It’s very typical that eventually, your child will show resistance to sitting down and doing homework-type practice with flashcards or worksheets for speech practice, reading practice, or vocabulary expansion. In addition to recommending targeted practice for families that will help their kiddo progress with therapy, I also recommend ways to incorporate practice into everyday routines. By practicing in shorter, more frequent bursts, your child will begin to show more carry over with their skills. Plus, you won’t be putting up a fight every time you mention the “P” word! (PRACTICE! EEK!).
Here are five of my favorite resources and ideas for incorporating your child’s practice into everyday routines:
1. Door Hangers
Place it on the door of a frequently visited room, and have your child complete a task before entering or exiting. You can write or print, both ways are awesome! Writing the target words alone can lead to more practice, or you could allow your child to draw the pictures themselves. If your therapist sends homework, you can tape it to the hanger, or simply tape it on their bedroom door.
Try using this template
Plastic paper covers make great placemats, or snack mats. Using these mats, you can slide in speech homework that your therapist sends home and have your child practice for one meal out of the day or at snack time. They also work as great dry erase boards that kids can color as they say the target pictures and/or words.
Check out this placemat at Amazon that will work wonderfully!
3. Tablet or Phone Lock Screen
We are all guilty of giving screen time to our children, so take advantage of this huge motivator. Take a photo of your child’s speech words/homework and have them practice before being able to unlock the device.
Do you read each night with your child? Tuck your child’s word list inside the book and say the words before or after you read. This is a great way to practice and it makes for a useful bookmark!
5. Mirror and Dry Erase Marker
If your child loves the mirror, then this one is for you! Take a dry erase marker and write your child’s practice words on the mirror. Each time they go to the mirror, have them say their words. Plus, they are looking at their face while saying their words — a great feedback tool. A popular time to perform this activity is teeth brushing.
Using these fun resources, you can target and practice any of the following:
- Speech Sounds: write the target words (pictures optional), then practice, giving feedback to correct sounds as needed.
- Vocabulary: write the target words with a picture, teach the words, then quiz by saying, “Show me…”
- Sight Words: write the sight words, teach the words, then quiz by saying, “That says…”
Submitted by LLA Therapy, which offers speech-language, physical, occupational, behavioral, and music therapy at its clinics in Fairlawn, Hudson and Medina. LLA is committed to guiding all individuals toward quality therapy solutions to improve the lives of their patients and their families in a collaborative, nurturing and supportive atmosphere. For more information, visit llatherapy.org