Maintaining Articulation Skills over Summer Break


 Parents, are you afraid that your child will forget
everything they’ve learned over the summer break?  Including what they’ve learned in
speech-language therapy?  It’s pretty common
for students to leave the school building at the end of May without taking with them some of the knowledge and skills we’ve worked hard all school year to teach them.  If you want ideas to maintain
their articulation skills, below are some suggestions provided by a school
speech-language pathologist:

  1. Ask for a current word
    list with your child’s target sounds from your child’s speech-language
    pathologist at school.  It can be
    words or pictures of the words.  You
    can also “Google” or search online (or in dictionaries if you’re old school
    for word lists with their target sounds. 
    Remember, their sounds can be found in different positions of the
    words (initial, medial, final). 
    Make copies of the pictures of the words.  If you are given written words, your
    child can draw what they think the word would “look” like and make copies
    of their drawings, or again, you can search for your own pictures online,
    in magazines, etc.  After you make
    several copies, color your pictures and cut them out.  With these cut outs, you can play “Go
    Fish”, matching/memory games, “Bingo”, etc.  You can also incorporate these pictures
    into family game night (ex. If your child rolls a 5 on the dice, he has to
    say 5 words correctly before he can take his turn at Monopoly).
  2. Go for a scavenger
    hunt.  Try to find as many items on
    your list as possible while discussing the target words.
  3. Make a craft.  Flip through magazines, newspapers,
    comic books, etc. and find pictures or words that include your child’s
    speech sounds.  Cut them out,
    highlight them, underline them, and make a collage.  You can modge podge a flower pot, a
    folder for their speech words, etc. 
    The sky’s the limit!!
  4. Leave copies in your
    car.  As you’re driving your child
    can practice.  Making this a habit
    all school year is a good idea too!
  5. Keep a word journal.  Every day, give your child a new speech
    word that includes his sound.  If
    your child is unfamiliar with the word’s meaning-look it up!  Write the definition, a silly sentence,
    and draw a picture!  If your child
    is too young to write, let him trace the word and then draw the picture
    after he tells you a sentence or something about the word.
  6. Finally, keep a sticker
    chart.  This is a great visual tool
    that I use in my classroom to keep track of who completes their homework
    on a regular basis.  For example,
    every day your child completes their speech homework, they get a
    sticker.  In my classroom, once
    their chart is full, I let them pick a prize out of my treasure box!  You will know what motivates your child,
    so you can decide/negotiate what his prize will be.  Maybe it’s a special snack, a trip to
    the movies, or a new toy!  Whatever
    works with you!


Remember to consult with your child’s SLP regarding what
speech sounds to target and at what level your child is working at.  They are a great resource for ideas over
summer break.  They can also supply
materials, worksheets, etc.  Hopefully,
these ideas will make speech homework more enjoyable!

Sydney Page  M.S.,