During grad school, I had a few go-to speech therapy articulation games that I think you’ll love! I like to think I’ve learned and grown as a clinician quite a bit since grad school. But honestly, these simple (CHEAP!) games I played in grad school still work and are fun, quick, and efficient for maximum reps. I was still a smart person back then and I had all week to develop lesson plans for 3 clients after all!
One of my clients was a very young artic client. He was incredibly cooperative and wonderful, so I got the chance to try out all sorts of activities and games on him.
Best of all, these activities only required a few, inexpensive materials, namely Dixie cups, articulation cards, and a few printed out props to make it a little extra fun. I used velcro on my cards, but you could easily do it without, or just grab some sticky tack!
1) Wham! Wham! was the hit of the semester. It is a really easy, basic game. I used my Mini Articulation Cards for Speech Therapy and printed off a bunch of cards that said “WHAM!” I laminated all of it and put them mixed together in an old container.
My client and I took turns back and forth picking a card from the container. If he produced it correctly, he could keep it. If not, he put it back to try again! If either of us picked a Wham! card, we put it aside and put away x number of our articulation cards. The one who has the most cards when the container runs out wins! Easy, right?
The best part of this game is that it required accurate productions. This way my client was motivated to say it right and also to self-monitor his speech!
We finished most sessions by playing Wham! so that we could collect the cards needed for the game throughout the session. For example, I made this caterpillar from Testy Yet Trying. I put velcro on each circle and a velcro piece on each articulation card. During therapy, I fill up the caterpillar and my client needs to say each word correctly to remove it from the caterpillar and add it to the Wham! container.
I also made a simple paper dice from cardstock for the same concept. I put velcro on each square and we needed to get each articulation card off to fill the bucket for Wham!.
2) Searching for things One of my clients favorite speech therapy articulation games was doing a Bug Hunt. I printed off some cute bug clip art pictures. I taped them up around the room and we either looked for them in the dark with a flashlight, or in the light and swatted them with flyswatter! Oftentimes, I used the same articulation flashcards as I used in Wham! so he collected the cards for Wham! off of the bugs as well.
I love hiding themed items with articulation words on them as well. Very unoriginal stuff over here… but, for fall, I hid paper leaves with articulation pictures on them. My client went around the clinic to find them all, and then glued them onto an empty tree.
My last ‘hidden things’ idea was to put articulation cards on top of small cups and hide a few stickers beneath random cups. My client was prompted to say, “Is it under the _____?” before picking up each cup. This is how I began practicing the words in phrases and sentences. We both took turns going back and forth to see who could collect the most stickers!
3) iPad Games While we didn’t do this much because my client honestly wasn’t that into it… I do still have some favorite articulation apps! My all time favorite is Articulation Scenes by Smarty Apps. I also used Story Creator for making word level and phrase level books. Free iPad games are also great to check for generalization and carryover.
4) Cariboo This game is so wonderful. The first time I played it with one of my client’s we played it five times in a row. And he still asked for more! You can read my blog post devoted to this game here. I just recently found another copy and snatched it!
Another thing to always keep in mind, is ORGANIZATION. It’s one of my favorite things… and I’m not kidding! In order to keep all of these fabulous articulation cards organized and ready to be played with, I came up with an organized, kid-friendly way to store them all.
Because all of the cards are laminated with velcro on the back, I velcro them onto colored cardstock. These sheets of cardstock are alphabetized and organized by initial, medial, and final position. If I ever need a set for a certain kid, I pull that page out and bring it to therapy. The kids I’ve done this with are responsible for making sure all of the cards get stuck back onto their respective sheets of cardstock by the end of the day. Having the kids put the cards away is a great activity for phonemic awareness as well! “Does the ‘car’ need to go with the /k/ page, or the /s/ page?”. Win-win!
I hope some of these speech therapy articulation games ideas were helpful for you! Thanks for reading! 🙂