Tips for Practicing Speech therapy at Home with your Kids, along with Fun Recipes!
Speech therapy practice can be done at home, with minimal to no preparation, and with a little creativity it can be fun and effective. The easiest opportunity is around meals or snacks.
Speech Practice at Mealtime
Here are some activities to do around the table:
- Requesting Foods – The amount of language you expect your child to use should be based on his current skills. Try to make your child use slightly more language than he is currently comfortable with. If your child has trouble asking for things at all, a single word (the name of the food/drink) is the best thing to shoot for.
If the child uses one word to request (“cookie”), make him use a two-word phrase to request (such as “want cookie”). If your child has more language, you can have him ask using a full sentence with correct grammar. You could also have your older child say the name of the person he’s speaking to so he gets their attention before speaking (e.g., “Mom, could you pass the green beans please?”).
- Talk about your day – If your child is older and has language, ask your child to tell you about what she did so far that day. Whereas, for younger children or children who have more difficulty with language, try asking very specific questions about their day, such as “what did you eat for lunch?”
You may want to start with questions that you know the answers to so you can help them if they get stuck. For older children, try sequencing events from the day by talking about what happened first, next, and last.
Fun Recipes to Practice Speech
Sometimes we just need to sit down and play a little with our children! Here are some “cooking ideas” and ways to incorporate speech and language with your children:
Donut-hole breakfast skewers: Summer is a time for colors and picnics, even at breakfast-time. Donut-hole breakfast skewers are fun to make and imagine your children’s eyes all big with huge smiles…when they see donut holes on a stick with fresh fruit and dips to go along!
Items to purchase:
- Donut holes (Entenmann’s are great or Dunkin Donuts work too)
- Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries (or any fruit of preference)
- Caramel sauce and chocolate sauce (you can use others too if wanted)
While you make the skewers, you can talk about textures, smells, and tastes. You can also talk about how the foods feel with your hands or in your mouth. Exploring foods with your hands is another great for picky eaters who aren’t ready to taste a food yet. You can talk about the pattern you or your child made with colors and shapes, or whether the food is sweet, salty, sour, crunchy, chewy, juicy, etc.
- How do the strawberries taste? “The strawberries taste sweet.”
- How does the caramel feel? “The caramel feels sticky.”
- What do the blackberries feel like? “The blackberries feel juicy.”
- What shape is the donut hole? “The donut hole is round.”
- What color is the chocolate? “The chocolate is brown.”
Ice Cream Sundaes:
These are a great summer treat as well. Pick up your child’s favorite flavors of ice cream and toppings at the store. You can talk about the colors, shape, numbers, size of the scoop of ice cream, and types of toppings, as well as discuss how you plan to eat it — whether in a cup or a cone.
- What color is the ice cream? “The ice cream is white.”
- How many scoops of ice cream are there? “There are three scoops of ice cream.”
- What shape are the sprinkles? “The sprinkles are stars.”
- How do you want to eat your ice cream? “I want to eat my ice cream in a cone.”
You can practice the speech sound “s” by using words such as, “sundae,” “sprinkles,” “strawberry,” or “scoop.” Say these words out loud as you add each item to the sundae. You can also work on making a sentence focusing on the sound “s” by having your child say, “I am putting sprinkles on my sundae.” This is a great way to practice your child’s speech without them even knowing it!
We hope this gives you some ideas about how you can work on speech and language during meals and snacks. If you do not have a speech language pathologist yet, and would like a free consultation with one, click here and set one up at your convenience https://betterspeech.as.me/consultation.