Cute little girl with a wooden game, participating in fun speech therapy exercises.

Fun Speech Therapy Exercises You Can Do at Home with Kids

Reviewed by Dr. Joyce Richardson, PhD.

If your child is falling behind on their speech and language milestones, you may be working, or considering working, with a speech and language therapist.

In those pediatric speech therapy sessions, your therapist will engage in a series of fun speech therapy exercises tailored to address your child’s specific speech difficulties.

But you might also want to continue these exercises at home or explore some additional activities yourself.

We’re here to give you some ideas.

Boy and mom using a wooden toy for color and shape recognition, ideal for speech therapy exercises at home.

Importance of Continuing Exercises for Speech Therapy at Home

The benefits of speech therapy shouldn’t be confined to the therapist’s sessions alone.

Parental involvement in continuing speech therapy exercises at home can enhance a child’s progress and development. Here’s why:

  • Reinforces Skills Learned in Therapy Sessions: Practice makes perfect, and repetition is key to solidifying new skills. By practicing speech therapy exercises at home, children solidify techniques learned in therapy and improve speech clarity.
  • Consistency Matters: Regular practice ensures steady progress and skill development. Just like learning a musical instrument or a new sport, regular practice is vital for skill development in speech therapy.
  • Integration into Routine: Rather than viewing speech therapy as a separate activity, integrating exercises into routines such as mealtimes, playtime, or bedtime makes it feel like a natural and enjoyable part of the day. This integration fosters a positive attitude towards speech therapy and encourages active participation from the child

Types of Speech Therapy Exercises

If you know which specific areas of speech and language development your child is struggling with, it may help to know which types of exercises target those specific areas.

Here are a few common types of speech exercises your child may encounter in pediatric speech therapy:

  1. Articulation exercises: aimed at improving speech clarity and pronunciation.
  2. Language development activities: to enhance vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension skills.
  3. Oral motor exercises: designed to strengthen the muscles used in speech production.

If you’re not sure what type of exercises your child needs most, the best thing to do is to consult with a licensed speech therapist. They can evaluate your child and recommend the best course of action.

Girl performing speech exercises with finger below lips, exploring different types of speech therapy activities."

Fun Speech Therapy Exercises for Home

We’ve gathered some simple yet effective exercises that parents and caregivers can incorporate into their daily routines to reinforce speech therapy goals and cultivate ongoing improvement. Let’s take a look.

Articulation Exercises

  • Tongue Twisters: Tongue twisters engage children in repetitive phonetic exercises that target specific speech sounds. Challenge your child to tackle classic tongue twisters like “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” or “She sells seashells by the seashore.”
  • Sound Scavenger Hunt: Encourage your child to find objects around the house that start with a specific sound, such as “b” or “s.” They will have to actively listen for and identify specific sounds in their environment which is great for reinforcing their understanding of sound-symbol correspondence.
  • Silly Sound Repetition: Encourage your child to repeat silly sounds like “buzz,” “pop,” or “zoom” multiple times, focusing on clear pronunciation and exaggeration. This will target specific speech sounds while promoting vocal exploration, oral motor coordination, and speech fluency.
  • Name that Sound: Play a game where you make various sounds (e.g., animal noises, vehicle sounds) and have your child identify and imitate each sound. This activity enhances phonemic awareness, auditory processing, and sound production skills
  • Word Search Relay: Create a word search puzzle with target words related to your child’s speech therapy goals. Have them search for and read aloud each word they find, turning it into a fun competition or race against the clock.
Word games for articulation exercises featuring a girl and her mom practicing speech therapy exercises.

Language Development Activities

  • Story Stones: Spark creativity with story stones! Paint or draw pictures on small rocks, and watch your child’s imagination soar as they use the stones to craft their own tales. This activity encourages expressive language skills, narrative development, and creativity as children weave together plots, characters, and settings
  • Word Jar: Write different words on small pieces of paper and place them in a jar. Each day, your child can pick a word from the jar and weave it into a sentence. It’s a simple yet effective way to expand your child’s vocabulary and encourage sentence formation.
  • Rhyming Bingo: Make bingo cards with rhyming words and call out words that rhyme for your child to match on their card. Rhyming can play a huge role in language and literacy development because it helps children recognize and manipulate sounds, so this is a great exercise for that. 
  • Category Sort: Give your child a collection of objects or images and ask them to sort them into categories (e.g., animals, food, toys) while naming each item. This will help strengthen their language development and cognitive flexibility in a hands-on and interactive manner.
  • Picnic Basket: In this game, tell your child to imagine going on a picnic and think of things they want to bring. you start by saying “In my picnic basket, I packed sandwiches.” Then your child repeats the previous item and adds a new one, like, “In my picnic basket, I packed sandwiches and a big juicy watermelon.” This is also a great game to play with more than one kid if you have a few.
Young boy creating stories with words and images on paper, enhancing language development.

Oral Motor Skill Exercises

  • Straw Rockets: Use a straw to blow small paper rockets across a table or floor. This activity not only entertains but also strengthens oral muscles, promoting better breath control and coordination.
  • Straw Painting: Dip a straw into paint and blow it onto paper, encouraging controlled airflow and muscle coordination. This activity fosters artistic expression while enhancing oral muscle strength and control.
  • Bubble Pop: Have your child practice controlled breathing by blowing bubbles and then trying to catch and pop them before they hit the ground.
  • Straw Tower: Challenge your child to stack small objects using only a straw to blow them into place, promoting oral motor control and coordination.
  • Chewy Snack Time: Offer your child chewy snacks like dried fruit or chewy granola bars as a tasty way to exercise their jaw muscles. Encourage them to chew slowly and thoroughly, focusing on strengthening their oral muscles.
Girl blowing bubbles to strengthen oral motor skills, a key speech therapy exercise.

Practical Tips for Implementing Speech Therapy Exercises at Home

Now that you have some ideas to get you started, here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your at-home speech therapy sessions.

Make it fun

In successful speech therapy, enjoyment is key. When exercises are fun and engaging, children are more likely to actively participate and maintain their focus.

By infusing elements of play, creativity, and interactive learning into the exercises, you can boost your child’s enthusiasm and willingness to take part.

Praise their efforts

Remember to acknowledge and celebrate your child’s efforts and progress. Praising their achievements fosters a positive attitude towards speech therapy and motivates them to continue practicing at home.

Be consistent

Consistency is crucial for effective speech therapy. Set aside dedicated time each day for speech therapy exercises and stick to the schedule as much as possible.

Consistent practice reinforces learning and helps your child develop and retain new speech skills over time.

Break it down

Break down speech therapy exercises into manageable tasks or steps to prevent overwhelming or frustrating your little one.

Start with simpler exercises and gradually increase the complexity as your child becomes more confident and skilled.

Stay patient and positive

Speech therapy progress can take time, so it’s important to remain patient and positive throughout the process.

Encourage your child, offer support and reassurance, and celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. A nurturing and positive environment will keep your child motivated and engaged in their speech therapy journey.

Mother and daughter hugging, illustrating supportive environment for speech therapy at home.

Virtual Speech Therapy LLC

Supporting your child’s speech development at home isn’t just a bonus, it’s key to their speech therapy progress and success.

If you’re looking for some professional support from speech therapist experts, consider Virtual Speech Therapy LLC.

Our team of experienced therapists offers online speech therapy services for children and adults from the comfort of your own home.

We also prioritize teaching parents and caregivers so they can continue integrating the skills their kids learn in our sessions at home.

Reach out and schedule a session with us today!