Speech Therapy Activities

I wrote earlier this year about how we found out my Little Guy is a bit of a Late-Talker, so here’s an update. Our goal with him is to encourage his vocabulary and to share with me some learning tools and techniques to teach him. As the parent who’s working with him every day, I am more able to make a difference versus a professional who only sees him once or twice a month.

Little Guy has made wonderful progress on his own naturally over time, and also with our speech therapist. He looks forward to her visits because he loves playing with her. I think he is always so willing to mimic, follow, and participate in games because she focuses on just him and plays so well with him. I’ll share some of the activities and things we’ve tried. 

Books for Late-Talkers


The first thing I told our speech therapist as she tried to get to know him was that he enjoyed reading time with me. I told her about his favorite books (“Wheels on the Bus”, “Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see?”, and “Little Blue Truck”). They all had great rhymes, repetition, and wonderful sound effects. The only times I had heard him speak words were when he was super happy and copying the words or phrases as we read. I asked her for some other book recommendations, and she sent me some great book lists and tips on what to look for. I’ve since checked out a Nursery Rhymes kit from our local library, too.

Bottle Cap Activities


Our speech therapist brought an ice cream container, and the lid had a slit in it where little bottle caps could be pushed or playfully smacked in. The bottle caps had colorful stickers on them which we could use in identifying animals or cars or food, teaching positions (e.g. “up, in, out, down”), teaching colors, counting, and more. In Little Guy’s case, he laughed his head off while making bottle caps jump and smacking them into the hole one at a time, then dumped them all out again. The speech therapist left me with a few sheets of stickers I could use to start a bottle cap container of our own. I collected milk bottle caps and caps from juice bottles, sodas, anything; then made a cut in the lid from a cleaned macadamia nut container to put them all in. We can now play this game and try this activity every day at home! 

Sing and Read Along

My Little Guy loves songs and rhymes, so for March the speech therapist shared a book of Five Green and Speckled Frogs and we sang it to him! He loved holding my hand and swinging as we made the silly “Yum yum!” sounds. We also watched a matching video for babies which was cute and held his attention. Some other Sing-Along books she recommended were Itsy Bitsy Spider, Bingo, Old MacDonald Had a Farm… I’m also thinking about Down By the Bay, Five Little Monkeys, and even Happy Birthday! In addition to finding and using these songs myself, I’m making some frog finger puppets to use with the Five Green Speckled Frogs song. 

Interactive Books with Velcro Pieces

I thought we found much success with this, as I heard him say words I had never heard him say before on cue. Our speech therapist brought a board book of farm animals and laminated pieces velcroed on that he could pluck off and stick back on. It allowed us to:

  • Manipulate objects (“Here’s the dog! Oh look, you’re taking the dog for a walk.”)
  • Play a silly game with the object—my kid did this over and over the whole visit (“The dog is on your head! Uh oh, ah choo- there goes the dog!”)
  • Teach the name of the object (“This is a sheep, see the sheep? Nice sheep.”)
  • Offer choices between two objects (“Would you like the cow or the sheep?”)
  • Play hide and seek with the object (“Oh no, where’s the duck hiding? Where did that duck go? Do you see the duck?”) 

This activity taught me the importance of repeating words often in different ways and using them in play or especially daily activities. For example, I can offer choices between two snacks and name them. Rather than saying, “Do you want this banana?” and getting a “Yes” or “No” response which doesn’t even need to be verbal, I can ask, “Do you want a banana or an orange?” encouraging him to say the word “banana”.  

Sensory Bin and Cupcake Tray


He LOVED this activity so much, I’m wanting to put together one for him! There was a variety of colored pasta and hidden little toys, cups, and measuring cups that he could dump into the cupcake tray to “make cupcakes”. We also tried color sorting the pasta—trying to match, identify, and teach colors. There were even magnetic letters that she put in the bin which would work well for a cookie sheet, and also were wonderful for matching colors and talking about what his name starts with and what else starts with that letter. He was so engrossed in measuring a specific amount into a cup and then dumping the cup into the cupcake tin that he didn’t really care about what else was going on for a while until he found a laminated picture of a sailboat.


I told our speech therapist that it sounds like I just need to play more with my kid and chatter about everything. She laughed and said that language can be taught in all our normal daily activities, so that’s encouraging because as much as I want to block out an hour to sit on the floor and play with a messy sensory bin with him, some days it’s just not possible. If anything these activities have helped me find so much joy in spending time with my Little Guy. He is so much fun! I know that working on these activities is strengthening his development and maybe soon he’ll be using his words.

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