Child: I fotted.
Clinician: That has an /r/ in it.
Child: I farrrrted. On purrrrpose.
- Auditory bombardment
Read a list of words that contain the target sound to the child and have him/her listen, or you can pre-record the words on an audio recorder and have the child listen with headphones.
- Review location/placement of sound
Ask the child to remind you how the targeted sound is made (i.e. m is made my closing the lips, turning the voice on, and having air flow through our nose). Practice making the sound using the review. Use a mirror for visual feedback.
You can modify all of the following activities for any sound. The tips located underneath games can be incorporated in most cases, as a general tip for all activities.
Aiming at Articulation:
Option 1: Use flashcards (homemade or bought) of pictures or words with targeted sound in them. Hang them on a wall or scatter them on the floor. Use a toy foam sling shot, rubber bands, or a soft ball to try and hit one of the cards. The client has to correctly articulate the card he or she is aiming for before shooting at it.
Option 2: Instead of naming the card the child is aiming for before shooting, the child calls out the card s/he hit or was closest to.
Tips: If currently targeting at the sentence level, have the child make up his/her own sentence for a challenge. If child has language goals (i.e. correctly using subjective pronouns), have him/her also include that in the sentence.
Bowling for Articulation:
Option 1: Attach cards with target sound to plastic bowling pins and have the child bowl over the pins. As s/he picks the pins up, s/he must correctly articulate each word (a certain number of times) attached to the pins.
Option 2: Set up the bowling pins and stand by the child with the flashcards that contain the target sound. Have him/her say target before bowling.
Tips: If the bowling pins are extremely cheap, they will not stand up easily. You will have to splurge a little to get a better set. Save yourself the frustration!
Articulation Bean Bag Toss:
Option 1: Place your cards that contain the target sound in a row on the floor. Call out a word on one of the cards. The child stands a challenging distance from cards and tosses his bean bag (or object of interest) at the card called. The child says the word (phrase or sentence) the bean bag lands on.
Option 2: Have the child choose which card s/he is aiming for and say it a certain number of times (or in a created sentence) before tossing the bean bag.
Option 1: Place your cards that contain the target sound in rows on the floor (like a Bingo card would look). Have a set of cards for yourself that match the cards on the floor. Just like Bingo, grab a card from your pile, have the child call it out, then have the child place a Bingo chip (can use large checkers) on the called out card. To challenge the child, have your own set and play against the child, yet still allowing the child to call out the cards. Once the game is finished, the child calls out the words on the winner’s “winning card”.
Get pipe cleaners and pony beads. Have the child grab a card with target sound from a pile and name the picture, word, or read the sentence (a certain number of times). Once the child has named the card with correct production, s/he can place a bead on the pipe cleaner. S/he can keep the bracelet as a reward at the end of the task.
Each person has five cards with pictures, words or sentences that begin with the target sound. Take turns asking for a card from the partner by name the picture or reading the word/sentence of something in your hand. Try to get a match. If the person you ask doesn’t have your card, they will say “Go fish” and you must draw a card from the pile. If a person runs out of cards s/he must grab 3 more from the “Go fish” pile. When no cards are left, add up your matches. The person with the most matches, wins.
Cover an articulation card with a plain index card or piece of construction paper and slowly unveil it. The client has to guess the card (and correctly articulate the word) before the picture is totally revealed.
Hide N Seek:
Take turns hiding pictures or words of target sounds. When a picture/word is found yell out the word. For phrase or sentence level, use in a phrase or sentence. Example, “I found a ___.”
Let’s Hunt for Eggs:
Photocopy the stimulus pictures selected for training. Fold the photocopied stimulus items and place them inside several plastic eggs. Hide the eggs around the room area in visible spots. After the client finds an egg, instruct him to say its target word a selected number of times. The client must say the target sound correctly the number of times indicated before he can find another egg.
Let’s Toss Some Eggs:
Number the spaces in an egg carton. Use cards and place them in a 2 rows of 6 (similar to the egg carton layout). Have the child toss a paper clip into the carton. S/he must say the target the number of times indicated. A picture card can be used to evoke the target word or sentence.
Uncovering the Big Picture:
Put a picture of an object or cartoon character on a piece of poster board covered with contact paper (or laminated). Cut up pieces of construction paper and tape them over the picture to conceal it. Ask the child to say his sound or word a given number of times. If the child says the word correctly the predetermined number of times, he is allowed to remove a piece of paper to reveal a part of the picture. The activity continues until the entire picture is revealed.
Option 1: Place a certain number of cards with target sound in a row and have the child say the words. Then, have him/her close eyes, and switch the order. S/he must put them back in order and say them again.
Option 2: Once cards are placed on the floor, have the child name them, then close his eyes. Remove one of the cards, have the child open his eyes and name the missing card.
Option 3: Write the number 1, 2, 3, etc on square pieces of papers as place markers and lay them in a row. Place cards under the numbers and have the child name them. Then have him/her close his/her eyes and place the cards in a box, pillow case, hat, etc. The child must grab a card, name it, and place it under the correct number that it started under.
The child selects two articulation cards from a deck at random and has to put both in one sentence with correct articulation. The sillier the sentence, the better!
Option 1: Create an obstacle course using articulation cards. For example, place three articulation cards in a row. Then have a picture of a challenge (could be a one- two- or three- step direction) on it next to that card. Then have three more articulation cards in a row, following by another challenge. The child must name the cards with correct productions, then complete the challenge. Have the child play the first time and use a timer to mark how long it took to complete the task. Have him/her do it again and try to beat his/her own time.
Option 2: Jump in and out of a square five times, then say targeted words. Do five jumping jacks, then say words. Write three words with target sound, then say words. Make a ball in a basket, then say words. The child can race against him/herself or can race against another player.
Print off the beginning of a sentence with the target sound embedded throughout, and have the child draw a card (that contains the target sound) and place it at the end of the sentence. Then, have him/her read the sentence (i.e. “Theo thinks about ____.” thimbles, Thursday, Thanksgiving, etc).
Option 1: Toss several cards with target sound in the air. Have the child place as many body parts (elbows, hands, fingers, nose, etc) on as many cards as s/he can. S/he must say each one that s/he touches.
Option 2: If you have a twister game handy, place articulation cards on each of the colored circles. Tape the words from the articulation cards on the colored circles of the spinner (they must be printed very small). Play twister as you normally would (i.e. place your left on the red cat).
Articulation Traffic Jam:
Set up your articulation cards as a road with twists and turns. Grab some toy cars and as you play, have the child say the words as s/he drives over the road. You can even set up road blocks, and as the child comes to a road block s/he must say a word a certain number of times or a tongue twister. If you’re working on other goals, you can address these goals at the road blocks (i.e. following directions, asking/answering questions, etc.).
Kids are Teachers:
Grab a few toys (I like to use Toy Story characters and a few wind-up toys). Set them up in a circle and tell them that today we are practicing /insert sound here/. Then say, “Ok guys. Listen up! XXX is going to show you how to make the sound first, then you get to practice!” So, use cards and show them to XXX and have him/her produce sounds. Once he/she has done it, say, “Now it’s your turn to try! Who wants to try first.” Wait for the kid to pick someone, and we’ll start with them. Either model or ask, “What’s this?” and the child will act like the object producing the sound. Then give a token to praise the toy for correct production. If the child gets it wrong, you can say, “Buzz (or toy’s name)! You forgot your /s/! Try again.” Move to the next object/toy and do them same thing over and over. Then once you go through the tokens, the kid can demonstrate for the toys again. And so on. It’s like they’re playing but working.
Fun Ways for eliciting sounds:
Put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc (desired number for target number of responses) in a box, hat, etc. The child must draw a number, which determines the number of times s/he will say the target sound.
If targeting at the sentence level and your child can read, create silly sentences or use tongue twisters. Cut the sentences into strips and place them into a box or hat. Have the child draw a sentence and read it out loud.
If you have any more general ideas, send them my way to my email (find in my contact section) or add into the comments section above the title!