Speech Therapy Activities for Onam

Speech Therapy Activities for Onam

Speech Therapy Activities for Onam

India, a nation with a diverse culture, has always been a centre for celebrations. Even if there are celebrations of festivals every day, few of them get you anticipating their arrival. Kerala’s Onam festival is a must-see, and I’m sure you’d love to take part in this spectacular celebration once, twice, or many times.

In this blog I will cover some easy speech therapy activities for Onam. Parents, educators, and other professionals can all use these speech therapy activities.

What is Onam?

Onam is a harvest festival that is observed in Kerala and is marked by the singing of welcome songs for King Mahabali, Sadhya, Thiruvathira Kali, Pookalam, Ona-thallu, Pulikali, and Onavillu.

The “pookkalam” floral patterns that are distinctive to this festival serve as its emblem. In order to invite King Mahabali to their home, ladies members of the household typically create various patterns on the ground using flowers and lit lamps. People give and wear “Onakkodi,” or new clothing.

On this occasion, lavish feasts are prepared. This is referred to as “onam sadhya.” There are typically 13 dishes made for this. Rice is frequently served with other meals, pickles, and papads and is served on banana leaves.

Onam festivities last for 10 days and are lavishly staged. The most significant days of this major celebration in Kerala are the first and concluding days.

Speech Therapy Activities for Onam

1. Onam Dress Up

Onam Dress Up

You can dress up your child in traditional Keralite clothes or even dress up as Mahabali/Vamana/Pullikkali character  with minimal items at home. You can simply use a fancy dupatta, some ornaments and light makeup to do this activity. Make the elephant head mask with paper and get creative!

Activity examples
  • Name all items used in the activity (vocabulary building)

  • Teach the sequence of wearing clothes. Demonstrate the order and then ask the child to tell the correct order. e.g : First we will wear the vest, then the dhoti, after that we will wear the dupatta, then the ornaments. etc.

  • Click photos after the dress up and ask the child whom all he/she wants to share the pictures with. Talk about grandparents, friends and identify names of relatives

  • Make a video of the little one playing dancing or eating payasam. Encourage him to say a few lines or sing a song. Further, show him the video and praise his confidence.

Skills that can be worked upon : Vocabulary building, sentence formation, developing communication intent, gross motor skills.

2 . Count the coconuts

We all love coconuts. This easily available fruit can be used to build so much speech and language with your child.

Activity examples:
  • Fill a bucket with at least 10 coconuts.

  • Ask the child to count all of them
  • Activity variation : Keep only a few coconuts and count again.
  • If your child can recognise numbers, make some chits of paper with numbers written in them. Ask him to pick the correct number chit.
  • Take two bowls with different number of coconuts in each. Work with the child with the concept of more, less and equal.

Skills that can be worked upon : Attention and concentration, joint attention, sitting tolerance, fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, numeracy skills.

3. Coconut peeling

Get a few coconuts with the outer husk. Sit with your child to peel the husk together. This can serve as a great sensory + language activity.

Activity examples:
  • Do a peeling race! Who peels it first is the winner

  • Use scissors to peel the coconut. Monitor and help the child if needed.
  • Activity variation : Use this activity to work on fine motor and scissoring skills.
  • Make a pile of the husk and see whose pile is bigger!

Skills that can be worked upon : Attention and concentration, joint attention, sitting tolerance, fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, scissoring skills.

4. Art Craft & Decorations

Involving kids in doing hands on crafts is an amazing method for speech language stimulation and practice. Crafts invite repetition, create structure and produce an awesome tangible reward for task completion. Additionally, doing the craft the child can ask for help, use sounds and words and make requests. Furthermore crafts create more opportunities for language expansion in a fun way.

Construct an athapookalam (Flower rangoli)

Flower rangoli

Get some flowers and encourage child to sit with you to pinch the petals. Collect different petals and make a rangoli. Teach patterns and colours with this activity.

Paper Plate Elephant :

Take a pair plate and colour it to make a Elephant. Additionally, talk about the body parts and revise that concept.

Make an onam special tiger or pulikali mask

pulikali mask

Make a tiger mask and have fun as you go along! Talk about body parts. Ask simple questions to build on vocabulary. “Where are the eyes?”, “Where is the nose?”

Learn more about how sensory activities facilitate speech and language development here.

Boat Painting:

Boat colouring book

Print out boat colouring sheet here and encourage your child to colour it. By and large, you can revise all the colour names and give simple directions while colouring.

Create a paper racing boat as an Onam craft.


Making an onam paper boat can be fun as well an opportunity to learn. Click here for a nice video on how to make an onam boat.

Elephant Bookmarks:

elephant bookmarks

You can engage in this easy exercise with your child. Encourage the child to colour the elephant you have drawn. All that’s left to do is stick them on ice lolly sticks. As you engage in this game with your child, give him options and follow his direction. To contribute more to this masterpiece, use the bookmarks in meaningful ways.

6. Make and Enjoy a onam sandhya (Onam feast)

Onam feast

Prepare a Sadhya with your child. Talk about the different items. Discuss what is vegetarian/non vegetarian. Compare and contrast fruit with grain and dairy items. Build short sentences as you go along.

7. Onam Worksheets/Printables

Onam worksheet

Download these amazing Onam worksheets that your child will absolutely enjoy. These have been created by Speech Language Therapists and educators and will help your child in building important skills of language, communication, speech and cognition.

Download here!

8. Reading Onam Books

Books are a treasure house of learning new words and practising speech sounds. They additionally help to strengthen the foundations of early literacy and reading. Here is a list of books that you can get for your little one on Onam  Coupled with speaking strategies, books are a powerhouse of knowledge for kids. Read here to learn how to use books in speech therapy.

  1. Festivals Of India Onam
  2. Onam Kuttan: A dual language Children’s Picture Book
  3. Celebrate Onam With Me!
  4. Festivals of India-Story of Onam
  5. Bharat Ke Tyohar Onam

I hope these ideas will give you plenty of opportunities to engage with your child! Genuine emotional moments when you connect with your child, foster joint attention. Such occasions lay the foundation of correct modeling of language. Remember to take the child’s lead. Do not waste money, but make use of items at home. Involving your child is all that matters. Let me know if you find these activities useful! Leave a comment below.

We at 1SpecialPlace

Wondering if your child has a speech delay? Language is not only what you wish to convey; it is also what we believe. When you have excellent speech and language, you can fully express yourself and connect with people. Some children’s speech improves with age, while others continues into adulthood. In this case, the youngster will require ongoing speech therapy for the rest of his or her life. Your child will work with our therapist during Speech Therapy Online.

Our personalized Online speech therapy works for people of all ages and ailments, and it’s also convenient and fun. In fact, our customers tell us that they don’t feel like they’re doing “therapy work” throughout their sessions.

Take this free screening test to find out. Do not wait and watch. Quality help is right here!

Pratiksha Gupta
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