Finding time to work on your child’s speech homework at home can be difficult, especially when life gets busy. It may seem like there is not enough time in the day to finish whatever chores you have around the house, on top of practicing your child’s speech goals. With suggestions from your SLP/SLPA, implementing speech goals into your regular routines throughout the day will be a lifesaver!
For articulation practice, using auditory bombardment (saying the target sound/word multiple times) will be extremely helpful. This can be done during play, with the caregiver narrating what their child is doing using those target sounds. Encouraging the child to imitate what the caregiver is saying will help target articulation goals without adding extra activities to your day.
If you need to practice tongue placement for a sound, it is a good idea to practice in the mirror to encourage proper tongue placement. Practicing speech sounds in the mirror after or before your child brushes their teeth is helpful because they are already in front of the mirror at this point.
Requesting can be targeted during mealtime and playtime, as well as any other activity your child may be interested in. Creating opportunities for your child to request desired objects/activities will help your child become more independent with requesting. Holding the desired object and asking your child to either use sign language or verbal requests to ask for that item will work wonders. For example, if your child likes to play with blocks, you can hold all of the blocks and when your child wants more blocks, you can encourage them to sign or say “more” or “please”. The caregiver can model the desired phrase by saying “say more blocks”. Modeling requests will give your child a great example of what is expected when you ask them to request. This also helps with using more than one word to make requests, the caregiver can say “more blocks” to build onto the child just saying “more”.
Another time that would be easy to implement speech goals is while you are reading a book to your child. After reading a page or so, you can ask questions that pertain to the goals your child is working on. This can help with articulation, pronouns, fluency, reading comprehension, and much more. You can make the reading go along with any goal your child may be working on. If your child really likes books, this may be a great opportunity to work on their speech goals without them even noticing they are working.
Even though life can get hectic, there are many ways to implement your child’s goals into your everyday routines. Again, if you need any ideas, please feel free to ask your SLP or SLPA for some new ideas. Give us a call at TEAM 4 Kids if you have any questions or concerns with your child’s development.
Kristyn Szakacs, SLPA