Like most parents with children with apraxia, there is “homework” to be done with your little one to help his/her speech along. My goal was to make it different from speech therapy and for it to be cleverly disguised as play. Henry likes flashcards luckily, but he lately I can tell he feels the cards are “work” and he’s less apt to stay tuned in for longer periods. So I’m always on the look out for fun toys…speech related or otherwise…that will provoke more sounds out of Henry. I will share these as I find them, but these are oldies but goodies. I think they are especially great with the younger set.
These microphones are great…they have no batteries and basically just provide a loud echo. You can find them anywhere from Walmart, to Old Navy all the way to higher priced stores. Don’t pay over $5 or you have paid too much. This one is from Lake Shore Learning.
This is a speech phone. It has a similar function to the above microphone, but is just another fun way for your little one to hear their own voice. Sometimes we are pretending to talk on the phone as above, or pretending we are rock stars “singing” in our microphones. It’s all about making it fun, and in Henry’s case he liked hearing his own voice so these were both good motivators for speech. These phones are widely available as well and inexpensive, I found this one on The Talking Child
Whistles are great tools as well. They work on oral motor skills, respiratory skills and plus they are just plain fun. The child gets a result for his/ her efforts and they enjoy the different sounds. I purchases a set similar to above… you can buy them separately too and find all kinds of whistles just about anywhere. Henry liked the train whistles because he was fascinated with trains at the time. Find what drives your little one and gear your toys towards his/her particular likes.
I found this set on The Talking Child
Carry the whistle fun over to bathtime! I love these from Alex toys. You can great different depths of sound depending on how much water you put in the tube. They even come with sheet music! You just have to be careful to drain these and keep them super clean. I found these on Amazon.com, they are called Alex tub tunes water flutes
We noticed early on that Henry loved to look at himself in the mirror…most kids do. Mirrors are a great tool to help kids see how they are moving their lips and tongues during speech practice. They may also be more likely to watch your mouth and face during speech if they are looking at you in a fun mirror. While any mirror will do of course, we used a mirror we had from when Henry was a baby, similar to this one from Sassy. I liked it because I could make it stand on any surface where we were working and we could take it with us. We still use his bathroom and bedroom mirror for these kind of exercises, but there are so many fun ones out there that you could use it for motivation as well. Some light up and play music for instance. After your child makes an attempt at a sound or word you can make the mirror light up or play music!
As mentioned in a previous post, Occupational therapy has played a huge role in Henry’s improvements. A friend mentioned how an at home trampoline really helped bring out her son’s speech. Of course I ran out an bought one and was amazed at the results our EI OT had working with Henry on a trampoline. We later learned also that Henry seeks out and needs a lot of proprioceptive input and trampolines are great for that. I found this one from Pure Fun on Amazon. I did a lot of research and read a lot of reviews before settling on this one. I liked the higher weight limit so I could get on with Henry sometimes and it could be used by the whole family. It also was rated well for safety and durability.
Please know that when I make product suggestions, there is nothing “in it for me” so to speak. I have no affiliation with the companies that make these products and I’m not officially endorsing them. They are just things I use at home that I thought would be useful to others. Enjoy!