Speech therapy can be a helpful tool for kiddos who have a developmental delay, a speech or language delay, weak oral muscles, or perhaps a cognitive condition. While speech therapy in a clinical setting can be very beneficial, working on skills learned in therapy sessions in the home environment can be impactful as well.
Rachel Heinrich, a speech-language pathologist at CP shared a few ideas to help incorporate speech into home activities:
One of the main goals in speech therapy is to help clients transition what they have learned in therapy sessions to their outside world. It can be challenging to find natural moments to incorporate your child's goals into their daily life. One area that is treated within speech therapy is articulation; the correct formation of specific speech sounds. When working on articulation, it can be easy to get stuck in the routine of word drill and flashcards, but you just need to think a bit outside the box - and we can help! Here are a few different activities that can help make their practice both functional and fun!
Add into turn-taking games: A fun way to increase practice of specific sounds is to pick a game that incorporates your child's target speech sounds. For example; when working on the sound /p/ you can play a Pop the Pirate game. Target "put in pirate" before taking each turn and "pop" when the pirate pops! Using a game with pieces can be helpful for making the game last longer and allows you to get more trials in with their sounds!
Incorporate movement: Sometimes sitting at a table to practice can feel more like work and it can be challenging to maintain your child's attention. Let them move! You can incorporate practice both inside and outside. For example; if your child is practicing the sound /l/ you can have them go on a leaf hunt around the yard outside. As they are picking their leaves they can put them into a pile and then throw them into the air practicing "throw leaves".
Use the whole house: Always see those endless picture cards targeting your child's target sounds during speech sessions? Ask your therapist for a copy! We can provide target words specific to your child that you can use for a 'hide-and-seek' game at home. For example; if your child is working on the sound /k/, you can hide pictures around the kitchen. When they find a word they can both practice the target word and tell you it was "in the kitchen".
In addition to Rachel's great ideas, try incorporating target words into games your kids probably already play:
- Hide-and-Seek: Hide word cards around the house. As your child finds each card, have them practice the word.
- Hopscotch: Write one of your child's target words into a hopscotch grid outside. Have they say each word as they hop along the path.
Incorporating fun ways to practice skills learned during speech therapy will help your child find their stride and much success!