HOW TO IMPROVE ARTICULATION IN TODDLERS

Is your toddler finding it difficult to articulate certain words? Are you looking for activities to enhance your little one’s speech proficiency?
If yes, then the article will be very helpful for you.

WHAT YOU WILL FIND IN THIS ARTICLE
* Defining Articulation?
* Misarticulation Therapy
* TIPS & TRICKS to overcome an articulation
* Exercises
* Articulation Activities For Toddlers

What is articulation?

Articulation refers to a speech disorder. This can be of any type – delay in speech, poor sound production, omitting/ adding certain sounds or sentences, slurred speech, and more. Sometimes children find it difficult to utter certain sounds. In most cases, children outgrow these issues with the advancement of time. But if they exist for a longer time, then it can be an articulation problem. And you should contact a doctor or speech therapist. There are many reasons behind articulation problems in children such as weak muscles, less control over the tongue, problems in the respiratory system, or any kind of speech immaturity.

Misarticulation Therapy

This is one of the most-effective treatments for articulation problems.
The speech therapists diagnose the issue and explain the exact place and manners of articulation that are affecting the use of sounds. And then they work on the auditory process of those particular sounds. For instance, most kids face a problem with the words “r”, “ch”, “sh” so they will make your
child learn the right way to produce that particular sound.
Articulation is the process by which sounds are formed when your tongue, jaw, teeth, lips, and palate alter the air stream coming from the vocal folds.
It is not wise to expect a child to speak like an adult. A child will take his time to pronounce sounds. As teeth also play an important role to form
the sound. Kids produce sounds as per their teeth development. As air passes through the teeth gap missing a particular sound. Some sounds, such as “p,” “m,” and “b,” are learned in the initial years of age. Other sounds, like “s,” “r,’ and “l,” often are not completely mastered until the early school years. It is considered that children should make all the sounds of English by 8 years of age. Articulation problems may also be related to a weakness of the oral muscles, if it is so consult your doctor.

My Journey

When my son was about 2 years he started using sign language to explain his feelings. Being parents we often understand what he was trying to say, resulting he stopped saying few words that he used to say earlier. As time passed he sometimes becomes aggressive when we were not paying attention or understand his signs. As new parents, we got worried and consulted a doctor as if he might be having any problem in the vocal system (deep in the heart we were knowing that he is not having any disorder).

By GOD’s grace, everything was normal and thus we visited a speech therapist. Our speech therapist started with Hindi vowels. As most Hindi vowels/consonants are pronounced from the throat, upper pallet,
tough, lips, lower pallet, and teeth, this will help to strengthen vocal muscles. Along with speech therapy sessions I decided to work hard with my kid at home also.

Along with hindi varnmala, we tried some tricks and excercise too which helped us to overcome articulation issues:

Tricks

  • Use clear and easy speech for your child to follow easily.
  • Encourage kids by repeating the word they say correctly. This will boost their confidence too.
  • Never repeat/imitate incorrect words said by your child.
  • Always inspire your child to talk and interact with others.
  • Don’t interrupt in between your child’s conversation.
  • Use the misarticulated word correctly with emphasis. For Example: If the child says, “This is lellow colour,” you can say “Yes, that is a yellow colour. Is yellow is your favourite colour?. Would you like to have a yellow car?” And so on.
  • Remember Encouragement here is like medicine.
  • Use the targeted sound frequently.
  • Encourage talking.
  • Work patiently by focusing on one or two sounds for a week at a time.
  • Playing is a good way to communicate and it also builds motor skills and many other benefits. Let your kid be a BOSS, follow his/her instructions, this will not only encourage them to speak but will build lots of confidence and will develop ruling skills.
  • Hand gestures also play an important role, they will help the child to associate a word with a meaning and build their vocabulary.

Excercise

  • Ask your kid to sweep his tongue as rapidly as they can from side to side across the upper teeth. Repeat at least 10 times.
  • Stick the tongue out, extended as far as you can, and move it rapidly up and down. I made this one competition to give him some motivation.
  • Stick honey or chocolate at the upper pallet of your kid’s mouth and ask them to lick it with their tough, this will strengthen their tongue.
  • Apply their fav chocolate around the lips and let them lick them. I know this sounds messy but believe me it’s like an exercise with fun.
  • Blowing bubbles is good for lip and cheek muscles, also it’s fun and kids will play with bubbles without even knowing it’s therapy.

Activity

  • Make a picture book of interesting pictures containing a misarticulated sound. Have fun reading the book and talking about the pictures.
  • Prepare a chart as listed below. This will build their vocabulary and u will notice the words they are having trouble speaking to.
  • Sing songs and recite poems and nursery rhymes that contain the target sounds. (my sons week area was the sound ‘ya’, ‘r’, ‘la’, ‘va’, ‘sh’)
  • Select four or five common household words containing the target sound and use them frequently during the day.
  • If possible use phonics Flashcards or picture books to create stories.
  • Fishing for Phonics: Draw some fish on different colored papers, cut them out, and write words with your target sounds on them. Attach paperclips to their “noses” and place them in a bucket. Create a fishing rod from a wooden spoon/ ice- cream stick, string, and a magnet for the hook. Ask your child to fish. Then recite the word on the fish that is caught.
  • Play I Spy with your child. Prepare your kid’s room by hiding objects starting with the targeted words. Challenge your child to find and name the object around the room. For example, if he’s working on the “ca” sound, challenge him to find a car or a cake, or a toy cat. You can also take the help of I spy cards which are easily available from the market or you can also create them on your own.
  • Playing with Flashcards: I always consider Flashcards as a major part of learning. This time I have pasted them on the floor creating a road. it was really fun, to see my son driving his toy car over the flashcard road saying the word/ picture printed on it.
  • Narrate daily routines: Before going to bed, narrate the things he has done throughout the day. This allows for a larger variety of words to practice in different settings.
  • Learning with bowling: Bowling is always fun even in kids. Now the trick is, you have to place each plastic bowling pin on the top of a card(any card of your choice). Once your kid throws the plastic bowling ball at the pins and knocks them over, they will find a card for each pin that was knocked over. This game is great for super-active kids because it keeps students moving and learning at the same time.

Misarticulation is not something that cannot be treated. Therefore, parents should not be panic; rather they should stand by the children and treat
them in the best possible way.

My son started his unstoppable talk 15 days after we started our sessions. But we continued to bring more clarity in his speech. This article is equally helpful for kids with lisping (totlana) too.

Hope you find this article helpful!!

9 thoughts on “HOW TO IMPROVE ARTICULATION IN TODDLERS

  1. This is so beautifully penned down.
    The best you did is getting the early diagnosis and worked hard on it.
    Totally inspiring.

  2. This is such a beautiful article. Even though i dont have kids right now i was so engrossed in reading it. It’s really very helpful☺️👍

  3. This is very helpful article for all new parents. I will share it with my friends.very nicely pendown article.

  4. You have explained everything very nicely. And have penned down everything so beautifuly. I really enjoyed reading this and those images are so cute. I am not a mother but would share with others.

  5. What an informative post! I am extremely happy to stumble upon your post and get myself educated with these activities too. Thanks for sharing this.

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