Ideas for Home

Here are some ideas of easy things you can do at home with your child to work on their speech sound. If cards are needed, you can use cards you've gotten from me or this blog, or make your own!

Blind Person  
Cards are laid out face down in front of the person with their eyes covered or blindfolded.  The person feels for a card and picks it up.  The seeing person says, “You have a                  .”  The blind person says, “I have a                      .”  Continue on till all the cards are picked.  Then trade places and do it again.

Description Bingo  
Lay all the cards face up in a rectangular shape.  The parent says, for example, “Turn over the one you cook with.”  The child turns the card over and says, “It’s a ____.”  Continue until all cards are played. 

Puzzle Pieces   
If you are using homemade cards, you can cut the cards into 2 parts in puzzle shapes.  Your child then puts together the two pieces after s/he says the word 5 times.

Either from a pile, or from the cards scattered on the table or floor, you and your child pick up the cards, talking about each one.  In this way the practice is over when all are put away.

Lay the cards out like footsteps leading to some sort of surprise.  Your child, in stocking feet, steps on each one only after s/he says what’s on the card.  S/he progresses in this way to the surprise at the end of the cards.

Go Find  
Lay the cards face up around the room and ask your child to find a certain card.  Once s/he finds the card, s/he says, “I found the               .”  Continue playing till all the cards are found, then trade places.

Where Are You Hiding?  
Place the picture cards face up on a table.  While your child hides his/her eyes, choose a picture under which to hide a small coin.  Your child tries to guess which card the coin is under.  S/he says each card before s/he is allowed to peek under it.

In My Imagination
Ask your child to pretend that s/he is the object or person on the card.  Ask what it would feel like to be that person/object.  Ask for 5 good productions of the word as well.

Do You Remember?  
Lay cards on the table face up.  When your child has had an opportunity to see them all, turn them over without mixing them up and ask the child to guess the name of the picture you’re pointing to.  When your child is correct, s/he can keep the card.  If s/he is not correct, place the card on the table again, face down.

Fill in the Blank   
Put the cards in a pile.  Turn them over and, while reciting a familiar song or nursery rhyme, use each card when a silence is left where the word will be silly, but somewhat fit.  For example:
--Old MacDonald had a farm, and on that farm he had a                  .
--The itsy bitsy                         went up the                            .
--Jack and        went up the              to fetch a pail of                     .

Tell Me a Story  
Each time your child chooses a card, have him/her tell you a 30-second story about the picture or word.  Emphasize good productions of the target sound, and as much action and descriptive detail as they can pack into 30 seconds.

Listening Ears  
Spread the cards out, and tell your child, “Find me a card that                  .”  For example, you can ask for a card that has a /gr/ sound, or that has two /s/ sounds, etc.  This increases your child’s phonemic awareness and discrimination.  Have him/her then say the word as they hand you the card.

Miles of Piles  
Spread the cards out, and ask your child to give you all the cards that                   .  For example, all the cards that have people, that are red, that can run, that smell good, etc.  Each time s/he hands you a card, ask for three good productions.  Continue until all the cards have been categorized.

All in a Row  
Line up four cards in a row.  Ask your child to name them all.  Then your child closes his/her eyes, and you mix up the order.  Ask your child to put the cards back in the original order, saying each one as s/he goes.

What’s the Story? 
Give your child 3-4 cards.  Ask him/her to make up a story using all the cards, and encourage good productions of each target sound.
I’m in Charge!  Spread out the cards on the table.  Your child says, “Point to the               .”  Point to that card.  Or, you can sometimes purposely point to the wrong card, and have your child correct you by re-saying the right card.

Stand By Me   
Place some cards on the floor around the room.  Ask your child to stand by, in front of, or behind a card.  Ask him/her, “What are you standing by/in front of/behind?” 

Have your child choose 3-4 cards and put them out on the table.  Then ask him/her for a clue, so you know which one to pick up.  For example, s/he may say, “Find the one that barks.”  See how many clues you need from your child to finally pick up the right card!  J  Encourage as many good productions of the target sounds as possible.

May I?  
Spread cards out on a line across the room.  Your child asks you, “May I step on the                   ?”  If your child says it correctly (or makes a good attempt), say yes.  If not, have him/her try again, after a good model from you.

Play Ball!  
Let your child toss a ball, beanbag, etc. into a basketball hoop, empty garbage can, bowl, etc. each time s/he has a good production of a sound.

Bases Loaded  
Make a baseball diamond by using any of the following (depending on how much room you have):
On a big piece of paper or a poster board
On a table
With four chairs as bases.
Put a small stack of cards at each base.  “Pitch” the first word to your child.  If s/he says it correctly, s/he gets to move to first base, and pick up one of the cards at first base.  If s/he says that correctly two times, s/he can move on to second base.  If s/he says the second base card correctly three times, s/he can move to third base.  For a home run, your child needs to make four good attempts/productions.  If your child really isn’t trying on a production, count it as an ‘out.’  See how many runs your child gets before s/he gets three outs.

On the Line  
Place cards in a line on the floor.  Let your child toss a penny, and say the name of the card that the penny lands on.

Sketch a simple bingo game sheet with your child’s target words in the squares.  Using your cards, let your child be the ‘caller’ and draw a card.  Once s/he makes 3 good productions, s/he can put a token in the corresponding Bingo square. 

Go Fish  
Make two copies of each flashcard.  Play a simple game of Go Fish with your child, encouraging 3 good productions per turn.

Using pairs of cards, spread them out on a table and encourage your child to clearly say his/her target sound each time s/he turns a card over.  When s/he turns over two of the same, s/he gets to keep them.  When you turn over two that match, you get to keep them.  See if your child can get more pairs than you.  Have him/her name your cards as well, or you can deliberately mis-pronounce them, and then have your child be your ‘speech therapist’ and correct your ‘errors.’  Kids love this role reversal.

Shout it Out  
Using shuffled pairs of picture or word cards, take turns with your child placing one at a time face-up in a pile.  When two in a row match, the first person to yell the name of the card correctly gets to keep the pile.

Let’s Go Fishing! 
Attach a paper clip to each of the cards.  Arrange them face down on a blue posterboard to look like fish in a lake.  Tie a string to a pencil, and then tie a magnet onto the other end of the string.  Use the ‘fishing pole’ to catch ‘fish,’ and name each one as you catch it.  See who can catch the most fish in 10 minutes.

It’s for You!  
Using a pretend phone or cell phone, tell your child a pair of his/her target words.  Then ‘answer’ your phone, and talk about one of the objects without directly naming it.  Then ask your child to name which object you were talking about.  Hang up, and then call again with another pair.


The Magic Spot
For each sound, your child’s tongue or teeth should be touching a certain spot.  For example, for the F sound, your child’s top teeth should gently bite the lower lip.  This is the magic spot for that sound.  Once you know the magic spot for your child’s sound, you can help them locate it by placing a small amount of peanut butter, honey, or a smushed Skittle on that spot and let them practice the correct placement. 

Indy 500
Use your child’s target sound as your “engine” noise, and race around the house, backyard, driveway, etc. getting as many good productions as you can from your child.


Vowel Power
Say the long vowels with your sound in front of them:
A          (bait, bat)
E          (beet, bet)
 I          (bite, bit)
O         (boat, bought)
U         (boot, but)

At first, don’t include the final consonant.  As your child becomes adept, include the final consonant as well.


Mad Libs
Using familiar songs, poems, or story lines (Harry Potter, etc.), ask your child for simple nouns (person, place, thing) to fill in the blanks.  The nouns should contain his/her target sound.  For a more advanced challenge, ask your child for verbs or adjectives containing his/her target sound(s).  Then have your child read the finished product aloud using good productions in between giggles.  I have some Mad Libs you can use if you’d like to.

Follow the Dots
For each correct sound production, you and your child could connect the dots on a mystery picture.

Treasure Hunt
Find objects in your house that have the target sound in them.  For example, if your child is working on S, s/he might find soap, scissors, grapes, forks, a pencil, etc.

Tic Tac Toe
Find pictures, or if your child is reading, print words in the tic tac toe squares.  Use different-colored chips or other tokens rather than drawing X’s and O’s so you can re-use the boards.

Art Project
Do any art project your child enjoys.  Your child has to ‘earn’ art supplies by saying a certain number of words for each one (for example, 3 words for a new crayon color, 5 words for scissors, 10 words for glitter, etc.).

Make collages using pictures from magazines, or pictures you draw yourselves, of objects that contain your child’s target sound. 

Theme Meal
Brainstorm with your child to create a simple meal that includes foods which have your child’s target sound(s).  When you are eating the meal, practice the sound by saying, “Please pass the…”

Road Trip
While you are traveling around town or on a trip, find as many things as you can which have your child’s sound in them.  Make it a competition and your child will find many more!  Say them each five times or until you find the next thing.

Ice Cream Sundae
As a special treat, allow your child to build an ice-cream sundae by saying a certain number of his/her target words correctly before s/he gets to add each ingredient, starting with bowl, spoon, scoop of ice cream, topping, etc.  You decide how many sound productions per food item).

Board Game
Play any one of your child’s favorite board games, but before s/he can take a turn, have him/her say a certain number of target sounds or words correctly.

Read to Me!
While reading to your child, ask him/her to make a gesture (smile, point, make a silly face, etc.) each time s/he hears her target sound.  If your child is reading, have him/her read to you and together point out the target sounds so s/he associates the sound with a written context.  Before you turn the page, have your child make three attempts at the target sound.

Silly Language
For about five minutes, have your child say everything they would normally say, but each word has to start with their target sound.  For example, “Ri, Rom, row rare rou?”  (Hi Mom, how are you?)  Or every word has to end with the target sound.

Sing together with your child, emphasizing the target sounds.  Sometimes singing the sound is easier for the child than speaking it.  You might be surprised!

Pretend you are going on a trip, and in your backpack you’ll bring…and then take turns naming things that start with your target sound.  Each person has to say all the items previously said so far as they continue building the list.  For example, if one person says a bike, then next person might say, a bike and a ball, and then the first person would say, a bike, a ball, and a bag.

Setting the Table
Have your child help you set the table.  Each time s/he sets down a cup, napkin, spoon, etc., have him/her say his target sound.  If it is correct, praise him/her.  If it is incorrect, model the correct production or provide some tips, and have him/her try again.  Always reward good effort, even if the sound isn’t yet correct.

Shaving Cream Art
Spray some shaving cream around on a smooth surface.  With your child, draw pictures with your finger that contain your child’s target sound.  You can each guess what the other is drawing.  Make sure to include plenty of repetitions of the target sound while you draw and guess.

Simon Says
Your child is Simon.  Each time s/he gives you a command to follow, it should contain the target sound somewhere.  Only obey the command if it includes your child’s target sound.  If it doesn’t, don’t move, and remind your child that if s/he includes the target sound(s) in the command, you will automatically obey it.  This can get pretty hilarious.

Nature Walk
Go for a short walk with your child around the neighborhood or park, and point out things that contain your child’s target sound.

Simply by counting together, your child will typically get several chances to say his/her target sound(s).  This also works with saying the alphabet, days of the week, months of the year, etc.  Emphasize them as they come up.

Names, Names, Names
Think of everyone you know – family, friends, extended family, pets, neighbors, classmates, teachers, etc. – who has a name that includes your child’s target sound.  Say each of their names 3-5 times emphasizing good productions.

Have your child think of everything s/he can in one minute that starts with/ends with/has the target sound in the word, in the following categories:
Foods, Places, Clothes, Animals, People
Things that are… (red, short, wet, boring, scary, etc.)

Have someone leave the room while you hide a small object that has your child’s sound in it.  When the person comes back in the room, say the name of the object repeatedly as the person gets closer to where it’s hidden.  If the person is walking away from the object, say ‘not name of object‘ until the person changes direction and finds it.

While playing his/her Uno card, have your child say his/her target word as many times as the card says (1-4).  After several turns, switch to a new target word.

Rhyme Time
Make a list of rhymes containing your child’s sound in final position.

Say As I’m Saying
To the tune of “Do As I’m Doing,” have your child sing, “Say As I’m Saying.  Instead of singing “follow, follow me,” insert some of the child’s target words.  Let your child decide how to sing them – fast or slow, high or low, loud or soft, etc.
The Planet                
Help your child draw a picture of a city or a planet where everything starts with the targeted sound.  Draw and say only things that have your letter.

Most of the above games can be expanded to the phrase and sentence levels by asking your child to give you a complete phrase or sentence, rather than a single word.  In addition, here are some more games:

Tongue Twisters
With your child, think up a funny phrase using several words that contain your child’s target sound(s).  Practice saying them well, then see how fast you can speed up and still articulate each sound well.  Have a family contest, and let your child feel like s/he’s the expert about producing this sound.


Hypothetically Speaking…
Ask your child to talk to you for 1-3 minutes on any of the following topics, emphasizing good sound productions throughout: 
If I were the principal…
When I grow up…
The best day of my life…
It would be really scary if…
If I had a million dollars…

What’s on TV?
Cut out the middle of a posterboard to resemble a TV screen that your child can sit behind.  If you want, draw some knobs on the TV.  Ask your child to make up a newscast using his/her target words/sounds.  Make it as dramatic and serious or fun and silly as you can!


Detective Work
Listen to someone talking, reading out loud, singing, telling a story.  Every time they say the sound, clap your hands, make a mark on your paper Detective Work.  See how many you get in 5 minutes.

My Homework is to Watch TV!  Really!
Have your child watch his/her favorite TV show or movie, and listen for target sounds.  S/he can mark each one on a piece of paper.

1 comment:

  1. This list is fantastic!!! Thank you so much for putting it together!