Activities

We've used the following activities in therapy and provide them to you so you can see the types of things we usually do when working with your child. We often recommend carryover activities so ask your SLP for companion activities you can do at home (for example, literacy is tremendously important and we highly recommend using books to work with your child).  

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Buckets of Fun!

A phonetic lesson plan.

What You Need:

  • Three small buckets/bags,

  • Flashcards of words with targeted sounds (if you’re doing Core Vocabulary, use the words from their target list).

  • Label the buckets “perfect!” “almost there” and “not quite”

How To Play:

  1. Have the child do a practice round with their target words, where you provide feedback on correct and incorrect productions of words.

  2. You, as the clinician, go first and read through each flashcard. make sure you do some words for each bucket and really overemphasize mistakes. have the child correct you.

  3. Have the child rank your productions of each word and place it in the appropriate bucket.

  4. Tally your points at the end of the round for the child to compare.

  5. Then have the child go through and you rank them on their productions and provide appropriate feedback as necessary.

  6. Have the child re-read through the list and have them self-select the bucket the words should go into.

Tennessee State Standards:
1.Fl.Pa. 2
“Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds”
B. Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds in spoken single-syllable words.

This activity works perfectly to support first grade word level learning and practice.

Lesson Extensions:

  • This activity can also be modified so the child progresses from sounds in isolation, to words, to words in sentences, and to words in conversation.

  • This could also work in a group; students rate each other’s productions or create a healthy competition between students to most improve their productions.

 

Bowling for Words

A phonetic lesson plan.

What You Need:

  • List of target word/sounds/sentences made into small flashcards

  • Bowling pins 5-8

  • Bowling ball or a soft ball that can be rolled to knock down pins

How To Play:

  1. Clinician will set up the bowling pins with a flashcard underneath each bowling pin.

  2. Child will roll the ball down to knock pins over.

  3. Each round, the child reads each word under the knocked over pins (or alternate back and forth who reads them).

Tennessee State Standards:
K.FL.PWR.3
“Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills when decoding isolated words and in connected texts.”

- Read common high frequency words by sight.

This activity allows the clinician to practice functional words for a child that are high frequency to them in a fun and playful way. The addition of a motor component helps to decrease the child’s boredom when they are practicing a word over and over.

Lesson Extensions:

  • If the child bowls a strike, only let them count the points if all of the words are correct.

  • Work on spelling by breaking up the words under the pins into letters. The child has to knock over all the pins to get all the pieces to put together words.

  • With each word, the child could expand into phonological skills by providing a rhyming word to the word under the pin.

 

Word Scramble

A phonemic lesson plan. 

What You Need:

  • Flashcards with each letter of the alphabet, (2 copies of each to be safe)

  • Part of words

  • Score sheet

  • Flashcards with initial, final, or medial letter-sound missing

  • timer/stopwatch

How To Play:

  1. Give the child five partial word cards.

  2. Set a timer for a time appropriate for your child (30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, etc.,).

  3. The child makes as makes as many words as possible, using the single letters to fill in the missing sounds on their word cards.

  4. Make sure the child tallies/writes down the number of words they get for each card.

  5. Play with five different word parts.

  6. Calculate the total score. Compare the score from each session to gauge progress over time.

Tennessee State Standards:
1.FL. PA. 2
“Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds.”
- Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds.

This activity allows the child to playfully explore how phonemes can be manipulated to make new words and how they can use rhyme to figure out other phoneme sequences in words. This is an activity for typical first-graders and could be easily modified to be more or less difficult based on your student’s needs.

Lesson Extensions:

  • Challenge the students to use the flashcards to make multiple opposition words

  • Make nonwords and have them segment the sounds

 

Memory!

A phonemic lesson plan.

What You Need:

  • Set of flashcards with target sounds in isolation, target sounds in a word, and target sounds in a conversation

How You Play:

  1. Choose the level your student can access and the reach level (i.e., sound in isolation, sound in word).

  2. Go back and forth playing memory like you typically do.

  3. A match is when the child matches the sound in isolation (or whatever level you are using) to the sound in the level above it.

  4. Make sure you and the student read each card you turn over regardless of whether it is a match or not.

  5. Students can earn extra bonus points with correct production of what is on the card.

  6. Play until all the cards are matched.

Tennessee State Standards:  
K.FL.PA.2

“Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).”

This activity allows the child to practice target sounds, the sound in words, and the sound in sentences in a fun way with lots of repetition. Because the clinician is also playing, they are also receiving auditory bombardment of the targets.

Lesson Extensions:

  • Include all levels to make a three-pair match

  • Make an additional set with blank cards where the child has to produce their own match after turning over the first card

  • Have child match rhyming words

 

Fox in Socks!

A literacy lesson plan.

What You Need:

  • A copy of “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss

  • Picture cards of the different animals and objects in the book

  • Cards of rhyming words in the book

How to use the book for Speech Sound practice:

  • Read through the book and give the child the picture manipulatives at the end of each page, or after the first rhyme have the child fill in the second rhyme using their pictures.

  • Have them match the pictures to the their rhyme before you even read the book.

  • Have the child read the book to you.

  • Tell the child to raise their hand or clap or do something fun when they hear a rhyming word.

  • Make errors when reading and have the child catch you and make the rhyme or the word production correctly

Tennessee State Standards:
K.FL.PA.2
“Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds”
-Recognize and begin to produce rhyming words.

This activity has rhyming written all over it! It’s great for kids to hear rhyme, make rhyme, and analyze rhyme all in one book!

 

Fox in Socks narrated by David Hyde Pierce.

 
 

Llama Llama Red Pajama

A literacy lesson plan.

What You Need:

  • Copy of Llama Llama Red Pajama

  • Pictures of the items in the book (pajamas, llama)

  • Consonant flashcards from words in the book

  • Felt board or dry erase board

What to do with the book:

  • Read through the book, having the child read the repetitive parts with you

  • Read through the book and leave out the final or initial consonant of a word on each page and let the child fill in the consonant.

  • Brainstorm a list of all the words that rhyme with certain words in the book

Tennessee State Standards:  
1.FL.PA.2
“Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds.”
-Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in multiple phoneme words.

Lesson Extensions:

  • Have the child make their own rhyming book giving them another word like “cat”

  • Let the child retell the story and mispronounce words and have you correct them (and vis versa)

 
 

Songs

Songs are a great way to get kids talking. What's more, they stimulate a part of the brain that isn't as prominent in conversation. Singing songs can help children who are stimulable for a sound become more consistent. We recommend songs like: Down by the Bay or even a sing-a-long to Llama Llama Red Pajama. 

 

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth is written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, an Irish artist living in Brooklyn. It is a new book as it was just published in November of 2017. This book is about living on earth as a member of a community with other people, animals, and our environment. Upon the realization newborns know nothing, Jeffers started making notes for his newborn son to teach him what he knows about living in this world. Once he started writing, he realized a book was possible.

Themes of the book include being aware and taking care of the environment, the people, and the animals on this earth. The message is a reminder that the earth is the only place where all of us live and we currently have no option to go anywhere else.

The book could be appropriate for children ages five through nine and could be a simple bedtime story, but could also be used as a gateway to science and sociology lessons.

Ages: 3 years to 11 years

Appropriate Audiences:The book would work well with many populations including children who are deaf or hard of hearing, children with autism, and children with AAC devices.

 
As a Speech Therapist, I think it’s sometimes easy for us to overlook the negative impact a speech sound disorder can have on a child. But when we fully appreciate how giving them accurate sounds gives them the confidance to speak in the classroom, with their peers, and out in the world, it’s truly impactful what our field does in the area of speech sound.
— Speech-Language Pathologist

 

Read about why we incorporate so many literacy activities in therapy.