Speech Therapy At Home: Three “s” Activities

You know your child is having trouble saying the “s” sound. They might even be getting therapy at school or through a clinic.  

Speech therapists love it when parents practice at home. It will increase your child’s progress so much, by helping in two ways. The first is carryover. Your speech therapist might have your kiddo saying “s” perfectly in the session – but only YOU can help them carry it over in the home. And that’s what you and the therapist want – to see progress with that sound in every area of your child’s life. The second is muscle memory. Your child has probably been saying the sound wrong long enough that their muscles want to say it that way automatically even if they have learned the correct way to say it.  

But how do you help? Here are three easy activities to help practice that tricky “s”. Your kiddo might not even know that they’re working!

Before you begin, make sure that your little one is producing the sound correctly. Usually kids produce the “s” wrong in two different ways. The first way is that they stick their little tongues out, making it sound more like a “th”. The second way is that they push the sides of their tongues against their teeth, making an “angry cat” sound. Is their tongue behind their teeth? Is the air coming straight out the front and NOT out the sides? Model the correct way for them and cue them if they need a little help.

Now for the fun!

1. Shaving cream

This is such a fun way to practice that “s” sound.  

Lather up a good spot on the table (or on a cookie sheet). Now write an “s”. Have them say the sound while they draw the letter. This will help out those kinesthetic learners as well – let them really get into that shaving cream. It will make a mess – and that’s ok! 

Ready?: (draw the “s”) sssssssssssssss-un, ssssssssssit. Any “s” word will work!

2. Train tracks

You guessed it! Make them into an “s” shape. And now, drive that train down the “s” track. While saying the sound, of course. Now add in those “s” words.

3. White board

Kids love drawing on these! Super easy. You probably know where this is headed…. yep, draw that “s”! You can either let your kiddo draw it and say the sound, OR you can draw it and let them trace it.

Be creative – change up the color, or let them draw a picture of the word you practiced after they say it correctly. There are a lot of options with this game.

Be sure and let them have some free color time as well. It doesn’t have to be structured learning the whole way through. Remember: you want them to do this again! 

At this point, you are probably wondering how in the world to think of enough “s” words to practice. We get it – your brains are probably on overload. Moms have a LOT on their plate. Here are two awesome and FREE resources: Mommy Speech Therapy and Home-Speech-Home. You can pull the pictures up on your smart phone or print them off.

Just remember to have FUN! Don’t stress out about it. You are providing your child with the opportunity to work on muscle memory and practice his/her new sound in their environment. Leave the hard stuff for the therapist.  

Stay tuned for more speech therapy exercises. Until then, be sure to check out 25 Indoor Montessori Activities for Toddlers.

Photo Credits: Crunchologie 

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