Speech therapy activities to do at home with your child

Speech therapy activities to do at home with your child

Here are three speech therapy activities to try at home with your child.  It does not replace therapy and should not replace therapy.  These are simply EXTRA ideas to do when you are home, playing with your child.


1.  Do Not Have the TV on in the Background. 

The background noise can actually make it harder for a child.  Contrary to what many think, TV in the background does not enhance development.  According to JAMA Pediatrics, “children with frequent television viewing…would have delayed development of meaningful word speech.”

 In one study, American children between ages of 6 and 12 months were exposed to native Chinese speakers in person and to the same native Chinese speakers on video. The infants who had real people interacting with them recognized and responded to specific phonemes, and those exposed to the video did not. What this seems to show is that human interaction appears to be critical in the complex process of language development.  But when the TV is on, parents tend not to talk as much to their children. And given that babies learn language from live people—particularly their parents!—having the TV on could be detrimental to that process. ~Expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston.


2.  Teach Sign Language. 

There are studies to show a correlation between sign language and speech.  If nothing else, it stops the huge frustration that children are feeling.
I focus on the biggies: more, mine, help, Mommy, Daddy, please, thank you (please & thank you are added in there just to teach your little one good manners!)   However, instead of simply teaching “more” teach him or her “ball” (or the name of what you are playing with) each time he wants “more ball”. If he’s hungry he could request eat or the specific food. This motivates children more.
Typically when children first begin to talk it’s by requesting the actual item or action such as ball, milk, blanket, mamma, daddy, car, doll. Requesting things they can see will be easier to learn and understand in the beginning.

3.  Make Printable Magnets for Your Refrigerator.

Add magnets that has his favorite things  (juice, cereal…) and when he wants something, he can bring that to you. (make sure he can’t choke on them.

How to make them:  I use a large flat magnet paper.   I glue a white sheet of card-stock on it and cut into squares.  I then draw pictures onto them with the things that your child might need: cup, food, bed, favorite toy, etc…  We are trying to ELIMINATE frustration because kids with a speech delay often become frustrated easily.  (wouldn’t you?)

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