Articulation Practice Homework
- By Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP
- Thursday, February 27, 2014
15 Ways of Making Articulation Homework Fun at Home
How many of us speech and language pathologists have heard parents reporting “He did not want to do his speech homework”? I am guessing all of us! Motivation is the key for children to practice speech drills, and sometimes incorporating speech therapy or speech homework into a fun activity or game can make a difference. Below are some fun ideas for incorporating speech drills into different games/activities at home:
- Board games: This is a classic way of drilling with flashcards. This can be easily implemented by parents at home, as most children own some type of board game. The parents should also play the board game with the child so it is more motivating and special for the child. The parent should also draw an articulation flashcard and say the word to provide the child with auditory reinforcement of the correct production. The parent might want to say a word incorrectly on purpose once in a while so the child can catch him or her and correct the error - this teaches self-monitoring, and children love it when adults make mistakes and they can correct them.
- Memory card game: This is another simple way of making speech homework more fun. The parents simply use the flashcards provided by a speech and language pathologist to play a memory game. The child uncovers the flashcard and tries to get a match while doing articulation drills.
- Hopscotch: Parents can play this game in two different ways. One way is to actually draw a hopscotch court with a chalk outside or to draw one on the piece of paper. The child will throw a rock or a paper wad (when playing the paper hopscotch) then say the word multiple times from the flashcard determined by the number the rock or the paper ball ended on.
- Bucket ball: Parents can play this game using multiple small buckets or cups. The targeted words are written on pieces of paper that are rolled into small balls. The child draws a paper ball, opens it and reads (or repeats) the targeted word. When produced correctly, the child can crumple the paper back into a ball and throw it into one of the buckets/cups.
- Egg hunt: Parents can write targeted words on pieces of paper and put the pieces inside plastic eggs. The child is asked to find the hidden eggs. Upon opening an egg, the child reads (or repeats) the words inside the egg.
- Lights out: Parents hide flashcards or written words on pieces of paper in a dark room and ask the child to find them using a flashlight. The child drills with the found words.
- Make up silly stories: This can be played by the whole family. Each family member draws a few flashcards or written words and makes up his or her own story. (Older children can write them down.) The family meets after a few minutes to listen to all the stories. The stories can be audio or video recorded so the child then can retell each story for more practice.
- Word challenge: This also can be played by the whole family. Each member is asked to come up with as many words as possible, starting or ending with given sound, within two minutes.
- Make up silly songs: Similar to making up silly stories but this time the child and/or family are asked to make up songs.
- Design your flashcards: This art project involves creating personalized flashcards with targeted words. The parents and children can draw, color in or cut out pictures from the magazines to create their own cool flashcards. Parents and children can then trade their cards to practice different phonemes (sounds) at the carrier phrase level (e.g., “ I will trade my rocket card with you,” etc).
- Design your own board game: This is another family art project. Children can create their own board games by drawing a board game inside a folder and decorating it with stickers, etc. The child plays his or her own game while drawing flashcards.
- Guess what?: The parent describes the targeted words and the child guesses the word (for example, “It is a yellow animal that quacks”).
- Draw or act out words: Same as above, but the targeted words are acted out or drawn.
- Design your own magazine: The child and parents can use the articulation flashcards provided by a speech and language pathologist or their own materials to create a magazine. The child is asked to come up with different short “articles” containing the targeted words.
- Create your own newsroom: Similar to the above, except the child is video recorded telling news stories involving targeted words. For example, the child could be asked to come up with news stories using the words “raccoons,” “rake” and “rain.”
Virtual Speech Center Inc.
Does your child receive speech therapy at school or at a clinic?
Do you have speech words to practice at home?
If practicing your speech words has become more of a challenge than it seems it should be, take heart. As a speech language pathologist (SLP), I want you to love your speech homework. Read on for 5 SLP approved tips for keeping speech time fun at home. These tips are designed for children ages 4-8, and are ideas to increase fun while practicing your speech words. Let’s get started as I aim to help you make your speech homework fun!
First, a Caveat…
Let’s start with an important note (bear with me). In speech therapy clinic, we do more than just work on speech sounds. We help children with a wide variety of skills. In fact, SLP’s scope of practice includes a variety areas. SLPs can help with vocabulary, grammar, listening skills, social skills, voice, swallowing, and more. Many people know SLPs work on developing speech sounds (articulation). However, our area of focus doesn’t stop there.
That said, articulation work is an important part of this work. Speech sound work (articulation skills) help children be better understood. In addition, when children speak with clarity, they can share their thoughts. Articulation practice is rewarding, and can be fun for children, parents, and clinicians!
Make Speech Homework Fun – Love Your Speech Homework!
When children are working on saying specific sounds, (for example, a child says the “b” sound for the “v” sound) your speech language pathologist may give you some homework to continue practicing the skills you practice in speech clinic. This articulation homework may be given as lists of words, phrases, or sentences. This homework can also be sounds to practice in story retell or in conversation. If you are looking for a good resource for articulation word lists, Mommy Speech Therapy has some great worksheets here.
How To Make Speech Homework Fun
Now that you’ve got your homework, read on for five tips to make articulation homework more fun for preschool and early elementary school students:
1 | Use Humor
Use humor. “Don’t say _______ (word or sentence)!” or “I can’t hear you say ________ (word or sentence)!” Make a big deal of pretending to be upset (Oh no! I can’t believe you said it!), with a smile on your face in a playful manner (so your child knows you are kidding). This doesn’t work for all children (some children may not get the humor), but this trick is worth mentioning because for a many children, this game will result in laughter.
2 | Use Movement
Children often learn best with movement in play. Try: “Touch the couch and say _______!” “Hop to the kitchen and say __________!”
3 | Earn Puzzle Pieces
If your children like to do puzzles (most of my clients do!), earn one piece of a puzzle for each speech word or sentence.
4 | Pair with a Preferred Activity
This doesn’t work for all children, but sometimes a child can do a preferred activity (like coloring), and say their speech homework quite well at the same time. This works well for seated work and less well for distracting activities (you can’t say your speech words well and watch TV, of course!).
5 | Take a Break
If you need it, take a break. Yes, I said it! Sometimes, if speech homework really is causing frustration, take a break and come back to it. Remember, speech homework should be enjoyable (and not a battle of wills). If you are a client of mine, I really do want you to love your speech homework. Sometimes, that means cutting yourself some slack and skipping a week of homework. We’ll survive.
If all else fails, talk to your SLP.
If you have speech homework and it’s going well (or isn’t), make sure to connect with your speech language pathologist. As an SLP, I want clients and families to have a good experience building your child’s communication skills both inside my clinic (for speech sessions) and outside my clinic (for homework practice).
Finally, get out there and give these tips a try! Here’s to hoping you and your child have a fun and enjoyable time in your articulation practice.
I hope this blog post has helped you come up with ideas to make your child’s articulation homework more fun. My pediatric speech therapy clinic serves children who live in or near the Rogue Valley. In fact, working with children to produce clear speech sounds is one of my favorite things to do. If you are looking for a pediatric speech therapy clinic in the Rogue Valley, visit my contact page.