“My child just won’t sit still and say the sounds that I want him to. It’s so hard.”
Does this resonate with you?
I often hear this feedback from the parents of children whom I work with. How many times have you tried getting your child to practice the speech sounds which he has difficulty with but to no avail?
Speech work is often repetitive and boring to many children due to the intensive amount of drilling involved. Many times, it can be frustrating for both the child and the parents. However, not to worry parents out there! We are here to help you out.
All children love to have fun. The best way to get them to willingly practise their speech sounds is to do so in games. In today’s blog post, I will share with you some activities which you can incorporate your target speech sounds in!
1. Hopping Race
This game can be played indoors or outdoors. Set up race tracks with hula hoops, paper plates or coloured paper which you can hop on.
The whole family – both the child’s parents and siblings – can play this game together. In fact, with more people taking part in the game, the child will not feel that he is the only one who has to practice saying the target sound, as both his parents and siblings are also doing the same!
Have fun racing to the finishing line with your little ones!
2. Treasure Hunt
Hide coins around the house and get your child to look for them.
To take it up the notch and make the game more exciting, you can even play it at night while dimming out the lights. Have your child pretend to be a detective and use a torchlight to look for the hidden coins.
Your child will definitely be motivated to say the target sounds because he gets “paid” for being a detective for you!
This is another game in which the whole family can play together. Take turns to knock over the bowling pins with the ball. The person who knocks over the most number of bowling pins wins the game.
If you don’t have bowling pins, you can always use bottles. Fill the bottles up with colourful water to make the game more interesting and challenging!
For younger children, you can even let them win the game deliberately. Chances are that they will want to keep bowling. The best part is that they will also get a lot of practice with the target sounds!
4. Tic Tac Toe with Bean Bags
This tic tac toe game will be played standing up so children who cannot sit still will get to move around. Take turns to throw a bean bag into the squares. The person who forms a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line with his bean bags first will win the game.
To make the game more challenging, and at the same time increase the opportunities for your child to practise saying the target sound or word, if a person’s bean bag lands in a square which is already occupied by the other person’s bean bag, then the other person will have to remove his bean bag and try again.
Speech work can be fun too! In fact, your children may be having so much fun that they may even forget that you are working with them on their speech sounds! Come back to HeadStart for Life’s blog soon for more fun and effective ideas!