Speech therapy games for children
We can conduct various types of speech improvement exercises from an early age. You have to remember that they should be a form of fun, not tedious learning and constant training. We start speech therapy exercises from the simplest ones, gradually increasing their difficulty after some time.
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1. Breath is the basis of correct pronunciation
The first step is to find out how your child is coping with the breathing exercises. The primary goal of these exercises is to teach your little one to differentiate the inspiratory and expiratory phases as well as extend the expiratory phase. Interesting games supporting the formation of the proper respiratory path are games with a straw. While blowing through the straw, the child should move some small and light object, such as a scrap of paper.
You can also suggest that the child blow out the candle flame with a straw or the popular game of blowing soap bubbles. For this purpose, it is worth going back to the old method of blowing bubbles through a straw, and not with the help of dedicated ready-made equipment, which can be purchased at a toy store.
Blowing into a balloon is not only an activity that absorbs the respiratory activity of the lungs, but also great fun for the child. Encouraged by the emerging effect of an ever-larger balloon, she will want to inflate it to the desired size. One is not aware of the fact that this is how he is working on the correct pronunciation.
Another speech therapy game is to mimic the different types of behavior that we perform every day, such as yawning and laughing. We suggest that the child try to yawn louder and quieter, with more and less power. We try to introduce the same exercise by asking the child to try to laugh in different ways. The important thing is that at the beginning all the exercises should be done by the person who conducts them in order to show the child what exactly is expected of him.
Moving on to the next exercises, you should pay attention to whether the child has done the previous exercises correctly in order to be able to fill in any gaps during the next classes of this type.
Another proposition of speech therapy games is whispering. We suggest that the child try to whisper vigorously: knock-knock, tick-tock, shuru-buru, etc. You can use the popular poems by Brzechwa or Tuwim, which are full of words that are perfect for rhythmic uttering in a whisper. During breathing exercises, it is advisable to inhale deeply through the nose and slowly release it through the mouth.
It is good for a child to include mimic sounds, for example a snake, such as: ssssss…. You can also try to blow the air out in stages, helping yourself: hu-hu-ha, remembering a rhyme about a threatening winter that stings your ears.
2. Efficiency of the moving organs of speech
The correct pronunciation of all sounds depends on the efficient functioning of the speech organs. That is why games aimed at increasing the efficiency of moving speech organs are so important. The exercises for the speech organs include: jaw, tongue, lips and soft palate exercises.
Examples of games that improve the speech organs are: wide opening and closing of the mouth, yawning, smacking, blowing, puffing the cheeks, snorting lips or squeezing. We ask the child to try to imitate chewing. For this purpose, you can ask your child to imagine eating an apple and chewing gum. We pay attention to moving the lower jaw in different directions.
Then we suggest lifting the tongue towards the nose, tooth counting, licking lips, puffing, grunting, imitating coughing, rinsing the throat. We place a mirror in front of the child and ask him to send kisses to his reflection. Then we ask that it imitate various animals by making the mouthpiece of a bird, a fish, a tired dog, a riding horse, etc.
In order for play to be effective and interesting learning, it must bring joy to the child. The child must feel that he is making progress, that he is succeeding and that he will be rewarded for it. You can offer the child a small snack in the form of a lollipop or crisps, but the most important for further speech therapy exercises is the way the child is to eat this snack. Licking a lollipop or eating crisps without using your hands is also an excellent exercise!
Numerous auditory games (a game of guessing sounds made by familiar objects, e.g. the clink of keys or dripping water from the tap) also contribute to the development of the child's sensitivity to the type of sound, tempo, tone, rhythm and melody of pronunciation.
Other auditory games include: listening to the silence, imitating heard sounds, e.g. wind noise, searching for a sound source, e.g. a hidden telephone, recognizing the pace of a melody and illustrating it with movement, etc.
Articulation exercises are exercises mainly in uttering individual sounds and exercises in pronouncing texts - in the third year of life they are mainly short poems. Articulation exercises must always be an interesting game, the purpose of which will coincide with the didactic objectives, and the child will take an active part in it.
However, it should be remembered that the habit of correct pronunciation will not be developed in incorrectly pronounced sounds, e.g. when the child does not pronounce the “r” sound, you should not practice this sound with him, because incorrectly pronouncing it will not contribute to the correct relationship between hearing and organ of speech.