General Speech and Language Suggestions During a Christmas Lights Language Walk and a Digital Activity by playTOK: Toy Box (Boom CardsSM).

Okay, I couldn’t help it! With all the doom and gloom that has been 2020, all my neighbours have been putting up their Christmas lights. We decided to hang our lights too. Normally, it’s too late for us to hang the lights on the house – with snow and ice. Thankfully, it was a beautiful warm weekend when we put our Christmas lights up!

I could tell by the eagerness of my children to help that they were just as excited as I was. We took our lights out of storage, picked up a couple new lights for the roof from our hardware store, and gathered everything to bring outside. It was a pretty huge ordeal getting the new lights untangled, so we’ll have to figure out a way to store them (e.g., roll them up) for next year.

HOME ACTIVITY (For families):

Go out for a walk or drive around the neighbourhood to admire the Christmas lights. We learn best when we have positive, shared experiences. The magic and wonder of seeing Christmas Lights around the neighbourhood is an experience that little ones will not forget. It is something we look forward to each winter season.

Most malls or main streets will have their decorations, and special tourist landmarks will celebrate as well.  I remember as a child that we would often drive to Niagara Falls and enjoy the light shows there during the holiday season. Downtown, the CN Tower and splendid Hudson’s Bay window displays were always a fun drive-by activity. This year, with all the limitations due to Covid-19, there are many “Drive-Through” light displays  popping up locally in Toronto and nearby Ontario. I’m sure this is the case in many cities world-wide too!

Here are a few suggestions I have:

*Try making a short “memory book” to capture the whole experience. Think of a photo you can take for each step.

  1. Plan your outing together as a family*
  2. Talk to your child about what you will do, what you need to prepare*
  3. Go for the walk/drive in your neighbourhood. OR Go for the drive to a larger sight (e.g., window displays, drive-thru light shows).*
  4. Find at least 3 displays that you really enjoy and talk about them*
  5. Go home, and make sure you encourage your children to share their experience with someone who wasn’t there (e.g., family member, friend). *
  6. (Repeat this activity all holiday season! Add new words and ideas with each opportunity!)

FINALLY, if you were taking photos along the way, move on to step

6. Print the photos and put them in a folded letter-size book. Another option is to embed the photos in a word document or powerpoint and print it out. As your child describes the pictures, write down what they say on the paper (This is why I prefer the folded paper book – we can add as many thoughts and key words as needed.

DIGITAL ACTIVITY (For clinicians):

Being inspired by all the Christmas hub-bub, I started making some activities. There are so many ideas in my head, I’m not sure I will have enough time to make them all! For this “Christmas Lights” game, I really wanted to up the ante and improve my animated effects. I played around with the Christmas lightbulbs as well as a few twinkling stars in the sky. Personally, the lights are too flashy for me (pun intended!), and I decided to leave some subtle yellow-only lights in some of the slides.

Christmas Lights Boom Cards is the latest playTOK digital activity for telepractice, in-centre tablet use or even smartboards.

This Christmas Lights set includes:

1) 1 House, 2 House and 3 Houses – Free play, decorating house(s)

2) Fix the Lights – Fix the white, colour and free play light strings

3) Turn the lights on! On/Off light switch, requesting activity

4) Word Study (Match Words + Pictures)

5) Word Study (Match Actions + Objects)

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Key Words and Phrases:

Key words: decorate, on/off, hang, big/little, short/long, beside, between, above/below, first/next/last, fix

Key phrases: Put the ___ on the ___., I see the _, Wow! Nice ___!, My turn/your turn

You can find Christmas Lights by playTOK on Boom Learning.

playTOK Christmas Lights

playTOK Christmas Lights

If you like this activity, you should also check out Don’t Pop Santa by playTOK!

Don't Pop Santa!

Don’t Pop Santa!

The contents of this blog post are of my own opinion. The content and information contained are not meant to substitute professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your speech-language pathologist, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your child’s condition. 

*FULL DISCLOSURE: playTOK is an author of Boom CardsSM on Boom LearningSM ( In order to purchase and access materials, you will be required to create a Boom LearningSM account. I receive income from the purchases you make on Boom CardsSM and Boom CardsSM receives a commission. The images in my Boom CardsSM are created by, purchased and/or licensed to playTOK. Thank you for your support! You can read my full disclosure statement here.