Headstart for Life

Fun Ways to Work with Your Child’s Speech – Part I


“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.

Sound level:

  • Take turns to roll a dice. The person has to say the target sound as many times as that corresponding to the number rolled before he can hop that many times along his race track. The fastest to reach the finishing line wins the game. You can even repeat the game for a few rounds so that your child can get more practice with the target sound.

Photo Credit: http://coynescrazyfunclassroom.blogspot.sg/2012/05/preschool-field-day-fun.html

Photo Credit: http://handsonaswegrow.com/hop-skip-jump-paper-plates/


Word level:

  • Print out pictures of words containing the target sounds and use them to form the race tracks. As the child hops on each picture, he has to name it. You can check with your speech therapist for the list of words or pictures you can use.

Photo Credit: http://speechmadesimple.blogspot.sg/2014/11/ideas-for-using-articulation-cards-in.html?showComment=1415584297211&m=1

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.

Sound level:

  • For each coin that your child finds, he has to say the target sound accurately before he can collect it. You can even come up with a reward system to motivate your child in saying the target sound. For example, for every 100 coins that he collects, he can trade them for a treat, such as his favourite ice-cream. In this way, the game can be played over many days. The more coins he accumulates, the more treats he gets.

Photo Credit: http://intheknowmom.net/ecofriendly-flashlights-kids-ecotronics/

Word level:

  • Instead of coins, you can hide pictures of words containing the target sounds around the house. Your child will earn one point for each picture he collects. He can then trade the points for a special treat.

Photo Credit: https://speechymusings.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/a-semester-of-articulation-therapy-ideas/

Your child will definitely be motivated to say the target sounds because he gets “paid” for being a detective for you!


3. Bowling

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!

Sound level:

  • For every bowling pin knocked over, the person will have to say the target sound. For example, if he knocks over 3 bowling pins, he has to say the target sound 3 times.

Photo Credit: http://ilovemarysmakings.blogspot.sg/2011/07/backyard-bowling.html

Word level:

  • You can tape pictures of words containing the target sound onto the bowling pins. The person will have to name the picture taped to the bowling pin which he knocked over.

Photo Credit: http://sweetpeasandpigtails.com/fun-ways-to-work-on-your-childs-speech-at-home/

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.

Sound level:

  • Before throwing the bean bag, the person will have to say the target sound.

Photo Credit: http://americanlifestylemag.com/tape/

Word level:

  • You can tape pictures of words containing the target sounds on each square.

Sh final

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!

"All the information on this site is for educational purposes only and does not replace the assessment and intervention of a registered speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist or any other medical or education professional."

About Danica

Danica believes that working together with parents and professionals will uncover the full potential that every child possesses. She is thankful for the opportunities to work together with each child and their families, and feels privileged for being able to witness and celebrate every step of progress that the child makes along the way.

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