Active kids, Sporty Kids, Sit-Down Kids: Take Turns for Speech Practice
December 15, 2019
Sneak in pockets of practice in active play and board games.
Welcome to Tuesday Talking Tips, a weekly blog all about helping you help your child share their awesome ideas in ways everyone can understand.
This week is our third in our series on how to turn everyday activities into speech practice opportunities. With the holiday season upon us, you might find yourself home more with your children, and you might have some new toys or games. Let's get ready to sneak some speech practice in amongst the fun!
Last week I went Live on Facebook to show you how to “Take Turns” to create opportunities for speech practice. I talked about how to do this with active play and board games so no matter what feeds your child's soul, you can do this! Here's how:
STEP 1: CHOOSE A GAME
We are using the term "game" loosely. In the classic sense, you might be paying a board game, or tic tac toe, or a card game. If you're doing this there are natural times to set it up so your child says some words or phrases at the level s/he is working at in between turns in the game.
We can do something very similar with active play. If your child likes to walk up your legs and flip over, you can get some speech reps in before s/he gets to walk up and flip (or you throw up into the air, or you lie on your back and lift him/her with your legs to do an airplane ride... you get the picture).
You can also do this with sports. You can do some speech reps before you shoot three times (basketball, hockey, soccer... you get the picture again!) This can be done outdoors if you have outdoor sport equipment - my driveway is full of it - or indoors if you have a little mini stick net, or a small indoor basketball net, or a lighter softer ball for indoor soccer shots.
If you're doing active play, you'll need to settle down and get your child's attention back when you're ready to help with sounds. Bring your child close to you, get down to his/her level, take a deep breath together, then get started.
STEP 2: CHOOSE A NUMBER OF REPS
You will want to choose how many reps you're going to ask your child to complete before moving onto the next turn. If the turns in the "game" are short (tic-tac-toe), you might ask for three words. If the turns are longer (three shots on the outdoor basketball net) you might ask for five to ten. This also depends on your child's focus and attention. You will be able to figure out what works - 10 reps for a longer stretch of active play might be more rewarding for one child, but another child might be discouraged by 10 reps. Use your parenting observation and intuition to sort this out for your little person.
STEP 3: CHOOSE WORDS AND CUES TO SET YOUR CHILD UP FOR SUCCESS
If you have a specific sound goal that you're working on, choose a word or a few words (or phrases) to practice and get ready with the cues your child might need to be successful. Choosing a goal, deciding whether to practice one word or a variety of words, and whether to work on words or phrases, and what cues to use can be a bit tricky, and is too much info for a blog post. My Speech Sound Synergy Digital Course breaks this down with just enough detail to set your child up for success without overwhelming you (shameless plug!)
Check out the video for more examples.