We published the first part of this post earlier in the week and it has been really popular. In case you missed it, you can check it out here.
Here are some more ideas of games to play to practise speech sounds. Firstly, some children really don’t like looking at picture cards. Our first set of game and activity ideas are great for these children:-
Games which don’t need pictures
- Go around the house with your child and find things that have the target sound in them. You could also collect them in a bag or box and use them to play the next game.
- Put the set of objects in a bag. Get your child to feel inside and try and guess what the object is. Pull it out and see if they were right.
- Draw things that start with the target sound and see if your child can guess what you’re drawing. If you have a child who likes to draw, see if they can draw the pictures, or if they want to colour them after you have drawn them. Make sure you talk about the items lots and create lots of opportunities to say the sound you are practising.
- Images are really easy to find now on the internet. However, kids still love cutting up catalogues and sticking. Find things in catalogues and magazines which have the target sound in. Get your child to cut them out and stick them on paper to make a book or poster. Then they can show it to other family members and tell them all the things that are on it, giving them more opportunities to practise the sounds.
- Have a “word of the day” which is one of the words your child is working on. Point it out whenever it crops up throughout the day.
- Play Simon Says with your child, and make sure you use the target sound lots. For example, if you were working on words beginning with “f”, you could say “touch your feet” or “touch your fingers” or “pretend to feed the cat”! You need to make sure you ask the child what they did afterwards, otherwise you are practising the sounds, rather than them!
- If you have an older child who is able to do this, play “I spy” and use the sound your child is practising lots. Alternatively, you can do this more as a description game, describing words with the target sound in eg “I spy an animal who says miaow” or “I spy something you put on before you go outside”.
- My daughter loves bath letters at the moment! We have Edushape Fish ‘n’ Spell Bath Toy where she has to fish out the letters to make words. If your child enjoys this sort of thing, you could see how many “f”s (or whichever sound your child is working on) you can fish and then spell out or think of words starting with the sound.
The rest of the ideas in this section are not so much games, but they are other practise ideas:-
- Have 5 target words stuck up on the fridge to remind you all of what they are.
- Counting can be great for speech sounds (especially “f” and “s”).
- Just point out the words as they occur in everyday life. Don’t do this every time but a few words each day in everyday contexts can be really helpful.
Games which are good for particular speech sounds
- Snap is great if your child is practising s-blends.
- Snakes and ladders can also be good. I particularly like this space version from Orchard Toys which has lots of words with s-blends in (spaceship, slide, spin etc)
- Some books can be really good for repeating particular speech sounds. For example, I love Dear Zoo if I’m working on “b” as we say “back” at the end of each page and then “bye” to each animal.
- Orchard Toys Pigs in Pants has lots of “p” words and words with consonant blends.
- Some simple matching games can be good for working on CVC words. For example, picture dominoes often have lovely simple objects to match.
The first thing to say about Apps is a word of warning. The ones I’m going to list here are some of my favourites but they target very different things at very different levels. If you are a parent, please don’t spend money on an app unless you are sure it is going to be appropriate for your child. Also, with the larger apps, there is often an option to buy just one or two sounds rather than spending money on a lot of things you don’t need. Here are some apps I use a lot when working on speech sounds however.
- Speech Stickers
- Articulation Station
- Photo Articulation
- Speech with Milo board game
- NACD apraxia apps
There are also some lovely apps which can just be used as general turn-taking apps to keep motivation going. My favourite of these in Lazoo Squiggles, but there are lots of others. Or games like Angry Birds can always make a good bribe to sit down and do some concentrated practise for a few minutes before playing!
I’m sure there are loads more games to practise speech sounds that we haven’t thought of. Please add your ideas in the comments here or on our Facebook page too!