Top 10 SLP Activities for Articulation

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As a Speech-Language Pathologist in a school-based therapy job, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to prepping materials for articulation therapy, as part of your SLP job. So for this week’s blog entry, we curated articulation activities with simple set-up and easy delivery.

  1. Fortune Tellers

These little games are also called Cootie Catchers. If you grew up in the last several decades, then you are probably familiar with the folded up version that helps you find out who your next boyfriend or girlfriend will be. Pick a number and count, then pick a color and spell it out. Open up the flap to reveal who your next crush will be.

Fortune tellers can now be made into a simple and fun articulation game to be used with speech language clients and students. They are simple to make, and can be engaging and fun for both the Speech-Language Pathologist and the student.

You can create fortune tellers for practicing R, L, S, Z, SH, CH, TH, R-blends, L-blends, S-blends in each position initial, medial, and final.

Learn how to make your own Fortune Tellers here.

  1. Flip Books

Flip books are easy to make and ready at a moment’s notice when a Speech-Language Pathologist needs an activity in a pinch. Whether you make your own or purchase one of the many options available, flip books provide a simple way for those working in SLP jobs to provide articulation learning activities.

The Speech-Language Pathologist can begin with the flip books most needed for their specific clientele,  and build their flip book library from there.

  1. The Mighty Mouth /R/ Sound

For Speech-Language Pathologists, the /r/ sound can be especially challenging to help students master. Sometimes a Mighty Mouth and a little Play-Doh can be just the trick to get students to have that “aha” moment where they finally understand. Using site, touch, taste and FUN, the Speech-Language Pathologist helps the student identify the parts of the mouth used to produce the /r/ sound, and then begin to implement it in the student’s own speech.

You’ll find the full details here.

  1. Articulation Battle Ship

Older students will love this articulation version of the Milton Bradley game Battle Ship. Using a template provided by Sublimespeech.com, the coordinates of the board are made up of articulation words. Students take turns saying two words which provide coordinates for their guess. As the Speech-Language Pathologist, you can create different boards for different sounds and provide those boards specific to the student’s needs.

  1. Cariboo

Cariboo is a game by Cranium that can be adapted for articulation therapy. The basic game has children matching letters, numbers, shapes and colors in a fun treasure hunt style. By printing some Arctic cards and laminating them, Cariboo can be modified to work with any one of the key sounds in any position.

  1. iPad Apps

Your SLP job can be simplified through the use of iPad apps. Many once-manual speech language therapy and articulation are now available in digital form. Check out our recent article for the Top Articulation Apps for SLPs (as rated by your peers!)

  1. Articulation Bowling

Some children struggle with sitting still through an entire articulation therapy session. For these students, having a more physical game can be beneficial for learning – that’s where Articulation Bowling comes in.

To play, the Speech-Language Pathologist will use a set of articulation cards for the sounds being worked on that day. The cards will be set up in the formation of bowling pins. A plastic bowling pin will then be placed on top of each card. Once the student throws the plastic bowling ball at the pins and knocks them over, the student will then read the words on the cards for each pin that was knocked over.

This game is great because it keeps students moving and learning at the same time. In addition, because the student gets a higher score for knocking over more pins, they will then get more word practice as well.

  1. Tic Tac Toe

This twist on a classic game is easy to set up and play. This can be set up as a worksheet or on a larger white board with laminated cards. Create a tic tack toe board with a different word on each square. In order for the student to earn the square and put their mark in the spot, they must select the word and correctly pronounce it. The first student to get three in a row on the board wins.

  1. Don’t Break the Ice

Using the classic game, Don’t Break the Ice, this alteration was designed by Lauren LaCour. You can get the complete instructions and download the packet at BusyBeeSpeech.com. With just a little set up, Don’t Break the Ice can be turned into a great articulation activity. For each square, articulation sounds and words can be changed out to focus on specifically what the student is working to master.

  1. Pizza Delivery

Another great game for students who need to be more physical, Pizza Delivery combines several other types of learning along with articulation. While setup for this game may take a bit more work on the front end, the tools can be laminated and incorporated over and over. Using masking tape or painters tape, develop a series of “roads” on the floor. Then create houses and street signs. Each street can be named using words with sounds the student is currently working to master. Using a toy car, the student must “deliver” a pizza to the correct house using the directions given and pronouncing the street names as he drives on them. For complete instructions visit Notimeforflashcards.com.

Bottom line: Your SLP job doesn’t need to be consumed with ongoing prep work and boring articulation handouts. With these ideas, you can incorporate articulation activities that both you and your students will love.

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