If your child experiences difficulty speaking, you can help them by using simple games and exercises to get through this phase.
Toddler speech delay exercises are designed to keep the child’s interest in the activity while ensuring maximum learning.
These games and activities progressively build listening skills, vocabulary, and speaking.
With enough time and patience, you can use advanced exercises to build grammar and sentence structure later on.
- Speech Delay Exercises for Toddlers
- Educational Toys for Speech Delay
- Toddler Speech Delay Exercises
Speech Delay Exercises for Toddlers
Speech develops through multiple factors that each work towards forming meaningful words and sentences.
For a child without speech impediments, regular conversations are enough to teach them how to listen, speak, and understand.
However, for toddlers experiencing speech delay, these factors need increased focus from parents because the child cannot pick up speech from their surroundings.
We can divide each of our toddler speech delay exercises into these key areas that jointly contribute to developing a child’s communication skills.
1. Listening Exercises
Listening is an important skill that every parent should focus on during the early periods of a child’s development.
Regardless of speech delay symptoms, you should teach listening skills to improve the child’s overall communication.
To help your child develop active listening, use these simple yet effective games to teach and bond with your little one.
Exercise 1: Sound Hunt
There are different ways you can use this exercise. The most basic is taking your child to a park, zoo, train station, or any other social place you feel comfortable.
Then, ask them to identify the sounds they are hearing in that particular place.
For example, in a park, you could tell them the sound of different birds and then ask them to identify each sound.
You can also use toys for speech delay and recordings on your cell phone to play various audios and ask your child to identify those sounds.
Exercise 2: Traffic Lights
Traffic Lights or Stop and Go is a classical game you can play with your child to improve their listening and speaking skills.
You can use actual traffic lights where red means stop and green means go. You can assign yellow as a crawl or a dance to add more fun to the game.
The kid can run around when you say go, and they can stand still when you say stop.
At the same time, this game helps them learn to associate colors with sounds, too.
2. First Words Exercises
First words have a special meaning for parents and sound the sweetest. These words become even more important when your child has a speech delay.
The key in this area is persistence, repetition, and creativity. With these speech delay exercises, you’ll help your child say their first words.
Exercise 3: Catch the Word
This exercise will motivate your child to use the missing word they already understand but do not utter.
You start with nursery rhymes and identify the one your child loves the most. Once their understanding is built around these rhymes, you use the exercise.
Start singing the rhyme but stop short of a key word either at the end or in the middle.
For example, you could sing, “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, the people on the bus go (chat, chat, chat).”
You can pause before the words chat, chat, chat and let the child sing that for you.
Keep repeating the rhyme over and over to get a response from your child.
You can also use other rhymes, but make sure you stop on a simple and easy-to-utter word so that your child can easily say it.
Exercise 4: Sentence Completion
It’s almost the same as Catch the Word, but instead of using rhymes, you use everyday phrases that a child usually hears around the house.
You can say phrases like, “I’m picking it (up) or put it (down).” The child understands these everyday phrases and has them in their memory.
Plus, these are easy to say, and there’s no pressure on the child since you only take a small gap and say the word yourself if the child does not respond.
To get your child’s attention, you can increase or decrease your voice and make gestures to give them a hint.
3. Vocabulary Exercises
Vocabulary is an essential part of effective speech, which children learn by picking up words from adults.
You can work on your child’s vocabulary by carefully selecting subjects and starting with the easiest words.
Exercise 5: Find the Body Part
Children learn body parts early in their language development phase. Eyes, nose, and ears are some of the starting words.
If your child is not saying these words after your prompt, you can use this fun exercise to increase their curiosity and engagement.
Draw a diagram and ask your child to name as many body parts as possible. Draw another picture but leave some of the body parts out.
For example, you can leave out an arm or the head and ask your child to point toward the missing body part.
Your child will start to pick up these simple words after some repetitions.
Exercise 6: The Shopping Exercise
Shopping games have many words you can teach your child at the early stage of speech development.
You can also introduce the concept of money later on and help your child understand different items and their needs.
For starters, gather pictures of fruits, vegetables, and other grocery items that interest the child.
Then, arrange these pictures for your child and let them pick those items up one by one. You can also use a basket to put similar items together.
The important thing here is to introduce the child to simple vocabulary; you don’t want to burden your child with complex words.
4. Grammar Exercise
After building your child’s basic vocabulary skills and they start saying simple words, you might want to teach them basic grammar.
Children form sentences, but most of the time, they don’t use the words in the correct order.
Teaching them a little about verbs and pronouns through practice can help them with grammar.
You don’t need to indulge your child in cramming or correcting them when they make mistakes. Just use simple sentences and repeat them so they can learn by heart.
These exercises will get your child started without putting them under any pressure.
Exercise 7: He/She Is
You can cut some pictures from magazines of people and make two piles, one for the female images and one for the male.
You can pick up a picture from each pile and make basic sentences like “He is going.” “She is standing.”
You can also use toys to teach them about pronouns.
Repetition is the key to this exercise, which will help your child remember the pronouns and simple verbs.
Educational Toys for Speech Delay
When working on your child’s speech delay, educational toys and audio devices can be a big help.
These devices and toys have built-in speech therapy functions that work well and help your child learn new words and sentences.
1. Toniebox Audio Player Starter Set with Nap Time
The Toniebox Audio Player is perfect for sound hunt exercises as it has built-in animal sounds, nature sounds, and bedtime songs.
You can also use it for teaching children about different animals and what type of sounds they make through pictures (not included in the package).
One advantage of using an audio player is the absence of flashy screens that intimidate a child and shift the focus away from listening.
2. Vocabulary Builder Flash Cards
Flashcards exercises help your child memorize vocabulary and sounds through repetition.
There’s no pressure of testing, as the flashcards have colorful pictures that keep the interest intact.
The Vocabulary Builder Flash Cards are an excellent tool for teaching basic vocabulary about animals, vegetables, and other essential items.
3. Costzon Pretend Grocery Store Playset
If you want to play the shopping game with your child, you can use this Costzon Pretend Grocery Store Playset.
It contains essential toys needed to play a pretend shopping game. For example, kids can browse the shelves for shopping items and pay the coins to the cashier.
Toddler Speech Delay Exercises
Speech delay exercises help your child learn essential vocabulary, grammar, and speaking skills.
These exercises are a fun way to improve speech without putting pressure on the child. Plus, you get to bond with your little one through fun activities.
Also, even something as simple as children’s games allow you to teach your child social skills to communicate with others, which is essential for children.