Hands On Therapy Activities, Parent Tips

Language & The Movies: Cars

At the time of this blog post, we are living in a very uncertain world. Will the kids ever go back to school? Will my business continue growing? How will I remain safe and healthy while still maintaining QUALITY therapy visits each week? All of this being said, I realize we will be spending a lot of time at home with our loved ones-little and big. Many of us have at least one type of a streaming service that we either watch on our TVs or through our computers. So that got me thinking, “Why not give parents some tips for using popular movies as inspiration for hands-on learning experiences?” No worksheets, no websites…just good ol’ family time learning with a focus on language! This blog is written by an SLP so you know I am focusing on vocabulary, language structure, and all other things speech related!

Today, we are using the movie “Cars” as our inspiration. You can spread these activities out over the week, a few days or use them all up in one day…that’s your call. I posted a video on my Facebook page as well as my YouTube channel. You can check those out if you would rather not read this post. I will mention though, some of my awesome ideas did not come to me until after I made the video! So let’s dive in…

Snack/Lunch Ideas

Traffic Light” Snack: Provide different snack foods that are green, red, and yellow. Green foods include: cucumber slices, green apple slices, broccoli, or green grapes. Red foods include: red apple slices, cherries, pepperoni slices, or cherry tomatoes. Yellow foods include: pineapple wedges, bananas, yellow bell pepper slices, or cheese squares/sticks. Add some Ritz crackers (steering wheels) for a little extra to turn it into a “lunchable” type kid lunch.

Car Tires: This snack is super easy! Grab some Oreos…those are your car tires! Add some milk or “Lightning Juice” (aka Hawaiian Punch or other red juice)

Stoplight Snack: This one is great for following directions, sequencing and basic concepts! You need to give each of your kiddos’ a piece of graham cracker, a spoonful of white cake icing and 3 M&Ms-red, yellow, and green ( 1 of each). First, spread the icing on the graham cracker. Then, discuss top, middle and bottom while placing the M&Ms on the cracker. Now enjoy!

Gross Motor Fun

If the weather is nice, get outside for this one. Give each child a paper plate. This is their steering wheel. Tell the kids they will be driving around the yard and give different directions such as drive around the tree, over the water hose, etc. This will be fun while working on following directions and learning basic concepts. If more than one child is “driving” around your yard, tell them they are in a traffic jam. Tell Susie to get in front of Jack or Jack to get behind Charlie. You are working on basic concepts without them realizing it!

Indoor Activities

Stop Signs and Tires: This is also known as CHECKERS! Great game for older kids to work on problem solving, turn-taking, and critical thinking.

Read books about cars such as “If I Built a Car” or “Race Car Dreams.” If you have boys at home, chances are good you have a book about cars. Use it now! Don’t just read the book. Ask questions. Talk about unfamiliar words. Make predictions. Use the book as your guide but don’t limit yourself to just the book.

Crafts are another fun thing to do especially if the weather is crummy outside. Here’s super cute race car craft. If you are short on toilet paper rolls, this one uses paper plates. For older elementary kids, allow them to design their own cars like the boy in “If I Built a Car” did.

Race Hot Wheel cars! This is best on a hard surface like a wood floor. Use masking tape to mark your starting line. Talk about whose car was the fastest, slowest or whose car went farther.

Using those same matchbox cars, allow your child to group according to color, type, etc. Use blocks and masking tape to set up a town for your child to drive the cars around. Use your imagination!

Older elementary kids can talk about Route 66! Get out a map and track the road through the states from start to finish. Make your own virtual road trip as you google the towns it runs through. Have fun!

This post is not affiliated or sponsored by Disney or Pixar.

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