With a little creativity and imagination, parents can incorporate speech therapy into any number of fun activities in and around the home. Blend therapy techniques into daily activities or establish special family game nights.
There are many different no-cost articulation screener apps that are designed for parents, educators and therapists to determine what sounds a child might be having difficulty pronouncing. The screeners feature a large selection of common words that use consonants and vowels in the beginning, the middle and on the end of words. By having a child repeat each word, parents determine which sounds a child needs to practice. Some apps additionally feature a helpful guideline that shares at what age a child should master certain sounds.
Play Dough Charades
Write words describing objects on pieces of paper having specific consonants or vowels. Put the words in a bowl. Let each person pick a word and create that object out of play dough. Everyone else must guess what the dough represents. Whoever guesses correctly gets a point. Using the word in a sentence scores a bonus point. Play for a designated amount of time or set a point limit to determine the final winner.
Hide vocabulary word cards in designated places throughout the house. Challenge the kids to find as many cards as possible. Whoever finds the most cards wins. However, award points based on saying the words correctly. Older kids especially may enjoy playing a nighttime version of the game with flashlights.
The Sound Game
This game can be played at home, in the car or virtually anywhere as the activity does not require any objects or tools. Start the game by coming up with a word that starts with a particular consonant or has a specific vowel sound. Everyone must then take turns thinking of another word with the required sound. The round ends when a person is stumped. The last person to think of a word may then choose the next sound.
Write practice words on pieces of paper. Beneath each word write the number that represents the number of syllables in that word. Crumple the papers into balls. Let a child choose a ball, open the paper and say the word. The child then crumples the paper back into a ball and tries to throw the ball into a basket. If he or she succeeds, they get a point for each syllable that the word contains. Divide kids into teams and keep score.