15 Simple Ways to Target Specific Speech Sounds

child practicing speech sounds through pretend play

Finding it hard to motivate your little one to practice their speech sounds? We get it. Repeating a list of words can seem like homework and it’s not always helpful. Here are some play-based activities and dialogue samples that you can use with your child. For each speech sound activity, state the sound and words your child is practicing before starting. Prompt your child to look at your mouth when modeling the words. Throughout each activity, try to repeat the words as much as possible and encourage speech reproduction from your child—because practice makes perfect! 

The words below are specific to final consonant sounds (at the end of words), but you can change them depending on what your child is working on. We hope that these ideas can be helpful tools on your child’s journey to better speech!

Let’s Cook!

Final /t/ – Pot, Hot, Cut, Plate, Fruit

– “First, we need to cut

– “Now, put it in the pot. Be careful! The pot is hot.”

– “The food is done. Time to serve it on a plate.”

– “Should we cut some fruit?

If you are pretend cooking, “make” as many dishes as possible to get in more speech sound opportunities. 

Let’s Play Restaurant!

Final /d/ – Food, Good, Bread, Paid

  • “Are you ready to order your food?”
  • “How does it taste? Is it good?”
  • “Would you like bread?”
  • “Ok, I paid for the food.”

 You can also try adapting your conversations for a grocery store or market. 

Playdough Time!

Final /k/ – Pick, Black, Pink, Make, Snake, Cake, Poke

  • “I will pick black. What color will you pick?” Do you like pink?
  • “I will make a snake. What will you make?” How about a cake?”
  • “Let’s poke holes for the candles.”

You can try a similar conversation with coloring.

Nature Walk!

Final /g/ – Dig, Bug, Big, Frog, Log

  • “Let’s dig! What can we find?”
  • “Do you see that bug? It’s big!”
  • “Look at the frog! It’s on the log.”

Playing With Dolls!

Final /b/ – tu
b, scrub, robe, rub, bib, crib

  • “Let’s get the tub ready.”
  • “Make sure to scrub her back.
  • “Put on her robe. Then, rub the lotion on.”
  • “Time to eat. Put on the bib.”
  • “Time to sleep in the crib.”

Potato Sack Race!

Final /p/ – Hop, Trip, Lap, Keep, Stop

  • “Time to hop! Try not to trip.”
  • “One more lap! Keep going!
  • “Ok, stop!”

Naming Characters!

Final /m/ – Name

After reading a book together, go back and name all the characters. 

  • “Her name is…” 
  • “His name is…”

Finishing Activities!

Final /n/ – All done

Say “All done” after several short activities (e.g., bubbles, play-dough, drawing, stacking).

“If You’re Happy and You Know It” Song!

Final /f/ – If

 Encourage your child to say “if” at the start of each verse. As a reward, watch a video of the song. Here is a link to one:


Board Games!

Final /s/ – Dice, Miss (your turn)

  • “Roll the dice.” (say this for every turn)
  • “Oh no! You miss your turn.” 

Play Ball!

Final /l/ – Ball

  • “Pass the ball!”
  • “Hit the ball!”
  • “Kick the ball!”

Time for School! 

Final /r/ – Teacher, Paper, Chair, Ruler, Marker, Eraser, Letter

  • “Teacher, I’m here!” (Instead of using a name such as Mrs. Smith, say “Teacher”)
  • “Pass out the paper.”
  • “Sit in your chair.”
  • “The letter A is for…”

Dentist Check-up!

Final “th” – Mouth, Tooth, Teeth

  • “Open your mouth. Let me see your teeth.”
  • “Does your tooth hurt?”

I Spy! 

Final “ch” – Beach

  • “I spy something red at the beach

Look up a picture of a “busy” beach and as you play “I spy” make sure to say “at the beach” for each turn.

Genie of the Lamp!

Final “sh” – Wish

 What are your 3 wishes?

  • “I wish for…”

While all of these are great activities for incorporating speech sounds, the important thing to remember is that these tactics can be used almost anywhere. For even more speech activities, check out our other speech blogs here!

Written by Fatima Huizar, M.A., CCC-SLP

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