Learning a new speech sound is like learning to play an instrument or any new hobby or activity: it takes consistent, daily practice. In order to make the most out of home practice, here are some important guidelines to keep in mind:
Practice activities should be fun!
o Play matching games or Go-Fish with practice pictures
o Point out pictures in storybooks that have the practice sound
o Practice words while playing a board game or tossing a ball around
o Hide practice cards around the room and go on a scavenger hunt for them. For extra fun, turn off lights and use a flashlight to find them!
o Make a bingo game using practice pictures
o Draw a hopscotch game in the driveway and practice words every time you jump in a square
o Cut out magazine pictures that have the practice sound and use them in an art project, such as collage
o Make a silly sentence or silly stories with your practice words
o Describe, draw, or act out words with practice sounds and take turns trying to guess the target word
o Play I-Spy. Take turns trying to do anywhere- in the kitchen, the car, the grocery store, etc.
Stay mindful of how and when you are correcting your child’s speech sounds:
o Learning a new speech sound is hard work! Acknowledge and validate your child’s efforts, frustrations and successes
o Use correction sparingly and in a positive tone. Praise the child’s effort as
well as their speech production. Use comments such as, “That was close, could you try it again with a clear ____sound?” and “Good trying!”
o Try not to ask the child to correct a sound more than once at any given time – this can be frustrating and counter-productive
o Limit the number of people in the household giving correction. It can be overwhelming and annoying to the child to have too much feedback.
o Give positive feedback when you do hear the sound correctly. For example, you could say, “Wow, I just heard you make a great ____ sound!”
o If you see the child becoming frustrated take a break from giving corrective feedback
o Dedicate a specific time of day for 5-10 minutes of practice
If you need more ideas/guidance for home practice, share your questions/concerns with your child’s speech-language pathologist!