This is the day that I share a tip based upon my experience as a pediatric speech-language pathologist (SLP) and a mother of a child with special needs.
Today's tip is:
Articulation Practice with Objects
There are numerous ways to help a child who has articulation errors. Whether your child has difficulty producing the /s/ or /r/ or /b/ sound, there are many ways to practice this at home under the direction of the a speech-language pathologist.
Perhaps you have found a flashcard set targeting your child's sound. Great! Maybe your child's SLP has sent home worksheets for you to keep practicing at home. Wonderful! But, what if your child is bored with that? Or, what if you are a SLP looking for something else to do to practice these same old sounds again?
When I first started out working in a school district, I created dozens of these sound containers (pictured above). I purchased an embarrassing amount of Tupperware, labels, and then went rummaging around the house and stores to find things to put in them. I loved using these sound containers with the children! It changed up the sessions and gave us all a break from some drill and practice that happens in speech therapy.
Making these sound containers takes some time, but it is worth it. Here's how to do it:
Making your sound container:
1. You need containers with lids. I purchased some small containers of various sizes for mine.
2. If you are doing multiple sound containers, you will want to label them. On the side, I marked what the container was such as "initial t." On the lid of the container, I wrote on another label all the target words of the objects inside. You may forget what words the objects represent, so this is a must if you are doing many of these.
3. Find your objects! This takes time, especially if you are doing multiple containers and sounds. I looked through Barbie accessories, doll house objects, magnets, and small toys at dollar stores. Things that go in party treat bags are also good choices. If you are a parent making one or two containers for your child, you may not care if you use large objects. But, if you are making dozens of these boxes, then storage will become an issue. That is why I looked for small objects for mine.
The picture below shows what I did for my one of mine just to give you an idea. For the initial /t/ container, I used a magnet letter "t," a magnet number "two," a doll house "table," a small clock for "time," a Barbie "tennis shoe," a play food "tomato," a "tissue," and a truck for the word "toy." You may want to look through word lists on worksheets, books, or online to find ideas for possible objects to look for and put inside your container. Here's a website with word lists.
Tips for using your sound container:
-Due to possible choking hazards, you need to know who you are working with! This is not a good activity for toddlers due to the small size of the objects you may have in the containers. I used these sound containers with pre-school children and a few beginning elementary age students in private practice.
-You can simply give the child the objects in the container and have them name the objects or use the object word in a sentence, depending on what level your child is at.
-I have put these objects in a sensory bin (like with noodles and beans) and let them dig around to find the objects. This becomes a more functional way to practice the words.
-I have put them in a gift bag and have the child draw an object out one at a time without looking to add to the mystery of each item.
Yes, this activity does take some time and thought, but it will very useful and rewarding!
Therapy Thursday is for educational purposes only and not intended as therapeutic advice.