To be successful in articulation therapy, home practice is necessary.
Below you will find activities for home practice organized by sound. The key is practice, practice, practice and then practice some more across settings (home, school, park, dinner table).
We are creating a GOOD habit here!
Below is a brief description of how to do articulation therapy at home:
First things first, your child has to be able to say the desired sound! Syllables or isolation (which means you JUST say the sound with no other sounds) level is usually the first stage since all other speech demands are taken away. For example, if you are practicing /b/, start with “ba” or “ab.” Once your child can say the sound in syllables, move on to the word level.
Next, practice saying the targeted sound in words. The word level means you practice saying a sound within a word. To continue our /b/ example, practice “ball,” “able,” “tub.” It is important to practice saying the sound in the beginning (initial), middle (medial), and final (position). Why? Our mouth has to coordinate and move muscles differently depending on where the sound falls within a word. Once your child can say his or her sound in words, the phrase/sentence level is next.
Next, a child needs to practice their sound in phrases and sentences. For example, “I see a ball.” The phrase or sentence level means a child practices saying a word, which contains the sound he/she is working on, in a short phrase or a sentence. Children usually start with phrases since they are shorter and work up to sentences. Why? Our brain has to remember how to say the sound while processing all those extra speech and language demands. We are making a good speech habit here!
This is the last step and where home practice is the most crucial. A child MUST say the targeted sound correctly during conversation. I recommend short, controlled practices for this one! For example, tell your child, “we are going to practice /s/ while we play the game “Sorry.” When we speak, we must use our good /s/ sound. "
For articulation therapy, there are no quick fixes. I wish there were! It takes work and lots of practice to change a motor habit.
There are a lot of expensive programs out there that want to sell you tools that promise fast results. If there was a program out there that worked, I WOULD USE IT!!!! So far, the research and personal experience have taught me, the best way to improve articulation is to do what I described above. If things change, I'll let you know.
Each letter in the chart below is a link to a word list, at home speech therapy activities, and tips on how to say each sound correctly.
To use the word list, you can create flashcards, have your child repeat words after you, write them on a chalkboard, whatever you would like to do!
I also HIGHLY recommend practicing words in the context of a game. Check out these ideas at the bottom of each page.
If your child has language goals as well, check out speech therapy activities - language games for toddlers or adolescents for ideas of what to do at home.
Are you working on more than one sound with your child? Do you want more detailed information on how to make certain sounds? Do you want tailored speech activities that can be easily completed in the comfort of your home during daily activities? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, read more about our membership program.
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These home speech therapy activities are meant to SUPPLEMENT speech therapy, not take its place. If you have concerns about your child, please contact a speech language pathologist.