Need some fresh ideas to increase engagement in your session? I love using movement to beat boredom and keep children engaged.
When children seem restless or disengaged during therapy sessions, I love to integrate movement-based therapy activities.
Here are 5 movement-based speech therapy activities that you can try in your next session:
Simon Says: Play the classic game of Simon Says, but with a speech twist. Give verbal instructions for various movements and actions, incorporating target speech sounds or language skills. For example, “Simon says touch your toes and say (target word),” or “Simon says jump and name three things that are red.”
Obstacle Course: Set up an obstacle course using objects like cones, chairs, or cushions. Create stations where the child has to perform specific speech tasks or answer questions before moving to the next station. For example, at one station, they might have to say words that start with their target sound before crawling under a table. This activity encourages speech production, listening skills, and motor coordination.
Hula Hoop: Lay a hula hoop on the floor, place cards with their target speech sound on the floor around the hula hoop. The child will choose the target card and hop inside the hula hoop aka “speech circle” and practice their word 5 times. Repeat until all target words have been produced. Then you can engage in a hula hoop off to see who can keep their hula hoop up the longest.
Hide and Seek: Hide mini objects or plastic eggs with target words inside around the room while the child covers their eyes. Have them find the hidden objects or toys and say their target words 5 times after they are found.
Tower: Attach articulation cards/target words to cans/cups using painters tape. Build a tower with the child. Have them throw a bean bag at the tower. They will practice the target words on whichever cans have been knocked down.
Keep it simple and fun!
Devon Lawrey, CCC-SLP has been practicing speech therapy throughout the state of Michigan for six years. She has her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Michigan University. Her passion in life is collaborating with families to support their child's individual communication needs and improve their overall quality of life.