Wednesday, January 2, 2019

14 Preschool Songs and Fingerplays for Winter Speech Therapy

Songs and fingerplays will brighten up your winter preschool speech therapy sessions. 

14 Winter songs and fingerplays which are terrific preschool speech therapy activities to boost speech and language skills. Do you love penguins, bears and snowmen? This post has you covered! #speechsprouts #preschool #kindergarten #speechandlanguage #winter

Winter means snowballs, snowmen, penguins and bears... all of which are fascinating to your little ones and a great starting point for speech and language activities. 

Why not learn about winter in your speech therapy session with songs, fingerplays and movement activities to engage your littles? Bonus- you'll boost their learning in multiple ways.

If you read my post on 14 Songs and Fingerplays for Fall in Preschool Speech Therapy, we talked about those benefits. What a natural language-boosting way to work on skills! 

What speech and language areas can you target with songs and fingerplays?

Oh my goodness, songs and fingerplays are a smorgasbord of language-learning opportunity in speech therapy! Think about all the skills you can practice. Here are a few, I'll bet you can think of even more.

1.  Prosody: We know that simple catchy music gives children practice with the melody of language: pitch, rhythm, and duration. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to work on prosody doesn't it? 

Did we sing that word softly or loud? Fast or slow? High or low? When did we use an excited voice? 

2.  Sentence length and structure: The repetitive lines give children lots of practice with longer more complex sentences that language delayed children may not yet be producing on their own. Great for increasing MLU and children who leave out small words and word endings.

3. Rhyme: Sing the song or recite the fingerplay. Which words rhyme? Where in the sentences are you finding the rhymes, at the beginning or the end? Can you tell me another word that rhymes with it?

4. Vocabulary: Many songs and fingerplays repeat thematic vocabulary words over and over. Studies tell us it takes multiple exposures spaced out over time to learn a new word. This is even more important for our language delayed children. 

Presenting the words in multiple ways through songs, fingerplays and thematic units is powerful! Snowflake, melt, cave, and penguin are just a few of the words you can practice. 

5. Auditory memory: Repeated exposures to the lines help children remember and process the words in the songs and fingerplays. 

6. WH questions: Sing your song, recite and act out your fingerplay. Then ask questions. What did she see? Where were the shadows?

7. Adjectives and describing:  "I'm a little snowman, short and fat." How did the snowman look? Was he tall?

8. Prepositions: On the ground, in my cave, down I'll go! 
 "There once was a bear, who loved to play. (from Dr. Jean's Hibernating Bear). Where did he play? In the woods, every day!

9. Articulation: Did I say snowman? Snowflake? Snowball? Repetition of /sn/ blends and other articulation opportunities abound in repetitive songs and fingerplays. Have fun with your artic sessions.

10.  Narratives: Children can practice sequencing and story-retelling after the songs and rhymes are learned. 


Tips for using songs and fingerplays for language development

  • Repetition: Look for repetitive songs providing multiple opportunities to practice.  Don't present the song or fingerplay just once. Enjoy the same one multiple times in a session and over several sessions. 
  • Pacing: If you are following along with a video to present the song, be sure to choose a video with a slightly slower pace. Many are too fast for our language-delayed students to keep up. 
  • Pre-teach the words and motions at a slower pace.
  • Visuals: Use pictures, story-telling pieces or other visuals.


14 Winter songs and fingerplays which are terrific preschool speech therapy activities to boost speech and language skills. Visuals like this build a snowman activity are perfect accompany the rhymes.  #speechsprouts #preschool #kindergarten #speechandlanguage #winter
Use visuals when teaching winter vocabulary like this set:
 Snowmen at Night Book Companion.

Here are my picks: 14 winter songs and fingerplays for preschool speech therapy.

Snowflakes from Teach Preschool

10 Little Snowflakes from the Teaching Mama. I love this song because it repeats snowflakes with lots of s-blend practice (One little, two little three little snowflakes), and each verse ends by saying where the snowflake is: On my tongue, on my hat.... great for where questions too.

Snowflake, Snowflake action song by Intellidance is wonderful! Watch the video demonstration of the song and actions with dance-like moves.

The Snowman from Teach Preschool

Dr. Jean Warren is always a treasure of great songs and fingerplays!

I'm a Little Penguin by Dr. Jean Warren on the Preschool Express. This is sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot" and I love the action words waddle, dive and swim for acting out as you sing!

Hibernating Bear by Dr. Jean Warren on the Preschool Express is sung to "Up on the Housetop". Winter is a great time to teach the position concepts of "inside" and "outside". The bear goes inside his cave. Who goes inside when it's cold? Who is outside?

I See Shadows by Dr. Jean Warren is fun for Groundhog's Day in February. Some are short and scary, some are tall! Perfect segway to a lesson on short and tall.

Lights, camera, music! Videos of Winter Songs

If you have a computer, tablet or whiteboard to show a YouTube video, try Snowflakes, Snowflakes by the Kiboomers.

I'm a little Snowman by Super Simple Songs has a nice slow pace for our little language learners and repeats the simple verse several times. Love that for helping children learn and participate.

Fingerplays, Poems and Chants

Here's a Hill shared by is a fun little action rhyme about zooming down a hill on your sled.

The Mitten Chant from the Teaching Mama. This fingerplay includes describing words: snug, fuzzy, warm and colorful. Work on describing and categories after the chant. What else is soft? Fuzzy? Yes no questions: Is a shovel fuzzy? A cat?

The Mitten Chant also has singular mitten and plural mittens. A great jumping off point to talk about plurals. the concept of a pair, winter wear and winter activities. You need two mittens in the winter. What else do you wear two of? (boots, earmuffs, socks, skates, skis)

 Preschool Express has many great songs and fingerplays. Two more favorites:

The Snowman by Dr. Jean Warren shared on the Preschool Express includes the concepts of large, middle-sized and small.  Roll a snowball large, then one of middle size...

A Funny Little Snowman from the Preschool Express This cute little rhyme talks about the snowman and his carrot nose, then along came rabbit...what do you suppose? Fun for prediction and rhyming!

Snowball by Shel Silverstein shared on Goodreads is a funny little poem about a child who made himself a snowball and kept it as a pet! The absurdities are fun to talk about as you answer why questions (Why can't you keep a snowball as a pet? Why was the bed wet?) and predict what will happen!

If you've never read Shel Silverstein, go to the library and take out one of his books right now. Don't wait another minute, his poems are so funny and silly and...awesome!

Fun fingerplays and songs that are perfect language development activities for winter speech therapy. The fun rhythm and rhymes will boost vocabulary and listening with your preschoolers and in kindergarten too.  #speechsprouts #speechtherapy #speechandlanguage #fingerplays #preschoolsongs #preschoolwinter

What's your favorite winter song, poem or fingerplay?

If you have other favorites, share with us! I'd love to hear them. Be sure to pin this post to your Pinterest Boards so you can find the links again easily when you need them.

If you would love songs and fingerplays for other seasons, check out these roundups:

14 Songs and Fingerplays for Spring Speech Therapy

14 Songs and Fingerplays for Fall Speech Therapy

More great winter speech therapy activities for your winter sessions:

Book companions for your favorite winter stories:
Puzzles, games, smash mats, coloring, and mini-books:

 Stay warm and cozy, and have fun!