Articulation therapy ideas to use with any sound

Here is a list of articulation therapy ideas that you can use to help your child practice. These articulation activities can be used to improve any speech sound.

  1. Sound Walk: walk with your child through the neighborhood, a park, or a shopping center. Tell your child to look for things with the target sound. You look, too, and see who can spot the most objects. Variation: I Spy. Take turns describing an object you can see that contains the target sound without naming it. The other person has to guess the name of the object.
  2. Magnet Fishing: attach a string with a magnet to a stick. Make small picture or word cards with the target sound. These can be fish-shaped, but they don’t have to be. Put a paper clip or staple at the top of each card. Take turns “catching fish” and naming the pictures or reading the words.
  3. Where does the sound come? On three small brown bags, paste a word or picture card of an object with the target sound at the beginning, middle, and end (one on each bag). On the table, place other words or picture cards containing the target sound. The child selects a card, says it, and then drops it in the bag that matches the sound position.
  4. Categorizing: When working with words or picture cards, you can encourage categorizing and organizing. Have your child put all the animals on one pile, all the clothing items on another, and so on; or, if your child is learning to alphabetize, have her/him practice on the picture cards.
  5. Memory/Concentration: Find and cut out pictures of items containing the target sound from magazines, newspapers, and coloring books. As much as possible, find pairs of items—two cats, for example—although the pictures do not have to be the same. Glue or paste the pictures onto index cards. Place the cards face down on the table and take turns turning over two at a time. If they match you get to keep them; if not, turn them back over. See who gets the most pairs by the end of the game.

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  7. Other games: while playing your child’s favorite table game, require each player to say a word with the target sound at the beginning, middle, or end (according to your child’s goals). You can use cards as in #5, or a written list of words, or players can go by memory. Variation: if it’s a game involving dice, have players say as many words as the dice indicate—roll a four, say four words.
  8. Mailbox: make a mailbox out of a cardboard box (a shoe box will work fine) by cutting a slot big enough to insert your picture cards (from #5). Give your child one card at a time, saying the word aloud. If the word on the card has your child’s word, have her “mail” the card; if not, have her give the card back to you.
  9. Sound Board: While your child is working on a sound, add an object or picture with the sound to a bulletin board each day or each week; this will add to your child’s awareness of the sound.
  10. Collage: This is a great activity for children who like art projects. Cut out pictures of items containing the target sound from magazines, newspapers, coloring books, and other sources. Help your child arrange and glue the pictures onto a piece of cardboard or stiff paper. Talk about the pictures as you work.

  11. Treasure hunt: Involve other family members and see who can find the most things that begin with the target sound. Make up your own “house rules” to make it more fun.
  12. Does it rhyme? When working on final sounds (e.g. final K), help your child discover new words by changing the beginning sound (cake, bake, make, take, fake, lake, sake, rake, Jake, quake, wake).
  13. Visit the public library together and find books with characters whose names begin with, or contain, the sound your child is working on.

Remember, these articulation therapy ideas are only effective if used in consultation with a qualified speech-language pathologist. Be sure to talk to your child’s speech therapist before implementing any of these speech therapy ideas for articulation at home.

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