Well, maybe not quite 101, but lots!…
If your child or a child you are working with is having speech sound therapy, it won’t take you long to realise that there is a lot of repetitive practise involved! It’s very likely that at some point you’ll be given a set of pictures or a particular sound or set of words to practise with your child. The tricky bit is keeping this motivating for your child (and you!) The best way to do this is to play as many games as you can. This post is all the ideas that we could think of games to play to practise speech sounds (part one – there are too many for one post!)
First of all, you will probably have been given a set of pictures by your child’s speech and language therapist. However, if you haven’t and you want a set of pictures of words for the sounds you have been asked to practise with your child, you can find some free to download here or here.
Now without further ado, the game ideas. I’ve split these into sections to help you find what you want:-
Games to play with just a set of pictures
- Ask your child to say the words, then post them into a postbox. If you don’t have a postbox, use a cardboard box to make one.
- Hide the pictures around the room for the child to find and say (a great game for kids who don’t like sitting still). If you’re working at sentence level, you could then ask your child to say where they found the picture.
- Spread the pictures out on the floor. Throw a beanbag or rolled up sock and ask your child to say the word that it landed on.
- Put the pictures in a bag. Ask your child to pull them out one at a time and say them.
- Put 4-5 pictures on the table. Ask the child to close their eyes and then take one away. Can your child tell you which one has gone?
- Spread the pictures across the floor (or even one on each stair). Get your child to jump from one to the other and say the words as they go.
- Stick the pictures up around the room. Say a word and get your child to run to the one you said. Then ask them which one they ran to. Otherwise get them to give instructions to you or another child to do the running!
- If you have two sets of pictures, play a game of memory pairs. Use 6 or so pairs of pictures, mix them up and spread them out face down on the table. Take turns with your child to turn over two pictures and say them. If they are the same, keep them. If they are different turn them back over. The winner is the one with the most pairs.
- Lay several pictures out on the table. Describe one of them and see if your child can tell you which one you were talking about.
- Find a soft indoor ball and a bucket or bin. Ask the child to say a word and then throw the ball into the bucket/bin. Older children often enjoy moving the bucket a little further away each time and seeing if they can still get the ball in.
- For a child who likes cars, lay out a long line of pictures like a road (or a track for a train). Get your child to drive their favourite vehicle over the cars and say the words as he drives over them.
- Buy a small magnet and make a fishing rod with a stick and a piece of string. Attach paper clips to the pictures and see if your child can “fish” for the words.
- If you are working at sentence level – split the pictures into two piles. Turn over two and see if the child can make up a silly sentence with those two words in.
- Again, for sentence level work, turn over two pictures and try to find a link between them. EG a car and a key go together because you open the car with a key.
You don’t need to buy anything special to practise speech sounds. However, you may find you have games like this in the house already, or want to buy something new. Basically any simple turn-taking game can be good to make speech work more interesting. It needs to be a game with short turns to that you spend more time practising than you do focussed on the game! The idea is that whatever game you’re using, you ask the child to say their word, sentence or string of words/ sounds before they take a turn. Here are some games I’ve found that children of different ages enjoy.
- Pop-Up Pirate Game
- Stacking Robots
- Flying Hats Board Game
- Jumping Frogs
- Any simple board game like Snakes and Ladders or this lovely variation of it from Orchard Toys.
- Tumbling Monkey Game
- Shark Attack
- Rocket Game
- Connect 4
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Mr Potato Head Fun Tub
- Stacking Tower Game
Read part 2 of this post here – ideas for games without picture cards, games for particular sounds and apps.