7 Speech Exercises for Children with Language Delay

7 Speech Exercises for Children with Language Delay
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 01 November, 2022

Young children may show signs of a language delay without necessarily having more serious problems later in life. Preschool-age children who have difficulties with language need support and stimulation.

Speech exercises like the ones in this article can help many children overcome language delays over time.

If your child is late to develop language abilities, they’ll need help from a professional speech and language therapist. However, you can also work to develop their skills with daily activities.

If your child has minor difficulties with language or if you want to help with language acquisition, read on for speech exercises that you can put into practice today.

Speech exercises for children

1. Flashcards

Flashcards can help children learn the sounds that they have difficulty pronouncing. Turn this activity into a game and reward your child when they pronounce the sounds on the flashcards correctly.

Not only will this make the exercise more appealing to your child, but it will also motivate them to say the sounds correctly all the time.

7 Speech Exercises for Children with Language Delay

2. Mirror exercises

Children who have difficulty with articulation may struggle to pronounce certain sounds and words. This is because the child isn’t able to make the right movement with their mouth to produce the correct sound.

Mirror exercises are one of the most useful ways to teach small children to overcome these problems.

Teach your child how to make the right shape with their mouth and pronounce the sound that goes along with this movement.

Then have your child repeat it in front of a mirror. This way, the child learns how to move their mouth to say the words that they find difficult.

3. Repetition

Given all the fun speech exercises available for preschool-age children, repeating words over and over again can seem boring for parents and kids. But repetition can be very important for quickly improving children’s speech.

When we repeat words for a child, we should do it slowly and clearly. Make sure that the child hears and is able to identify the different sounds that make up the word.

“Teaching that impacts is not head to head, but heart to heart”

–Howard Hendricks–

4. Frog jumps

This is a fun and simple game for developing speech. The exercise involves repeating a word at least six times in a row. To play, you’ll need to write words that your child needs to learn on pieces of paper and spread them around the room.

Your child will need to leap from one piece of paper to the next, like a frog in a pond. When the child picks up a piece of paper, they should read the word (with help if necessary). To stop the game from getting too tiring, keep the number of jumps down.

7 Speech Exercises for Children with Language Delay

5. Talk in front of your child

A child is more likely to develop language at an early stage if their parents and family speak to them frequently and express themselves clearly.

Even hearing adults talk amongst themselves gives young children the chance to pick up new words from an early age. All of this is key to developing verbal communication skills.

6. Naming objects

Speaking to your child regularly is the best way to develop speech and language skills. One way to boost this process is to pronounce the name of an object that the child wants and encourage them to repeat the word.

To encourage your child to name the object, give them a toy or other object only if they can ask for it in words, without resorting to hand gestures. This will encourage your child to use language to get what they want.

7. Reading stories with your child

Reading a story with your child is a great way to develop language skills from an early age.

In addition to strengthening the bond between parent and child, a bedtime story is a way to learn new vocabulary, recognize sentence structures and practice more complex words.

As if this wasn’t enough, stories will also stimulate your child’s creativity and imagination.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.