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Beep Beep: Speech Therapy Activities for Busy Families on the Go
Mary Lowery, M.S., CCC-SLP
Finding time to practice speech and language skills at home can be tricky. Baseball practice, dance recitals, karate class, and other activities keep families on the road. Fortunately, time spent in the car is the perfect opportunity to practice the speech and language skills your child is working on for 10-15 uninterrupted minutes. Listed below are some quick and fun ways to work on articulation, expressive language, and other skills while driving.
  1. Improve articulation by making wacky sentences. Create a silly sentence starter using the target speech sound. Finish the sentence with things you see on the road. For example, if the target sound is /r/, use the sentence, “Ralph the Rhino carried a ___.” Fill in the blank with things you drive by, such as stop sign, car, or tree. The sillier the sentence, the better!
  2. Practice vocabulary by playing a category game. Name a category, then have your child name items in the category. Make it an articulation game by having your child name items in the category that contain his or her speech sound. For example, in the category ocean animals, “lobster, jellyfish, whale” all contain the /l/ sound.
  3. Improve auditory processing and reasoning by telling your child a silly sentence that he or she needs to correct. For instance, say, “Tim put on his swimsuit to go to bed.” Then, your child needs to fix the sentence by saying, “Tim put on his pajamas to go to bed.”
  4. Practice asking and answering questions by playing a guessing game. After you think of an item, your child can guess it by asking questions such as, “Are you a food? Are you an animal? Are you green?” Then, have your child think of an object, and answer your questions as you try to guess. See who can guess the most!
  5. Guessing games can also be used to target inferencing. List clues that describe an object and have your child guess the object. Say, “I’m big. You can ride on me. I have wings.” If your child guesses, “airplane,” he or she gets a point. See how many points you can get before you get to your destination!
  6. Use sound activities to improve your child’s phonological awareness. Give your child a letter sound, and have him or her think of a word that starts or ends with the sound. Next, think of a different word that rhymes with the word. Finally, have the child substitute a sound in the word for a different sound. For instance, say, “Think of a word that starts with the letter b.” Your child might say, “ball.” “Now think of a word that rhymes with ball.” Your child might say, “fall.” “Now change the /f/ to /t/.” The final word should be “tall.”
Busy schedules can be overwhelming, but if spent wisely, time in the car can be productive and fun!

*Handy Handouts® are for classroom and personal use only.
Any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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