By: Rachel Tenold, M.S., CCC-SLP
At Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center, we value the importance of practicing speech sound targets at home to increase children’s accuracy toward meeting their articulation goals. It allows for faster acquisition of sounds at various levels of difficulty and increases the chances that they will generalize the sounds to their conversational/spontaneous speech. If you received a homework practice sheet from your speech therapist or know your child’s sound targets but aren’t sure how to work on them in an engaging way at home, we have some tips for you!
Try Using an App
Take a picture of your child’s homework sheet of speech sound target words with an app such as Doodle Buddy (iPhone, iPad) or Doodle 123 (Android) and use fun colors to draw hearts, stars, or circles or simply cross out the words after practicing them. The bright colors and motor movement creates greater engagement during speech practice.
Play a Memory Game
Make a copy of the sound target sheet (or print 2 copies of a free practice sheet of pictures for your child’s target sound on mommyspeechtherapy.com), cut out the pictures, turn them over, and mix them up to play a Memory style game. Practice each word when you turn it over or put both words into a sentence for a greater challenge if your child is ready for that level of difficulty with their sound. Make sure to listen and look for accurate placement and productions!
Have a Scavenger Hunt
Use the cut-out speech sound pictures for a scavenger hunt! Tape them under the table, to the wall, behind the door, place one under a book, etc. for your child to find. This is another great motor movement activity that keeps children engaged and increases their learning potential! For added fun, turn out the lights and look for the targets around the room with a flashlight!
Visit a Playground
You can even practice speech sound targets on the playground! Come up with your own list or pull one up on your phone. Have your child practice a target word while bouncing up and down on a teeter-totter, for each push on the swing, or before going down the slide.
Use Other Games
Play a game that allows for practicing a target sound repetitively such as Sorry for the S sound (seven, slide, sorry) or tape target words/pictures onto Jenga blocks or Connect Four pieces and practice the target on your turn.
Getting creative with practicing speech sounds makes it more likely that it will happen frequently and be fun! Carryover of speech practice to the home environment is a crucial element of success with articulation goals, which will increase the clarity of your child’s speech, improve their confidence, and enhance their social interactions.
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center, our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
1210 Jordan Street, Suite 2A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131