Unique and Bizarre Holidays as Therapy Topics or Material

Unique and Bizarre Holidays as Therapy Topics or Material -melissa n., M.A., CCC-SLP

New and interesting therapy material can be difficult to come by at time. When I am challenged so far as to topics that stimulate creativity and language, I often look to unique and bizarre holidays that are registered and occurring at that time. For instance, the month of December looks like this on
Year 2011 Each Day:

1 Eat a Red Apple Day

1 World Aids Awareness Day

2 National Fritters Day

3 National Roof over Your Head Day

4 Santa’s’ List Day – we hope you are on the “Nice” list

4 Wear Brown Shoes Day

5 Bathtub Party Day

5 Repeal Day – The 21st Amendment ends Prohibition. I’ll drink to that!

6 St. Nicholas Day

6 Mitten Tree Day

6 Put on your own Shoes Day

7 International Civil Aviation Day

7 Letter Writing Day

7 National Cotton Candy Day – would you like some fairy floss?

7 Pearl Harbor Day

8 National Brownie Day

8 Take it in the Ear Day

9 Christmas Card Day

9 National Pastry Day

10 Human Rights Day

11 International Children’s Day – Second Sunday in December

11 National Noodle Ring Day

12 National Ding-a-Ling Day

12 Poinsettia Day

13 Ice Cream Day

13 Violin Day

14 National Bouillabaisse Day

15 Bill of Rights Day

15 National Lemon Cupcake Day

16 National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

17 National Maple Syrup Day

18 Bake Cookies Day

18 National Roast Suckling Pig Day

19 Look for an Evergreen Day

19 Oatmeal Muffin Day

20 Go Caroling Day

21 Forefather’s Day

21 Humbug Day

21 National Flashlight Day

21 Look on the Bright Side Day

22 National Date Nut Bread Day – or September 8!?

23 Festivus – for the rest of us

23 Roots Day

24 National Chocolate Day

24 National Egg Nog Day

25 Christmas Day

25 National Pumpkin Pie Day for recipes see Pumpkin Nook’s Cookbook

26 Boxing Day

27 Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day

27 National Fruitcake Day

28 Card Playing Day

29 Pepper Pot Day

30 National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

31 Make Up Your Mind Day

31 New Year’s Eve

31 Unlucky Day
On the seventh, I will likely base my therapy sessions around the theme of “Letter Writing Day,” and have my patients tell me about letters they have written and received, the difference between WRITING a letter and e-mailing (or, less personal yet, texting someone), and then actually have the patient write or dictate a letter (depending on skill level) to actually send to someone.

“Oatmeal Muffin Day” on the nineteenth is a great excuse to do a cooking group or individual session focusing on sequencing and functional problem solving (“If we want to double the recipe, how many eggs do we need?”).  The twenty-seventh is “Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day,” which is a great time to co-treat with Occupational Therapy to target attention to task and auditory comprehension for following basic level directives, as well as the Occupational Therapy goals for fine motor skills and hand/finger strength and coordination. “Unlucky Day” on the thirty-first would be an occasion to discuss the most “lucky” and the most “unlucky” things that have occurred in a clients’ life, or to play a game such as “Yahtzee” that is based upon the luck of the dice. Utilizing unique and interesting holidays as a therapy tool is cost effective, fun, and easily accessible. Who knows, maybe you and/or your client may develop a registerable “holiday.”

Regardless, the end result of branching out and looking for creative outlets for our patients is a happier, more involved, more rewarding career for us Speech Pathologists and a broader, more motivating, individualized treatment plan for our clients. And who doesn’t learn more when they are interested?