25 Best Speech Therapy Games & Activities for Toddlers

Speech therapy is crucial for toddlers who may experience delays or difficulties in their language development. Incorporating games and activities into speech therapy sessions can make the learning process more engaging and enjoyable for young children – and can really help them learn new words.

In this blog post, we will explore 25 of the best speech therapy games and activities specifically designed for toddlers. These activities aim to enhance speech and language skills such as vocabulary building, articulation, phonological awareness, and sentence formation. Let’s dive into the world of fun and interactive games that can help toddlers improve their communication abilities.

Speech Therapy Games & Activities for Toddlers

These games below are a mix of recommendations from speech therapists and activities we have seen work previously with our older children: 

1. Simon Says: Simon Says is a classic game that encourages listening skills and following instructions. The child must imitate the actions you perform only when preceded by the phrase “Simon says.” For example, “Simon says touch your nose” or “Simon says clap your hands.”

This game not only promotes speech production but is a great way to develop comprehension and attention skills. Such a fun brain game for those little ones!! 

2. Animal Sound Guessing Game: The Animal Sound Guessing Game is a fun way to work on sound recognition and speech skills Play different animal sounds or imitate them yourself and have the child guess the corresponding animal. This activity not only enhances the child’s ability to identify sounds but is one of those fun games that encourages them to imitate and produce different animal sounds.

3. Picture Cards: Using picture cards is an effective method for improving vocabulary and language skills in toddlers and this one was introduced to little Elsie from the case study below in her first speech therapy session. Start with simple cards depicting common objects, animals, or actions (you may have these laying around the house from when you were teaching first words.

Show a card and ask the child to name the item or perform an action associated with it. Gradually increase the complexity of the cards to challenge the child’s language abilities. This activity enhances word retrieval, labeling, and expressive language skills.

4. Singing Songs: Singing nursery rhymes and songs with repetitive phrases can be an enjoyable way to improve speech clarity, rhythm, and memory. Encourage the child to sing along, emphasizing specific sounds or words. This activity not only enhances speech production but also helps with breath control, vocalization, and overall communication skills.

5. I Spy: The “I Spy” game is a fantastic activity to develop vocabulary and descriptive language skills, as well as social skills. Describe an object in the environment using specific attributes, such as color, shape, or size, and ask the child to guess the object and say its name. For example, “I spy with my little eye something red and round.” This game encourages observation, listening, and expressive language skills.

6. Storytelling: Storytelling is a powerful activity that promotes creativity, vocabulary expansion, and narrative skills. The best way to do this is to provide the child with a set of picture cards or objects and encourage them to create a story. Prompt the child to describe the characters, setting, and actions. This activity helps develop sentence formation, grammar, and storytelling abilities.

7. Sensory Bin Activities: Sensory bins are hands-on activities that engage multiple senses, making learning interactive and enjoyable. Another speech pathologist one, create a sensory bin filled with objects related to a specific theme, such as farm animals or fruits. Encourage the child to find and name the objects, describe their attributes, or create simple sentences using the words.

This activity enhances vocabulary, descriptive language, and fine motor skills.

8. Tongue Twisters: Tongue twisters are a fun and challenging way to improve articulation and pronunciation. Start with simple tongue twisters and gradually increase the difficulty. Repeat them together, focusing on clear and accurate production of sounds and words.

Tongue twisters enhance speech clarity, phonological awareness, and coordination of the oral motor muscles and are brilliant when used as a part of an early intervention program.

9. Category Sort: Category sorting is an activity that helps children with language delay to organize and classify objects

10. Puppet Play: Use puppets or stuffed animals to engage in pretend play scenarios. Encourage the child to have conversations with the puppets, ask questions, and use expressive language. No need to see a specialist in a private practice for this one!

11. Barrier Games: Set up a barrier between two players and describe scenes to promote communication and listening skills.

12. Hide and Seek: Practice language skills by giving and following directions while searching for hidden objects – favorite toys work a treat for this one.

13. Sensory Bins: Create sensory bins with objects that have target speech sounds or vocabulary to engage multiple senses.

14. Telephone: Pretend to have a phone conversation to enhance listening skills and expressive language.

15. Story Sequencing: Arrange picture cards in the correct order to develop storytelling and language skills.

16. Musical Chairs: Play music while practicing articulation or naming objects, and stop the music to perform a specific task.

17. Category Sort: Sort objects into categories to develop vocabulary and language organization.

18. Charades: Act out words or actions without speaking to promote nonverbal communication and understanding.

19. Puzzle Play: Describe and discuss pictures on puzzle pieces while putting them together.

20. Hot Potato: Pass a toy or object while practicing specific sounds or naming vocabulary items.

21. Board Games: Play board games that require turn-taking, communication, and following instructions.

22. Word Bingo: Play a modified version of Bingo using words or sounds targeted in therapy.

23. Story Starter: Provide a sentence or phrase to start a story and encourage the child to continue.

24. Articulation Toss: Toss a ball or beanbag into a target while practicing specific sounds or words.

25. PBS Kids: if you are fresh out of ideas, jump on to the PBS kids website, where they have a heap of interactive speech games for kids – using characters from their favorite tv shows. 

Speech Therapy Games For Toddlers: Our Case Study

Elsie was 3 when we realised her speech was a bit behind the other kids – she just wanted to repeat her favorite book and was getting really frustrated all the time. You try not to compare but with something as important as speech, I was panicked. Being in Australia, we luckily have access to some funding to send her to see a speech therapist.

It was life saving – she introduced us to some of the games the girls have shared above, so if you don’t have the access to a specialist ,why not start with one of these games. The key is consistency BUT not taking it so far that your little one sees it as a chore. Good luck – and remember, see a speech language pathologist if your gut tells you to! 

Speech Therapy for Toddlers: FAQ

Q: What are speech therapy games for toddlers?

A: Speech therapy games for toddlers are interactive activities using particular sounds, designed to enhance speech and language development in young children. These games are specifically designed to engage toddlers in a fun and playful manner while targeting specific speech and language goals.

Q: Why are speech therapy games beneficial for toddlers?

A: Speech therapy games provide numerous benefits for your child’s speech development. They make the therapy process enjoyable and engaging, promoting active participation and motivation. Games help improve language skills, including vocabulary, articulation, phonological awareness, and social interaction. They also enhance cognitive development, motor skills, and attention span.

Q: How do speech therapy games help toddlers with speech delays or difficulties?

A: Speech therapy games provide a structured and interactive environment for toddlers to practice and reinforce speech and language skills using simple words and sounds. Through play, children can learn and practice new sounds, words, and communication strategies. Games promote listening skills, turn-taking, following directions, and expressive language, all of which are essential for overcoming speech delays or difficulties.

Q: Can speech therapy games be used at home?

A: Yes, speech therapy games can be used at home to complement formal therapy sessions or as part of everyday interactions and can be really helpful to introduce a variety of speech. Parents and caregivers can incorporate games into daily routines and playtime to continue supporting their child’s speech and language development. It is important to consult with a speech-language pathologist to understand the specific goals and techniques that are appropriate for the child.

Q: How can I choose the right speech therapy games for my younger children?

A: When selecting speech therapy games for your toddler, consider their individual needs and goals. Consult with a speech-language pathologist for guidance and recommendations based on your child’s specific speech and language challenges. Choose games that target their areas of difficulty while ensuring they are enjoyable, age-appropriate, and engaging for your child.

Q: Are there any safety considerations when playing speech therapy games with toddlers?

A: Safety is paramount when playing games with toddlers. Ensure that the game materials and toys are age-appropriate, or school year appropriate and free from small parts that could pose a choking hazard. Always supervise your child during playtime and provide a safe environment free from potential hazards. Additionally, be mindful of any allergies or sensitivities your child may have when selecting game materials or props.

Q: How often should speech therapy games be played with toddlers?

A: The frequency of speech therapy games depends on the child’s therapy plan and recommendations from the speech-language pathologist. It is generally beneficial to incorporate speech therapy games into daily routines and play sessions to provide consistent practice and reinforcement. The speech-language pathologist will provide guidance on the appropriate frequency and duration of game sessions based on the child’s needs.

Q: Can speech therapy games be adapted for children with special needs?

A: Yes, speech therapy games can be adapted to meet the needs of children with special needs. Different games can be modified to accommodate individual abilities, sensory preferences, or communication styles. It is important to work closely with a speech-language pathologist or special education professional to ensure that the games are tailored to the child’s specific needs and goals.

Remember, speech therapy games should always be tailored to the individual needs and abilities of the child. Consult with a qualified speech-language pathologist for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized guidance on selecting and adapting games for your toddler’s specific speech and language challenges. And of course, simple human interaction can help to no end! 

Why Trust My Toddler Life:

My Toddler Life is run by mama’s, for mama’s. All information provided on our site is thoroughly researched and takes in to consideration our lived experiences and the opinions of industry professionals. How are we different from other sites doing the same thing? We have fun while doing it (often with a glass of wine in hand) and don’t take ourselves too seriously!


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