Speech Exercises for Preschoolers

The developmental cycles of children progress at different rates and it is hard to define normal pace. However, it is necessary that the developmental goals are monitored to quickly identify if the child is not developing as he should. 

For instance, a child struggling to generate sounds or to pronounce words needs to be taken to a speech pathologist immediately. The pathologist will be able to tell if the child has a hearing problem or suffers from some kind of speech-related issue. Getting this knowledge is important as it helps you in assessing your child’s situation and doing what is required to help him out. Below are the signs of language delay in different ages of kids and what you can do to help including some of the speech exercises for preschoolers.

Signs of Language and Speech Delays in Preschoolers

The following are some of the signs that you must watch out for during your child’s growth. Speak to your pediatrician immediately if these or any other warning signals do appear.   


Signs of language delay

2 years olds

  • ŸStruggle to pronounce words and are only able to mimic the speaking pattern but can’t utter phrases. 
  • ŸSpeak only a few words over and over again but are unable to convey their messages to others using language. 
  • ŸHave problems in understanding simple commands.

3 years olds

  • ŸAre unable to communicate using short sentences
  • ŸCan’t explain what they want or need which they must be able to do by now.

4 years olds

  • ŸCan’t frame sentences comprising of multiple words
  • ŸHave difficulty in making correct use of the words “you” and “me”

5 years olds

  • Can’t follow commands that contain prepositions like “on” or “under” in them.
  • ŸAre unable to pronounce their names properly
  • ŸHave trouble in using past tense correctly and avoid making use of plurals when speaking. 
  • ŸCan’t tell you stories about what he learnt at school.

More information on child language delay and what parents can do to cope with this problem:

Speech Exercises for Preschoolers to Overcome Language Delay

1.      Flash Cards

Flash cards can help a great deal in making children learn sounds that they cannot pronounce correctly. It is best to convert this exercise into a game and reward the child when he pronounces the sounds shown on the flash cards in a correct manner. Not only would this make it more engaging for the child, but it would motivate him to try and pronounce the sounds correctly too.  

2.      Mirror Exercises

Children suffering with articulation problems have difficulty in pronouncing words and sounds because of their inability to make the right movement with their mouths for producing the correct sound. Mirror exercise is one of the most helpful speech exercises for preschoolers that can help in addressing this problem. You can teach your child the right mouth movement required for making a particular sound by demonstrating it to him in front of a mirror. This would help him in knowing how he should move his mouth to pronounce different words.

3.      Frog Hop

Frog hop is a fun and simple speech exercise which involves repeating a word that your child has trouble pronouncing at least six times. The exercise makes use of six paper pads also known as lily pads which have to be scattered all around in the room. These pads must have the word you want your child to practice present inside them. The child has to say the word each time he hops onto a lily pad and after he has completed all six hops, you can reward with him a candy.   

4.      Talk with You Kid Frequently

Language skills of children are most likely to develop quickly if the parents and the family around them communicate with them on a frequent basis. With people talking around him often, the child gets a chance to listen to new words all the time and gets to communicate with them too.

5.      Encourage Your Kid to Speak

Talking regularly to a child is the best way to get him to develop his speech and language skills. Another way of accomplishing this is to pronounce the name of the object that the child wants, encouraging him to speak the word to get it. According to Healthy Children it is best to grant the wishes of children only if they make use of words and try to explain what they want by using hand gestures. This would motivate the child to look for ways through which he can conquer his language issues and gets what he is looking for.  

6.      Repeat

Among all the other speech exercises for preschoolers, repeating the words over and over again can prove to be a tedious job for a parent especially if the toddler is inquisitive in nature. However, it can play a huge role in getting him to speak quickly. When repeating words for your child, it is better to pronounce them in a slow and easy tone so that they can hear them clearly and learns the phonemes in them. To make it easier for your child, you can break the words down as well. By watching your mouth movement, the child can pick up the pronunciation of the word but he will have to look very carefully.

7.      Read Books Together

One of the best ways to encourage language skills in children is to read books to them. However, make sure that the books you two are reading are liked by the child. Take him to a library and let him decide which books he finds interesting and buy them. Books with pictures are more loved by children and allow you to talk with the child when reading them. Try to explain what the pictures are telling in simple words and ask the child to repeat them after you or ask questions regarding the pictures and encourage your child to answer them. This would make the reading exercise more productive and interesting for the child. 

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