Using Common Items for Speech-Language Development

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Speech

On a budget? No problem! There are many daily routines and household items that can be used for speech and language development. Here are some examples of how we can easily target multiple skills from the comfort of our homes.

Getting Ready: Vocabulary

  • Naming objects and functions. Toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, wash cloth, sink, etc. when brushing teeth
  • Clothing items: shirt, pants, sweater, etc. when getting dressed

Play time: Following Directions

  • Use one-, two-, and three-step directions when preparing meals
  • Use temporal terms such as: first, then, next, after when cleaning up or learning to play a new game

Mealtime: Vocabulary, Verbal Requests, Verbal Protests, Yes/No Preferential Questions

  • Vocabulary – Identify/name foods in different categories such as breakfast, lunch, dinner to expand vocabulary skills while eating meals
  •  Verbal Requests – Model verbal requests by saying what you want. Short sentences and phrases such as ‘I want ___,’ ‘I need ____,’ and ‘more ___ please’ help children understand those phrases are associated with getting what they want.
  • Verbal Protests – Purposefully give child foods that they do not prefer. Model how to protest by saying things such as ‘No peas please,’ ‘No thank you,’ etc.
  • Yes/No Preferential Questions – Ask your child yes/no questions such as ‘Do you want more?’ Prompt them to respond using verbal language, ASL signs, and/or picture cards/AAC symbols

Story Time: Answer WH- questions, Pronouns, Articulation, Phonological Awareness

  • Answer WH- questions about the story – Decrease the complexity by asking questions immediately after events occur in the story. Increase complexity by delaying questions and prompting the child to remember story elements.
  • Pronouns – Discuss the pictures on each page. Ask questions such as ‘Is this a he or a she?’ or Who’s shirt is this? Is it his, hers, or theirs?
  • Articulation – Practice articulation skills by strategically choosing stories that have target sounds such as /b/ for Brown Bear Brown Bear and If You Give a Moose a Muffin for /m/. Prompt child to fill in familiar phrases, identify words that include their target sound, and practice speech sound targets throughout the story.
  • Phonological Awareness – Pick stories that have rhyming words throughout. Pause when it is time to say a rhyming word, and encourage the child to fill in the blank. Great books to use are: , Sheep in a Jeep, Llama Llama series books,  Pete the Cat series, and various nursery rhymes.

Daily household items and routines can be used to work on speech-language development. If you have any concerns with your child’s development, give us a call at 1-800-376-3440 to schedule an evaluation.


Kenedi Hobson, M.S., CCC-SLP