How to: Make Speech Practice Fun!

As a speech-language pathologist, I strive to make my therapy sessions engaging and fun for the kiddos I work with. How do I do this? Play!

Play-based therapy is a technique that may not only have your child looking forward to speech, but it may also allow them to receive benefits beyond their core target goals.

There are several benefits to play-based therapy; this type of therapy can truly capture a child’s attention and when they are more engaged and motivated, they are likely to learn and retain more information. Playing games and participating in activities often requires children to take turns, a skill that is important for them to develop in order to interact with peers.  It also provides children opportunities to practice initiating interactions, engage in conversations and ask questions if they need help. Beyond that, play encourages language skills such as following directions and sequencing tasks. Finally, participating in games exposes children to winning and losing and provides opportunities to discuss how one should have good sportsmanship and respect for others.

This may all sound great, but are you still wondering how all of this can be done along with a child’s core target goals, whether those are articulation, language, pragmatics, comprehension, etc.

Well, see if any of the games or activities below would interest your child: (Activities are listed with possible core target skills)

 

  • Blowing bubbles – Asking questions, speech sound production, gestures (more, open)
  • Guess Who – Asking questions, speech sound production /s/, /z/
  • Play Dough – Receptive and expressive language, speech sound production
  • Pretend food – Categories, describing, speech sound production
  • Toy cars – Speech sound production, antonyms, describing
  • Blocks – Prepositions, following directions, speech sound production
  • Battle Ship – Receptive and expressive language, speech sound production
  • Music – Expressive language, speech sound production, describing, fluency

You can do it too, when at home with your child working on their target skills, ask yourself “what can we do to make this fun and exciting?”

Written by speech-language pathologist, Katie George