Articulation is one of the easiest things to practice outside of the four walls of speech therapy. If you have a child in speech therapy for articulation, practice is essential for generalization. There are many fun, easy ways to practice articulation at home. Here are a few:
1. At the grocery store, have your child identify and say different items that have his/her speech sounds in their names.
2. Read books aloud together. Remind your child to pay special attention to the sounds he/she is working on.
3. Play charades. Describe or act out the target word while your child guesses.
4. Have your family members try to name as many words as they can with the target sound. Have your child read through the lists. Whoever comes up with the most, wins!
5. Try some auditory discrimination. Use your child’s target sound incorrectly and see if he/she can identify and correct the error.
6. Create a book or a story. Find a word list with your child’s target sound and have him/her use the words to write a story.
7. While stuck in traffic or in a waiting room, play a game of I Spy using words with the target sounds.
8. Order a pizza! If your child is older, have him/her call a restaurant and order dinner for your family. Have him/her rehearse using correct speech sounds beforehand.
9. Play catch. Head outside and toss the ball to one another. For each throw, use a word with the target speech sound.
10. Make up tongue twisters. See if you and your child can say the whole thing with no errors.
Home practice is vital to speedy progress. Try to take just 5 minutes a day to work on articulation. Most of these can be accomplished naturally in the morning or evening. You and your child will be thrilled when you notice the difference that frequent practice makes. Remember when you were in school and teachers always said not to wait until the last minute to study? The same principle applies here. Frequent practice will help with muscle memory. Just make sure that your child is practicing his/her sounds accurately. If you have any questions, talk to your child’s speech therapist about strategies and cues he/she uses to help your child in school or in the clinic.