We love holiday-themed therapy activities here at Dynamic Lynks, and one of my personal favorite
holidays is quickly approaching. That’s right, we are talking all things Valentine’s Day in this blog post! Valentine’s Day is rooted in love, but one of the greatest forms of love is friendship. We like friendship so much, we created a whole curriculum filled with songs to practice important social skills! Today I’m sharing 2 activities to focus on friendship and social skills through music, but you can check out our friendship curriculum and CD in our shop.
Activity #1: Friend in Me Group Game
Toy Story is a hit song across all of the ages and abilities I serve. For this activity, I use the Toy Story song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” as an auditory cue for a passing game.
Print and cut out friendship cards
Place cards in a bowl or an upside-down drum
Instruct participants to pass the cards around with the music. When the music stops, whoever is holding the cards has to choose 1 and follow the direction on the card.
Continue passing around the cards until everyone has had a turn or game has reached its end.
The cards give tasks such as “make a handshake with a friend” or instruct the participant to ask a friend a certain question. You can discuss specific social skills with each instruction, depending on the level of your group. Some of the cards ask you to problem-solve, or play a game with a friend. Depending on the needs of your group, you can change the instructions on the cards. In my group we are working a lot on our social thinking. With the different instructions we are making sure to include a variety of group members, participate in back-and-forth social exchanges, and demonstrate whole-body listening.
Activity #2: If I Didn’t Have You Songwriting
Another popular movie in my pre-adolescent and adolescent sessions is Monsters, Inc. The song “If I Didn’t Have You” is a great song to work on giving friends compliments or even writing a ‘love song’ for a crush or peer. Some of my clients are working on understanding and expressing these emotions of love that come as we age. This is a great basic songwriting activity to open that discussion, or even just to explain a bit about what love is and what the Valentine’s Day holiday represents.
Print If I Didn’t Have You fill-in-the-blanks songwriting sheet
Instruct client to fill-in-the-blanks with the type of word missing
Assist client as needed with choosing nouns, adjectives, verbs to place in the song
Sing and play the song with the client’s lyrics
If you’re doing this in a group, you can assign specific peers to one another to write a compliment-based song about the other peer. This is a great way to work on positive social interactions. You can also write the song as a group mad-libs style and see what silly versions you come up with! I’ve also done this with picture board choices for non-verbal clients to practice communication skills and academic skills.
I hope you find these activities useful in your upcoming sessions or even in the classroom!
As an exclusive for our blog readers, use code friend10 in our shop for 10% off our FriendSHIP CD pack and all other items in our store. Happy Valentine’s Day!