I often get asked ‘what can I do to help?’ support speech development.
Here are some of my top tips that you can choose to do at home…and they don’t cost a penny.
- Model back the correct sounding word – Model back the correct sounding word. For example, your child may say ‘dain’ instead of ‘train’. The adult says back emphasising the word ‘I can see a train’. This provides the correct model of speech.
- Syllable clapping – Clap the syllables within words. You may want to do this in games such as; what’s in the bag? pairs, looking for items in a book. Clapping syllables helps auditory input/discrimination, encouraging children to listen to specific parts of sounds within words.
- What’s the sound? – Within an every activity encourage children to listen to sounds within their environment. Instead of playing ‘I spy with my little eye’ you may want to play ‘I hear with my little ear…’ Some parent’s may play sound lotto type games or match the musical instrument. Again, this helps auditory input/discrimination, encouraging children to listen to specific sounds within their environment.
- Songs/nursery rhymes – Singing songs and nursery rhymes are all great for helping develop early speech and language skills, supporting attention and listening skills.
- Sound play – Model sounds in motivating activities. For example, you may want to model the sound /p/. Get some bubbles and every time you pop a bubble model /p/ sound.
- Use gesture – Using gesture or holding items up to your face can help children look at lip/tongue movements. Within speech therapy, I use something called cued articulation which is a specific technique used to support children’s understanding of lip and tongue placement, air flow and the type of sound they are producing.