Free Speech Therapy: Water

Enjoy our free speech therapy idea using water! What could me more free than that?

Summer is finally here and it has inspired me! My toddler LOVES water and we spend quite a lot of time playing with the hose, buckets, cups, and a water table. As most of you know, he is a late talker and I seen quite a lot of progress during our "water speech therapy sessions!" As a bonus, he is having so much FUN!

Water Play Ideas

I was given a free water table by a very kind neighbor. My son loves it! However, if not for the gift, I most likely would have made due with buckets, hoses, and cups! it is free and just as effective. Some fun ideas for water play: 

  • Play with a water table and cups and boats
  • Take turns spraying the hose
  • Jump in and out of sprinklers
  • Fill up buckets with water and have fun splashing, playing with boats, and filling up cups
  • Make bubbles with water and soap
  • Etc...

Sample Goals


  1. /w/ & /t/: Say "water" as you fill buckets of water, Name things that are "wet"
  2. /m/: Have your child say "more" to get a chance to spray the hose again!
  3. /sh/: Say "splash" while you and your child splash in puddles or make splashes in the water table
  4. /K/: Have your child say "cup" to get another cup to play with in the water or say "cup" to have a cup filled with water
  5. /b/ & /t/: Have your child say "boat" as you push a boat back and forth in the water
  6. Etc....

Early Language Goals

  1. Attributes: Name wet and dry objects. Talk about which cups are full and which are empty. 
  2. Vocabulary: Name all the objects that go in water, that need to be washed, animals that live in water, etc...
  3. Sorting: Sort water toys by color, size, or attribute
  4. Verbs: Practice "pour," "spill," "splash," "fill," and "dump," etc... as you play
  5. Sentence expansion: Practice 3-4 word sentences, "I put water in _____," "Fill_____up with water," etc...

Advanced Language Goals

Below are some great ideas to use for children who are working on later developing concepts.

  1. Expressive & Receptive Language: Welcome to the water challenge! You need a hose or a bucket of water. That is it! With these tools, you can practice giving and following directions while focusing on spatial concepts. Set an "obstacle course" and then tell the other player to complete it. For example, say "spray the rock with the hose that is in front of the tree." If the person can complete it, he/she gets a point. This game is naturally fun and it can target giving and following directions with concepts such as "next to," "in front of," "behind," "left," "right," etc...
  2. Story Telling: Story telling can be quite fun when playing with water! Make up tales about sailing across a sea or down a river as you play outside with a bucket, water hose, or puddle. Get creative!
  3. Categorization: Name all the animals that live in an ocean and lake, talk about what can and can't get wet or it is ruined, what animals like to swim, etc...

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Find some more speech therapy ideas for the home here!

Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series

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