Need inspiration for practical speech therapy activities at home in quarantine? Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more than three-quarters of the country has shut down public schools. The rule of social isolation means that many toddlers with special educational needs are separated from the professionals who helped them, but parents do not have to despair.
How to make speech and language practice fun?
“If you’re bored, your child is probably bored.”
I once received that beautiful advice from a university professor regarding our speech therapy session. And she was right. If I felt bored with the session, the child was probably also bored and probably wasn’t doing the best job. Studies have shown that short, frequent sessions are more effective in learning and retaining than infrequent, long sessions. Well, here are my best resources to make speech and language practice more enjoyable at home.
Communicate with your child and start talking from birth. Children are encouraged to speak when focusing on communication. Don’t force them to speak at once. Casual communication helps children understand what they use correctly. Imitation of gestures and sounds is the most natural way to learn to speak. This exercise will help children in these areas.
Let’s take in the movement:
Kids love to move. On earth, I like to move! I kept a standing desk in my office so I can get more movement while working. The more fun you can incorporate into your speech therapy session, the more fun your baby will be and the harder it will work. I’ve also heard that as children move while practising and learning new skills, more parts of the brain are activated and more likely to be maintained. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the study, so I can’t cite it for you, but I’m sure this is true in my experience.
Practice in the mirror:
Many children with speech articulation do not understand how to move their mouth to make the sound correctly. Speaking in front of a mirror helps see how the mouth moves when the child makes a particular sound. Each sound can be expressed slowly, correctly, and clearly to model the kid’s correct position and show the difference between the mirrors.
This is a simple game that will help your kid repeat the same words six times. Select the six words you want to practice. Slide each word into a transparent plastic card protector, also known as “lily pads”. Distribute plastic water lilies throughout the room. Let your child jump over each lily pad each time he says a word. Your little frog may want a delicious fry as a reward after he jumps on all six lily pads and says the word correctly!
Picture Scavenger Hunt:
Go through the yard or house and take pictures of as many things as you can that start with your targeted sound. Whoever takes the most pictures wins. Of course, to get the prize, they have to say each word clearly. You can even make a fun book of the pictures that were taken to review later.
Enjoy with Playdough:
Draw a word from the hat (you may be thinking of a Mommy Speech Therapy worksheet here, an Articulation Station word, or your word) and shape the play fabric into that word. Ask other players to guess what you created. For additional points, you can have him say the word in the sentence.
Write down every practice word on a piece of paper. Try to write the number of syllables in the word below the word. Then crumple each piece of paper into balls. Ask your kid to pick a ball, open it, and say a word. If it is a one-syllable word, you will only get one point. If the word is a 3-syllable word and you create a basket, you will get 3 points. Have fun, and don’t forget to score. The little ones are pretty competitive!
Hiding and seeking with flashlights:
My kids love to hide and look around the house with a flashlight. Paste the practice words around the house and then turn off the lights. Give your child a flashlight and then let them go to find the words. Invite them to say each word as soon as they find them.
These great ideas will allow your child to practice their speech articulation without regularly visiting the speech therapist. Absolute Synergy hopes to do its best for your family during this time of national emergency and social distance. If you would like to contact us to discuss further your child’s language development, you can contact our staff directly from our website.