Research has shown that little and often is best for Speech Therapy Practice. Children’s progress in their speech therapy sessions will be greatly improved with regular practice at home. All the parents in my clinic are highly motivated to practise at home but it can be tricky to know what to do. Firstly, the child needs to stay motivated as children learn best when they are having fun! This means we need to be creative with how we encourage children to practise at home. Sometimes they are having so much fun that they don’t even know they are learning!
The activities below can be adapted to any learning goal, but for the perhaps of this blog we will focus on practising speech sounds. Your speech therapist may have given you a set of cards to practise at home. If not, you can make your own!
- Scrap Book
Most children love cutting and glueing activities. Why not make a scrap book and arrange different pictures from magazines by the first sound? Focus on the sounds that are difficult for your child. If working on the ‘s’ sound, try making a collage of words and pictures beginning with ‘s’.
Sun Superman soup sing
2. What’s in the mail box?
Try leaving a few picture cards in the mail box each day. Use flash cards provided by your speech therapist or find your own pictures. Children love to check the mail. What a lovely surprise to find pictures for them to practise!
Most of the children I work with cannot get enough of posting activities. How exciting! Try sitting on one side of a door with your child on the other side. Post picture cards to each other and practise saying them.
4. Time for Chores!
Some children love to help Mum or Dad around the house. Why not set up a little washing line using string? Encourage your child to use pegs to hang out their picture cards to dry. Be sure to encourage as many repetitions as possible.
5. Plastic Eggs
How about hiding some pictures in little plastic eggs? Children love the element of surprise when they open an egg to find out what is inside!
6. Treasure Hunt!
Be creative! Hide the picture cards around the house and see how many your child can find. How about under their pillow? Inside their favourite toy? Keep it fun and with an element of surprise.
7. Blowing bubbles
Bubbles are one of the most successful (and cheapest) motivators in my clinic room. There is something so joyful for children to watch and catch bubbles! How about blowing a set of bubbles for every 10 repetitions of a word?
This is a great card game especially when your child has almost mastered saying the words at single word level. It is fast and allows for multiple repetitions. You will of course need 3 or 4 copies of each word.
Some children prefer practising during active movement games. Draw out a hopscotch using outside chalk or even just create an imaginary one. For every jump your child has to say the word. You do it too! Children love to see the adults join in and by saying the words you are demonstrating how to say the word too!
This is a good game for children of all ages. For younger children try just 3 sets. Older children can manage 10+ sets. Say the word each time you turn the card over.
Whilst practising speech sounds, always remember to keep it light-hearted and fun. This will ensure your child will want to practise often.
JS Speech Therapy