Using books to provide speech therapy just makes sense since you can target articulation, phonology, language, and fluency. I have a lot of favorite books and I organize them by theme, season/holiday, sounds, language concepts, etc.. Check out why I love these Valentine's day books!

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose by Lucille Collandro
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters easily with this repetitive story!  Students can even practice carryover of their sounds (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) targeting language concepts.

LANGUAGE: Target identification and labeling of basic vocabulary found in the print and in the pictures, work on wh-questions and yes/no questions, and practice sequencing and story retell!

The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with this cute story about a little girl that makes Valentine's day cards for her friends!

LANGUAGE: Target vocabulary building with adjectives, adverbs and irregular verbs.  You can also practice answering wh-questions and using inference skills.

A Kiss for Giraffe by Judith Koppens
SOUND SYSTEMS: Target velars, fricatives, glides, and consonant clusters (k, g, s, sh, l, r, clusters) easily with story about two best friends who want to give each other a kiss.

LANGUAGE: Target prepositions by finding the bird in each picture, work on semantic features (function/description) for common items, answering wh-questions, and  story retell!

If you do not want to have go through the books and make your own lists, I have created an easy cheat sheet for articulation words, language concepts to target, and some basic wh-questions you can ask for each book!  You can grab your free cheat sheet below.

    What are some of your favorite Valentine's day books to incorporate into your speech therapy lessons?  Please share with us below in the comments! Thanks!
    Valentine's day is approaching!  I love incorporating fun holiday activities whenever I can in therapy.  I feel that it breaks up my lesson plans and brings a bit of excitement to the lessons. Check out these ten Valentine's Day-themed freebies I found!

    1. Grab my Valentine's Day Conversational Exchange Mats - This freebie includes two different mats for tracking conversational exchange and a Venn diagram for students to identify things that they have in common!
    2. Valentine's Day Puppets by The Power of Speech- This is a cute craft that easily lends itself to targeting pronouns, vocabulary, social and functional communication and following directions. After students have made their puppets, they can practice giving their puppet different items in the speech room.
    3. Valentine's Day Open-Ended Games by Ms. Gardenia's Speech Room - I love using open-ended games to pull mixed groups together and as a motivator for student behavior.
    4. Valentine's 100 Trials Drill Sheets by Ashley Rossi - This fun packet includes 3 different sheets to color while practicing drills. 
    5. Valentine's Day Vocabulary Book by Speech is Sweet - These free little booklets build vocabulary and targets /k/, /v/, and /l/.
    6. Love Idioms by Speech Paths - This freebie provides multiple idioms and their definitions for an interactive matching game!
    7. Valentine's Day Riddles by Kristine Lamb - Such a perfect way to work on inference!
    8. Cupid Quandry Social Skills by SmartmouthSLP - This set of sticky situations was created with upper elementary and middle school students in mind. 
    9. Valentine Phonology Cards by My Speech Tools - This free pack has cards for final consonant deletion, fronting, gliding, and syllable deletion.
    10.  Picture Chats: Valentine's Day by Katrina Bevin - This cute scene is perfect for carryover articulation, language, and working on fluency techniques. 

    Looking for more ideas?  Check out these blog posts!
    Fab Five Freebies for Valentine's: Part 1 by The Digital SLP - Even more freebies!
    Fab Five Freebies for Valentine's: Part 2 by The Digital SLP- Yah!  More freebies!
    Valentine's Day Free and Paid Resources Roundup by The Dabbling Speechie - Check out this big list!
    30 Valentine's Freebies for Speech Therapy by Speech Sprouts - Love all of these free resources!
    Valentine Speech Therapy Activities by Speech2U - The q-tip blow dart game looks so fun!
    Valentine's Day Easy Crafts by Speech Room News - Love the articulation and language wreaths idea!
    Valentine's Day Activities for Speech and Language by Speech and Language Kids - Contains three fun and functional activities!
    Kiss Me! Valentine's Day Activities by Home Speech Home - Check out all the ways that you can use conversational candy hears in therapy!

    Do you know of any other amazing Valentine's Day activities?  If so, please share in the comments below!

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    "It's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make yourself a priority.  
    It's necessary."  -Mandy Hale

    Do you take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically?  I will admit (with shame) that I do not engage in enough self-care.  All of my time and energy goes to my family, friends, and students. This year, I am making myself a priority.  After all, if we do not take care of ourselves and our needs, we will burn out, face health issues, and have nothing left to give to others. 

    Need some ideas on what you can do to rest and relax?  Here are some of my favorite personal self-care activities!
    • CUDDLE UP WITH MY LOVED ONES - Husband, daughter, and fur babies!
    • PAMPER MYSELF WITH A SPA DAY WITH or WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER (Sometimes, my daughter hosts spa day at home where she does my hair, makeup, nails, and sometimes gives massages too.) 
    • TAKE A POWER NAP!  (This is one of my favorites since I have suffered from insomnia since I was a child)
    • DANCE IT OUT! (My childhood best friend and I use to always dance it out when life got to be just 'too much'.  Since she has passed, these days my dance partner is usually my daughter but sometimes I can get the husband to indulge me).
    • TAKE A RELAXING BATH (I am a bath and body products connoisseur.  Seriously!  I love it all - bubble baths, bath bombs, body scrub, body butter, body oil, etc..)
    • SAYING "NO" (I'm still learning to be okay with saying no to my family. If my husband or daughter asks something of me, my first response is to give up on what I have planned to make theirs happen.  Lately, I have been reminding myself that it is okay to put my needs first sometimes).
    Do not forget about engaging in self-care at work too! We spend so much of our week working and it is just as important to take the time to treat ourselves kindly there too!  Check out my work environment self-care hacks below.

    • FIND A PLANNER THAT WORKS FOR YOU INSTEAD OF THE OTHER WAY AROUND.   It helps if you think it is pretty too.  Some friends like planners that have a place for them to doodle or color.  I was never any good at coloring inside the lines on paper or off, so for me I need a planner that allows me to write lists.
    • TAKE OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT.  This could be as simple as putting a diffuser or potted plant in your workspace, decorating with seasonal and/or holiday trinkets, or moving furniture around to make the workspace appear different.  This could also be changing up your setting (preschool groups to a high school setting, etc..) if you are feeling brave or have the opportunity. 
    • MOVE AROUND. If you find that you are spending the majority of the day sitting down, take the time to enjoy those brief walks down the hall to get kids or incorporate movement activities into your therapy.
    • TAKE MENTAL BREAKS. If you are fortunate to have a 5-10 minute break written into your schedule, shut down your work brain for that time.  If you are not that fortunate, then at least enjoy your break.  I am horrible about this.  For so many years, my lunch break consisted of my shoving food in my mouth while doing paperwork. I am actively taking my lunch break now.  Not only do I eat my lunch during this time but sometimes I even take a mental break by pulling out a book for enjoyment! 
    • SAY "NO" Do not volunteer past your capabilities.  Yes, do your job but if you can not handle taking on more than do not be the first one to jump out of their chair to sacrifice their health and sanity for the job. Be okay with saying 'no' when needed.  If you are burning the candle at both ends of the wick, you are not helping yourself or anyone else in the long run.

    How do you take care of yourself?  Do you have a hard time allowing yourself to engage in self-care at home and at work? What goal(s) for self-care do you have for 2020?  I would love to hear in the comments below! 

    "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."   - Audre Lorde

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