Once upon a time, I had a baby and speech therapy for kids, wasn’t even on our radar. He was just as I imagined he would be: he nursed perfectly every three hours, hardly ever cried, and slept through the night at six weeks old. He walked a little late, but he literally started talking at seven months old.
He was the most verbal child, super easy-going, and we could take him anywhere. My husband and I were convinced we were great parents.
Then we had a second child.
HELLO. We found out our firstborn’s “goodness” had nothing to do with us. Our daughter came out of the womb wild and her life was one big rollercoaster of a mood swing. And while she was clearly intelligent, as she approached three years old, it became clear that she would need speech therapy. It also became clear that I would need to learn how to supplement her professional sessions with at-home speech therapy for kids.
THEN, I had a third child. I was convinced that because I’d been through a couple years of harrowing developmental delay treatment with his sister (not just speech therapy, but occupational therapy, special preschool and social skills classes as well) that this new baby of mine would be completely, 100% typical like his older brother.
WRONG. By the time he was two, I knew I’d need to return to my speech therapy for kids roots. And so I did. Working so hard and so closely with my kids at home to get them up to speed really bonded us and showed all three of us that we can accomplish great things together. And you know what else? It was fun. At home toddler speech therapy can be really, really fun. (Eventually with my kids it also turned into preschooler speech therapy, and I’ll cover that in another article.) I did not know a THING about speech therapy for kids, but God equipped me to give my kids what they needed. I listened to their speech language pathologist, did research online, and was simply willing to learn. That’s all it takes, Mamas! So now that my kids are long past their speech issues, I want to pass some of what i learned on to you.
Speech Therapy For Kids Activities
Don’t like to get messy with your kids? Too bad. 🙂 Messy activities that are great for speech therapy for kids.
I like to let mine paint on a cookie sheet for easy clean up. (Well, I still have to clean the paint off my kid, but at least it doesn’t soak through the cookie sheet on to the table.) The goal of painting as a speech therapy activity is to ask and have your child answer questions. Before you start, show him or her the bottles of paint. Hold each one up and say clearly, “This is blue,” etc. Then ask, “Jonah, what color do you want to paint with?” Your goal is for your child not to point, but to say the color name. Eventually, you want them to graduate to “More blue.” or “I want blue.” The more words you can coax them to say the better! If they want a new color, they have to ask for it, using words, or they don’t get it! Isn’t that simple? Did you ever think that something as common as painting could be used for speech therapy? Any activity can be if you’re intentional!
That’s right, your child’s favorite wooden puzzles can be used for toddler speech therapy.
We all have puzzles at home. My kids were especially motivated by sound puzzles like these from Melissa & Doug.