Speech activities

For children with Special Needs

Speech and language activities

Speech activities help if your child is struggling to express themselves, or form words correctly there are a number of ways in which you can help them to improve their language and oral motor skills.

These games are so simple and fun, and can keep children occupied for hours, especially during a long drive:

Oral Motor activities

These speech activities will help strengthen jaw control, for better articulation of words, and for the child that drools’s excessively, you will see a major improvement.

  • Blowing bubbles
    You are never too old to have some fun. Children love blowing bubbles and this activity is especially good for improving breathing control and exercising the lip muscles.

    Using a straw Start by having your child suck a ‘thin’ liquid through a straw, like apple juice or water. Once they have mastered this, start using thicker liquids like milkshake. (Thicken the milkshake by adding yogurt or ice-cream.) Alternate by having your child suck faster or slower through the straw.

  • Brushing
    The following oral motor activity is for tactile stimulation. This means that the areas you are brushing is stimulating a muscle area by touch. Use a tooth brush, starting with a baby brush, as these are softer and brush the child’s lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, inside of cheeks and upper and lower pallet. If your child is particularly sensitive, start these activities by using your finger only. (Speaking from experience, watch your fingers, your little one will bite!)

  • Licking Activities
    Put some ice-cream on a cone, and let your child lick the ice- cream. As the ice-cream starts to melt down the cone, children must only use their tongue to lick up the drips, not their lips. Rub some peanut butter or syrup on their lips and let them lick it off. Vary this activity by only putting peanut butter on the sides of their mouth, in the middle of the lips or just under their bottom or top lip and encourage them to lick it off.

  • Funny faces
    Pull funny faces at your child, using mostly your lips and jaw. You can grin, stick out your tongue, and move your jaw or just your chin from side to side Let your child have a mirror to watch themselves pulling funny faces, or have a competion to see can pull the strangest or ugliest face.

Language skills activities.

Try some of these great speech activities to improve both memory and articulation:

  • Who am I?
    Take a picture of a famous person or characters that your child like. Start by asking questions that only require a yes or no answer such as ‘Am I a movie star?’ am I fictional?” as you gather the clues you can start guessing which character or personality you are.

  • Memory game
    Depending on your child’s age and abilities, put either cards with words or pictures onto a table. Let them have a look at the cards for a minute or two, and then cover them with a cloth. They can write, draw or say what was on the cards. You can also time how long they have to look at the cards and how long they have to give the answers.

  • Tongue twisters
    Print or write a whole bunch of tongue twisters, like How much wood can woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Or, peter pepper picked a peck of pickled peppers, a peck of pickled peppers peter piper picked, fold them and place them into a container.

    Pass the container around and everyone gets to pick one and they get to say it a couple of times, going faster and faster. This is a great speech activity for articulation.

    Speech and Language activities
  • Sentence strings
    With this game one person starts a sentence and going around the table everyone adds to the sentence. The next person has to recite the whole sentence and what was added on the correct order. Like this: I went to the zoo and I saw….a bear, a tiger, a penguin etc. You can also use places like, I went to supermarket, I went to the park, I went on a safari etc This activity is great for memory, articulation and phonics.

  • Silly Songs
    Sing silly songs varying the speed and volume. Song with actions are always fun, and increase the volume of the word where an action is applicable. Good songs to practice on are ‘the wheels of the bus’, ‘old MacDonald had a farm’ and ’99 bottles of beer on the wall’.

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