PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

Why does your child’s therapist send you homework to practice?

Here’s why: Imagine you’re training to run a marathon. You cannot expect your body to be able to just get up one day and run 26.2 miles. It takes training. You have to slowly let your body adjust to running a little further, and a little further…and a little further, all while each muscle becomes increasingly stronger. We can take this concept of training and apply it to our speech and language skills. We cannot just learn our “s” sound one day and be expected to easily say sentences like “Silly Sally sold sea shells by the seashore”. It takes a lot of practice!

How can you incorporate speech sound and language practice into your everyday activities?

Everyday. Even the smallest amount of practice on a daily basis can really help children to say those tricky sounds or master their language skills. Here are some examples of how you can help your children’s speech and language skills grow through everyday practice!

Game time.  Family game night? Have your child say their word 5 times, practice a sentence, or answer a question, before they can roll the dice, or take their card. Have the whole family practice too! It’s a great opportunity for practicing their skill and having the family model it as well. This concept can apply to so many activities!

  • Try this before throwing a ball: “Tell me ‘go ball’”. Then throw the ball.

  • With bubbles: “Where do you want the bubbles? Up or Down?” “oh up! Let’s say ‘big bubbles up’”.

  • Candyland: “Let’s say ‘shoe’ 5 times. Great job! Now go ahead and take your card!”

 

Book Time. Reading a book before bed? Pick a book that’s loaded with the speech and language skills your child is working on.

  • If your child is working on speech sounds, there are many sound loaded books out there. For example, you can practice and model “k” in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault.

  • Is your child working on expanding sentences? Try Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Eric Carle to work on sentences with a color modifying an noun (i.e., “I see a green frog”).

  • Ask your child reading comprehension questions. “Who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “why” can all be incorporated into reading time with your child. You could also ask your child to retell the story. Ask “What happened?” or “Can you tell daddy about the story we read?”

 Shopping and Errands. When you take your child grocery shopping, try some language activities, such as, “Look at all of the fruit! Let’s name them!”

  • You can work on categories and vocabulary at the grocery store! Try, “Let’s name all the fruits”, or “Can you name all the snacks?”.

  • Practice those “wh” questions! “where are the apples?” “what kind of crackers do you want?”.

  • You can work on greetings and social skills as well! If the cashier says “hi!” you can model saying “hi” or “good morning” back. Have your child say it too.

 Daily Routines. Daily routines are filled with language opportunities!

  • Following directions can be targeted all day long. Give your child some two step directions to follow throughout the day: “put your toys away and then sit at the table” or “go pick out a book and climb into bed”.

  • Vocabulary can be targeted throughout the day. Does your child like to help you in the kitchen? Talk about everything you are doing to help them learn some new vocabulary words. “I have to get the big bowl and a wooden spoon. Let’s add the butter and sugar. Mix, Mix, Mix.”

At the park. The park is a perfect place to work on location words!

  • Play a game of hide and seek, or explore the play structure together. “Let’s go up the steps” “let’s go down the down the slide”, “Look, Mommy is hiding behind the slide!”

  • This is also a great place to work on playground vocabulary, such as “see saw”, “swings”, “slide”, etc.

Word of the week. Pick a specific word that your child and therapist have been working on. Maybe you are practicing using “I” in “I want”, or working on “k” in “okay”.

  • Whenever you hear your child saying “me want” help them to say “I want”.

  • If you hear your child say “otay” for “okay”, remind them how to produce the “k” sound, and have them try again. Tell them what a good job they did when they finally get it!

Talk to your therapist about a word that you and your child could work on for the whole week!

These are a few of many things that you can do to help carryover the skills your child is working on in therapy to home and community environments Remember, just like training for a marathon, you cannot run 24 hours a day. Make sure your child gets a break too! Try for 5 to 10 minutes of practice everyday.

 Need some more ideas? Talk to your therapist! They can give you some specific ideas based of your child’s goals.

 Books sometimes are loaded with certain sounds.  Click here for a link with a list of books to work on specific sounds!

Need some practice words? Ask your therapist what sound might be good to practice!  Also ask them where in the word you should be practicing them. Should it be at the beginning, middle, or end? In sentences or just words?

Here is a website that has worksheets to practice after your therapist has instructed you on the specific sounds and placement.

MOMMY SPEECH THERAPY

 

 

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