Better Speech 7 min read

9 Fun Poems Help Your Child Practice Speech

Practice Speech therapy for kids at home can be fun with simple poems. Here are 9 to get you started.

Rhyming out loud can be a great way to practice speech skills! Memorizing and reciting poems makes practice fun.

Why reading and rhyming are great for Practice speech therapy at home

First, a note about reciting and reading out loud and why it’s important. Every time your child reads out loud, she is practicing oral speech sounds.

In between your speech therapy sessions (like the virtual speech therapy offered by Better Speech), it’s a good idea to practice speech – oral sounds in order to help make your progress go faster.

Some ways to make this practice easier and give your child tools to use the next time she is reading out loud include:

Why reading and rhyming are great for speech therapy at home
  • When your child is reading out loud, use visual reminder cards to remind him of certain reading strategies. Simple strategy cards may be index cards or envelopes, with cues written on them, for example:
    • “Get your mouth ready” or
    • “Say what you see.”
  • Use positive language and feedback when your child makes a mistake. For example, if your child is trying to read the word “dog” and she says “og”, remind her that if she sees a “d” in the beginning of the word, her mouth has to make that sound.
  • For a fun project, write a book together! Kids will love reading books they’ve helped to write themselves. Start with beginning sight words (such as “I see ____” or “I like ____”) and follow with words containing the sounds your child is working on. For example, if you are working on “R” sounds:
    • “I see a racecar.”
    • “I see a rainbow.”
    • “I like roses.”
    • “I like raspberries.”
    • Then have your child draw a picture of each item on every page.
    • Have your child share their book with their Better Speech therapist at their next virtual speech therapy session!
  • You can also take a simple book that you own and replace the text with your own, targeting the sounds your child is working on.
  • In a book that your child likes, use a highlighter or highlighter tape to visually mark the sounds your child is working on. You can do this both in books your child is reading or in their writing, to draw attention to those sounds. If your child is old enough to understand, let them mark the sounds with the highlighter themselves, which will help them pick out and notice each sound they are learning.
Speech therapy for child and adult

Memorization and recitation tips for your child in virtual practice speech therapy

Memorization and recitation tips for your child in virtual speech therapy

Encouraging your child to memorize a poem (or a joke!) and then recite it for friends and family is a great way to get them excited about speaking in front of others and practicing their speech sounds. Here are some helpful tips to aid your child in memorization and recitation:

  • Make a mental picture. Ask your child to visualize each line or part of the poem, and remember that image each time they get to that line.
  • Make repetition fun! Recite each phrase in a whisper, then in a yell. Repeat it in a pirate voice, a robot voice, and a cowboy voice. Say it while marching or standing on one foot. Come up with other fun ways to practice rehearsing over and over, and ask your child for their ideas too!
  • Memorize in chunks. Poems are easy to break into lines or sections. Work on one section at a time, and then slowly put them all together.
  • Use visual reminders. These can include post-it notes, highlighting, pictures/cartoons drawn on the page, writing different lines/words/sounds in different colored pens.
  • Put it into your own words. Ask your child to rephrase or explain the poem in their own words. A great way to involve the family is to encourage them to recite and then explain the poem to younger siblings who might not understand poetry yet.
  • Teach someone else. Another fun way to involve siblings or friends, or even parents or grandparents! Have your child teach the poem they’re memorizing to someone else (even their therapist during a virtual speech therapy session!). Explaining the learning process and goals will aid in their own memorization and make them more familiar with the poem.

Poems for speech practice outside of virtual speech therapy

Here are 9 exciting poems to read out loud and/or memorize to make speech practice fun!

Hey Diddle Diddle
Author Unknown

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
by Jane Taylor

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Star Light, Star Bright
Author Unknown

Star light, start bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

The Purple Cow
by Gelett Burgess

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one,
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one!

by Laura Elizabeth Richard

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—

(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;

The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

Dust of Snow
by Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face
by Jack Prelutsky

Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.

Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.

Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.

Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.

Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place–
be glad your nose is on your face!

Mother Doesn’t Want a Dog
by Judith Viorst

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
Mother says they smell,
And never sit when you say sit,
Or even when you yell.
And when you come home late at night
And there is ice and snow,
You have to go back out because
The dumb dog has to go.

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
Mother says they shed,
And always let the strangers in
And bark at friends instead,
And do disgraceful things on rugs,
And track mud on the floor
And flop upon your bed at
And snore their doggy snore.

Mother doesn’t want a dog.
She’s making a mistake.
Because, more than a dog, I think
She will not want this snake.

by Shel Silverstein

“I cannot go to school today,”Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the m
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more—that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut—my eyes are blue—
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke—
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is—what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

Virtual speech therapy for your child

At Better Speech, we know that you deserve ideas and therapy that works for you and your family. We have experts in your child’s needs, and we assign the right therapist; not just the therapist that happens to be in your area. If your child needs extra help with their speech, ,schedule a free consultation for virtual speech therapy for kids with one of our dedicated speech-language pathologists today!

Adapted in part from an ,article on the ,American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website.