Children love to play games. You can play many games with your child which create fun opportunities for supporting their speech development.
When working on a child's speech, one of the tools I use are 'picture cards'. This is because most children learn better with visual support. Picture cards are simply cards with pictures of objects with the target speech sounds which a child is working on. For example, below are picture cards which I've used to teach children to say the 'c' sound at the beginning of words.
There are plenty of picture cards (for all sounds of the English language) which you can download free on the internet, or you can even make your own picture cards with your child as a fun and creative activity at home. Once you have your child's picture cards ready, here are my 8 favourite speech games below, which you can play with your child:
1. Word hunt: You can do this at home by hiding the cards around the room. When your child finds a card, they can practice saying the word in a short sentence with the correct sounds.
2. Games with counters: Start by turning the picture cards face down on the table. Take turns to flip a card over and place a counter (use a different colour for each person's counters) on the card when the sounds are produced correctly in the word. Once every card has a counter on it, count who has the most counters on the cards - that person wins.
3. Ball games: Thinking of words that start with a target sound before taking a turn to throw / kick the ball.
4. Bowling: stick one picture card on each bowling pin. Each time your child takes a turn at bowling, they can practice saying the words on the pins that fall down.
5. Post-it: Your child can make a 'post-box' at home, where they can 'post' a picture card each time they say the word correctly.
6. Magic bag: You can start by placing all the cards in a bag. Then taking turns to pull one card out while closing your eyes. Practice saying the word on the picture cards in a sentence.
7. Fishing: Place a piece of Velcro on the back of each picture card and on the bottom of each fishing rod. Take turns ‘fishing’ for a picture card. Each time you catch a picture, practice saying the word in a phrase.
8. Memory matching: For this you will need two copies of the picture cards. Turn the cards over so that the pictures can’t be seen. Then take turns turning over two cards each, saying the words on each card and keeping the pairs that match.
Playing games with picture cards are a great way to stimulate and support your child's speech development at home. Taking turns during these games will give your child constant modeling, as well as opportunities to practice saying their sounds correctly in words and sentences.
Have fun and speak soon!
The Expat Speechie
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