4 Tools to Help Children Exercise Their "Speech Muscles"

Enhance speech therapy exercises with these four activities that can accelerate learning and increase performance.

 

Mirrors

Use a mirror to heighten the child's awareness of how muscles of the mouth are used to produce speech. The mirror provides the child with a visual image of the sounds they are being taught. By using a mirror, the child sees how the lips and tongue work to produce sounds. Children can build speech muscles by looking at a mirror and making funny faces!

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Straws

Give your child a straw and ask her to blow through it. This activity strengthens the lips and cheeks. Some children allow air to escape through the sides of the mouth, and the result is "slushy speech." By blowing through a straw, the child stabilizes the jaw and practices appropriate lip closure.

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Toobaloo

This simple, break-resistant device magnifies voices so students hear themselves clearly while speaking softly. The auditory feedback helps students to focus and hear the sounds that make up words (phonemes) more clearly as they learn to read, spell, or process language aloud. Speech students can use the Toobaloo to help improve their articulation and phonology.

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WhisperPhone

Hands-free, acoustical voice-feedback headsets help learners hear phonemes and their own voices more clearly. Whisper Phones strengthen the learning process by intensifying the sound of one's voice and minimizing auditory distractions. Users are able to focus much better on what they are learning and classrooms are actually quieter because children only need to use a soft voice to hear themselves clearly.

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