Generalizing new language skills is an essential part of speech therapy success that we can’t achieve without the support of parents and loved ones. In this blog, we are going to walk through five simple after school speech and language development activities for kids and families to help your child apply their new speech skills outside of their speech and language therapy sessions.
1 – Practice Your Child’s Speech Therapy Activities in the Real World
Okay, technically this one isn’t an activity on its own. Instead, it’s a recommendation to support what your child is learning during speech therapy in the home. Talk to your child’s speech and language pathologist regularly to find out what words they’re learning, activities they’re practicing, and other ways you can help you child apply their new skills outside of speech and language therapy sessions.
One way parents often seek to help kids progress is by correcting their child’s incorrect pronunciation. This can be beneficial, but we recommend that parents only correct pronunciation while children are practicing their skills and at specific times of day. So, maybe your child knows that during breakfast or on the ride to and from school, you’re going to correct any mispronunciations. The goal is to avoid overly stressing your child or making them fearful of speaking. It doesn’t feel good to have your speech constantly critiqued. We want to support their progress without overwhelming them.
2 – Lights Out Hide & Seek
If you have kids who love to play hide and seek and also need to practice some articulation words, try hiding cards with their articulation words around the house. Then, after dark, tell them to go seek out the cards with their flashlight and read them aloud. For extra fun, have your child use the words in sentences.
3 – The Alphabet Game
You’ve probably already played some iteration of the alphabet game on long car rides or to enhance your child’s enjoyment of things like museum visits. It’s the game where you take turns moving through the alphabet looking for things that begin with certain letters of the alphabet (extra points for all finding an “X” unless you’re at the xylophone museum!). You can play an adjusted version of the game by challenging your children to find and practicing saying the names of things that have specific sounds they’re struggling with. If your child has a tough time with “S” sounds, look for “S” things on your next drive and ask them to practice saying the names.
4 – Photo Scavenger Hunt
Okay, maybe we just like having people look for things, but another way to make practicing target words and sounds fun is to create a picture scavenger hunt of items around your home. Ask your child to take pictures of things with specific sounds they’re working on. Then, go through the photos and ask them to practice saying the word by telling you about where they found the item, what it is, and what they like about it.
5 – Shape Up
Creating things is always fun, and kids love working with modeling clay or dough. In this activity, we challenge kids to shape words they’re struggling with out of clay, and as they shape the clay or dough, have them practice saying the word. When they’ve finished, have them practice using the word in a sentence.
Schedule a Visit with Our Team
If you’re looking for a speech and language pathologist to support your child who’s having difficulty developing speech or is struggling to pronounce specific words, the Crossroads Speech Therapy team is here to help. When you’re ready to learn more about speech and language pathology services with our team, we hope you’ll reach out to schedule a consultation.