NOTE:   BEFORE YOU DIVE INTO THIS LIST of 10 speech therapy ideas to do at home:
 If your child has speech delays, call a local speech pathologist to have your child assessed.  Work on a plan to help your child reach success.  You can find a speech pathologist through your pediatrician or your local Early Intervention Program.

I wanted to give you 10 speech therapy ideas to do at home because you, as the parent, are your child’s best teacher.   I am a play therapist (not a SLP), so I work with many speech-delayed children, in conjunction with their speech language pathologist (birth-age 3) and these activities work great with them in the home, in between therapy sessions.  It does not replace therapy and should not replace therapy.  These are simply EXTRA ideas to do when you are home, playing with your child.  I have included many affiliate links in this post to take you straight to my favorite toys and products.

1.  Do Not Have the TV on in the Background. 

The background noise can actually make it harder for a child.  Contrary to what many think, TV in the background does not enhance development.  According to JAMA Pediatrics, “children with frequent television viewing…would have delayed development of meaningful word speech.”

 In one study, American children between ages of 6 and 12 months were exposed to native Chinese speakers in person and to the same native Chinese speakers on video. The infants who had real people interacting with them recognized and responded to specific phonemes, and those exposed to the video did not. What this seems to show is that human interaction appears to be critical in the complex process of language development.
But when the TV is on, parents tend not to talk as much to their children. And given that babies learn language from live people—particularly their parents!—having the TV on could be detrimental to that process. ~Expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston.


2.  Teach Sign Language. 

There are studies to show a correlation between sign language and speech.  If nothing else, it stops the huge frustration that children are feeling.
I focus on the biggies: more, mine, help, Mommy, Daddy, please, thank you (please & thank you are added in there just to teach your little one good manners!)   However, instead of simply teaching “more” teach him or her “ball” (or the name of what you are playing with) each time he wants “more ball”. If he’s hungry he could request eat or the specific food. This motivates children more.


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