Sundara Kesavan, Speech and Language Pathologist (ROH)
Children love to play with party blowers, bubbles, harmonicas, pinwheels, etc. Blowing is a great activity to strengthen oral motor skills. For more advanced blowing activities try “Blow Pens” or blowing paint through a straw and have your child create artwork while blowing. Straws are also fun for blowing in water. You can have your child make waves & wind to blow tiny boats in a small tub/pail of water, pool or bathtub.
Choose a page from a coloring book. Make copies of the page. Color your picture (don’t let the child see it) and then give them verbal directions on how to complete their picture (i.e. “color the fish purple”). When the child is finished compare the two pictures to see if they are the same. You can also reverse this game & have the child be the one giving directions.
Tape picture onto a rolling pin. Have the child roll the pin until you say “Stop” – then the words/pictures face up are the ones they must say.
This is a great way to practice irregular plurals. Show the child a picture (or the object), such as “mouse” and say, “I say mouse.” Then give the child a picture of 2 (or more) items, such as “mice” and then you have them say, “I say mice.” Continue to model & the child will generally catch onto the switch from singular to irregular plural.
Pick a category (furniture, pets, etc) & give clues to determine what the mystery word/item is and see if the child can guess the mystery item. You can also reverse the game and have the child give you clues. For example if the word was “chair” you could say, “You sit on it, it has 4 legs, it is a type of furniture, etc.). This is also a great car game.
Take an empty coffee can & cover with wrapping paper. Cut a slit in the top of the plastic lid. Have the child say a target word (from a small card) and then place the item in the can through the slit in the lid. Then have the child say the word again while speaking into the slit in the lid, this will make a fun “echo” sound they will enjoy.
Bounce a balloon & try to keep it in the air. Each time the child hits the ball they have to say a target word.
Use regular game boards & have child produce a target word before each turn or have your child design & make their own game boards with various themes. For example, if your child is working on “s” they could draw a game board about things to do in the “SUN” (target words/pictures could include: sun, surf, skate, snowball/snow cone, etc).
Let your child search through old magazines for pictures that have their target sound in them & then cut & glue to large piece of paper to make a collage.
Cover a picture card with a plain index card & slowly unveil the picture. The child tries to guess (and correctly articulate) what it is before the picture is completely revealed.
Child selects 2 picture cards from a deck at random & then has to use both in a sentence together (sentences can be silly).