinging. I just want to do whatever is going to be special for them. And more than once, I’ve had a parent contact me and just tell me that it meant a lot that I made their kids birthday special for them or their child came home and was so excited to talk about what we did or show them what we made. And that just means so much to me and its exactly why I do it.  And I really hope you’ll consider incorporating something like this as well.



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