Whenever I tell people that I am a speech-language pathologist, they will say to me how their child loved going to speech, because of all of the games that they played.
Yes, it’s true. My cupboards don’t even contain all the boxes of games that I whip out on the daily. But what’s in a speech therapy room is NOT what parents have at home in their kid’s room.
So today, I’m sharing five simple ideas for doing speech sound practice at home.
My eyes truly lit up when a parent walked into my room recently with a box. A box labeled ‘sh’ sounds. I peeked inside to see sheep figurines, a mini pirate ship, some shells from the beach, travel-sized shampoos, and the book Where is the Green Sheep. I love this idea of going for a treasure hunt in your house and filling it with sounds that your child is working on. Because on those days when nobody is in the mood to sit down and look at worksheets, play (with purpose) can be just the thing.
Trying to get enough practice at home so that your child is making progress week-to-week is essential. I make speech sticks by putting stickers on craft sticks and encouraging five practices. Do this a few times over the day, and you can quickly get 50 practices in, especially if the sticks are double-sided! OTHER IDEAS: use your child’s interests. Count out LEGO blocks, use puzzle or game pieces, or even your child’s favorite app. Even a simple holding your hand up and tapping on each finger is a quick way to get five practices in.
A lot of parents get sent home with speech cards. If you’re bored of memory, coloring, and hide ‘n’ seek, then do this: get a bag (not see-through) and fill it up with small toys and items that you have in your house. I don’t know about you, but the bottom of my kid’s drawers are filled with odd bits and pieces. Lay your speech cards out on the table, choose a card and practice it (perhaps aiming for 3 or 5 practices), and then let your child reach into the bag and pull something out to place on top of the card. It’s so simple, I know. But the whole ‘unknown’ concept of what’s in the bag? is very motivating!
So much stuff can get sent home from the speech clinic. And while I encourage parents to bring a folder or a scrapbook to the speech room, we don’t always get around to the sticking in and gluing of homework sheets. So this is where you can create and make it something special at home. Grab some washi tape, let your child wield the glue stick, and have them practice their cutting skills. Color in the uncolored pictures, add a sticker or two, and turn your child’s hard work into some brag-worthy. Something to be proud of. Because they SHOULD be proud of all their hard work.
You wouldn’t believe how many times you go to the fridge or food cupboard until you stick your speech homework on there. Practice a few words EVERY time you go to them, and you will get so much practice in. Better yet, use magnets, dry erase markers, or a pen that sticks to the fridge so that your child can mark off and document their practice. The other benefit is that it is a great visual reminder for parents to practice their speech at home.
If you’re a parent, and you found that your child LOVED to do something at home, comment on this post and share your ideas.