Because many adults don't have any memory of the time they spent learning the English language, they often don't realize how difficult it is for children to acquire. While some children struggle with the pronunciation of certain consonants, especially "r," others deal with stutters or slurs that can only be fixed with helpful speech therapy. If your child is nearing this stage and appears to have trouble forming words, there are plenty of exercises to try at home to supplement the work of a professional therapist.
Possibly the best idea on this list, blowing bubbles is actually a great way to learn control over one's breath and lips. Children will begin to understand how to correctly move their mouth to produce different shapes of bubbles, and most importantly, it's fun. You should have little trouble getting your little one to take part in this activity.
Playing an Instrument
While small children won't be able to master the flute or trombone, simpler instruments like a kazoo or harmonica are also effective at teaching breath and vocal control. Although these are inexpensive, children will enjoy hearing the sounds they are making, and similar to bubble blowing, they will gain greater influence over their mouth and voice.
Kid-friendly, delicious, and inexpensive—what more could you ask for in a speech therapy exercise? Licking an ice cream cone (with only the tongue, not the lips) can improve the use of one's tongue. As a result, words will be easier to pronounce clearly and properly.
If your child is old enough to read, putting the sounds or words they are having trouble with on flash cards can make practicing at home a fun game. You can either reward them when pronounced correctly (with a piece of candy) or even create a simple card game that results in them focusing on the sound or saying the word.
Commonly used by speech therapists for children, this game involves a bit of pre-planning. You must first print out the words or sounds you want your child to practice, and slide them in plastic sleeves or attach them to lily-pad shaped papers. Then, spread them out on the floor and challenge your son or daughter to quickly jump onto each one (like a game of hopscotch), pronouncing each card as they go. Before you know it, they will have mastered that set of words and be begging for more.
For more information, contact a professional speech therapy service, such as communiKIDS.
I work as a nurse, and I'm separated from my husband, so it's quite complicated for us to work out child care sometimes. We have an family child care centre down the road that is amazing and does so much to keep our family ticking when we need child care out of hours. I know I'm not the only one who needs flexibility in child care, and I know that a lot of other parents are also struggling with the juggle of managing child care out of the normal opening hours of a centre. This blog is a place to share ideas and solutions we have worked out, with each other.