“She wouldn’t practice for us.”

How many times have parents had to report that their child refused to practice their speech since their last session? As SLPs, we emphasize our 30 or 45 minutes a week is only a fraction of the solution when addressing speech and language disorders.

Remember, practice does not have to be a LONG ordeal.

Remember! Practice does not have to be a LONG ordeal.

2-3 minutes of concentrated practice increases awareness more than you know!

Here are my TOP THREE ideas of how to incorporate speech practice at home for our younger kids!

Toddler Language Delay (18 months-3yo)

  1. Model what you want them to say! 1-2 words at a time. Big dog, wash hair, Mommy go!
  2. Imitate what your child says. If you hear “oink” you should “oink” right back! We want to teach your child communication is reciprocal, and a back and forth process.
  3. Choose 2-3 words for an activity to repeat. “Bubble, pop, up!” Keep language simple and repetitive. Too much language can overload little brains and mouths.

Preschool Articulation (3-5 yo)

  1. Have your SLP select 2-3 words to incorporate into play. A long worksheet of words will likely not go well with your child! 2-3 words that can be embedded into playing with legos, doll house, sidewalk chalk, etc. Even your child hearing correct productions will help increase self-awareness!
  2. Choose a repetitive game and practice 2-3 words TOTAL (recommended by your SLP)! For each ice block of “Don’t Break the Ice,” we say a word! First ice cube, “stop.” Second ice cube, “stay!” Third ice cube, “stand!” and we start over again. Keep it moving so it doesn’t feel like work.
  3. Establish a reward system for each practice session. Coins in a jar, stickers on a chart, whatever is motivating to earn a reward! *Rewards should be small* Consider 10 extra minutes of outdoor play, a toy from The Target Dollar Bin, a trip for water ice, etc.

Here are my favorite reward systems!

School age (5+)

  1. Select a time when your child is naturally talking to you. This can be at the dinner table, talking about their day, conversation in the car, etc. Take the time to ask them to use their best speech during these conversations! 1x a day will suffice!
  2. First speech, then ___. Let’s face it. Older kids want to go outside with their friends, play a video game, etc. You may have to treat this like another task, like homework.
  3. Have your child correct YOU. Set a timer for 2-3 minutes where they know you will be using “old sounds” and they have to correct you!

Need advice on whether or not your child’s speech and language needs intervention? We are available for a free consult!