Speech Therapy Exercises for Kids
Working on speech therapy exercises at home might be beneficial for children for a variety of reasons. When a parent is unsure whether or not their child needs speech therapy, they may opt to work on some speech therapy exercises at home first.
Maybe your child’s teacher has voiced concern that they notice a stutter or that your child needs assistance with language development. Alternatively, if your child is currently seeing an SLP, you may want to complement their sessions with at-home activities.
If your children are spending a lot of time at home these days and on top of that, we understand the difficulties of ensuring that your children receive the education they require when they are unable to attend school (or if classes are sporadic).
It can be tough to keep children amused while they are at home. If they spend too much time at home, parents may have to work harder to maintain a child’s attention, but what if you could assist them develop their language abilities while they play?
Therapy Works Together’s speech therapists have created some fun speech therapy for kids that you can perform with your kids at home. These exercises are ones that you or your speech therapist can work on whether your child is receiving services at home or with online speech therapy.
In the meantime, check out these speech therapy exercises that you can integrate during playtime, and have just as much fun as before.
1. Use Containers like Plastic Easter Eggs
If you still have little plastic Easter eggs or other safe small containers around the house, you may use them to help your children build their verbal routines.
As you shake the egg and open it, use the following language to help them associate words, meaning and actions:
- Shake, shake, shake… (open it)
- Knock, knock, knock… (open it)
- Let’s see what’s inside… (open it)
Encourage your children to ask where the items are when they are hidden in the egg. This is an excellent opportunity to learn prepositions like: in, on, over.
Using eggs and other containers to educate your children when to say “hello” and “goodbye” is also a fantastic idea. While saying “hello” and “goodbye,” try placing toys in and out of the eggs. You can also use small dolls or cut out pictures or stickers of a favorite character.
Lastly, you can encourage your child to request items when the container is too difficult to open. Put a favorite toy inside of a clear plastic container and don’t open it automatically when your child brings it to you. Have them communicate at their level or higher (eye contact, vocalization, gesture or sign, or single word) to request for you to open it.
2. Play Doh to Practice Verbs and More
Play Doh can keep your children occupied for a long time by allowing them to create interesting sculptures and unique shapes.
Make things with Play Doh with your kids, and then ask them to explain how they did it and in what sequence (“first, I rolled the pink dough…”), as if they were teaching you. Model the language if your child is still learning.
- Play Doh can be used to make more than just sculptures; it can also be used to expand your children’s vocabulary.
- Take this opportunity to expose your child to:
- Verbs: close, cut, push, open, roll, crush, squeeze, and take out
- Adjectives: big, little, colors, soft, hard
3. Mirror Exercises with Dolls
Many children with articulation issues don’t know how to move their lips or shape their mouth appropriately to generate sounds. When they speak in front of a mirror, a child may watch how their lips move when making specific sounds; parents can correct them by modeling appropriate placement for and showing them the differences in the mirror by articulating each sound slowly and correctly.
If your child is feeling a bit apprehensive, you can show a doll or stuffed animal how to do this first. When your child is feeling more comfortable with activity, they can be the teacher and show the doll how to properly shape their mouth and lips to say a sound or word.
4. Become Actors in Your Favorite Movies
Watch movies with your child and then talk to them about what you have watched. You can modify what speech or language goals you target. For example:
- Model two word phrases like “big house” or “fast car”
- Describe an interesting character or object with adjectives like, colors, size, speed,
- Talk about what happened first, next, last
- Talk about the feelings of the characters
- What was the problem the main character had to overcome
- Create an alternative ending to the story and act it out
Talk to your speech language pathologist about how to modify this activity to address the goals you are working on.
5. Play With Blocks
The regular blocks you already have at home can support expanding your child’s symbolic play which is related to language development. When your child can use toys symbolically, they can understand that one object represents another. This is related to language development because language too is basically a series of sounds that represent the real world or concepts. The idea is that if your child can understand toys as symbols, they can learn language as symbols.
When using blocks, you and your child can stack blocks and pretend it is a mountain. Use a small figure to climb the mountain. You can stack a few blocks on top of each other and pretend they are trees.
Encourage your child to use their imaginations to create imaginary worlds or scenarios. You can incorporate other toys like figures or cars into the scenes as well to make them more interesting and complex.
Speech Therapy Exercises Work at Home
When parents are actively participating in a child’s treatment we know that children make progress faster because they have a purpose to communicate and apply what they learn in everyday activities. When a speech therapist coaches a parent directly in using the skills and strategies to help a child develop their language abilities, kids make progress faster and often graduate from speech sooner than kids whose parents are not involved in speech therapy.
Therapy Works Together – Online Speech Therapy for Children and Adults
We care about every child and adult achieving their speech, language and communication goals. You can start speech therapy online now with a certified speech language therapist. We’ll discuss your personal needs, develop an individualized treatment plan, and schedule affordable online therapy sessions online at your convenience.