Among many children with speech disorders, the R sound can be one of the most difficult. The letter ‘R’ is the most commonly used letter in the English language, so difficulty with articulation of ‘R’ has a significant impact on conversation. While an evaluation by a licensed speech-language pathologist is needed first, recommendations for treating the articulation of R may be as early as Kindergarten or 6 years.
When it comes to speech therapy, mastering the articulation of ‘R’ doesn’t have to be a trying activity; rather, ‘R’ activities can be both fun and stimulating for the child undergoing speech therapy.
All ‘R’ activities in speech therapy can be broken down into three separate types:
- ‘R’ Initial – ‘R’ initial sounds entail the ‘R’ sounds made at the beginning of a word. Some examples include ‘rain,’ write,’ and ‘rose.’
- ‘R’ Medial – ‘R’ medial sounds find the ‘R’ placed in the middle of a word. ‘Arrow,’ ‘zero,’ and ‘orange’ fall into this category. The R sound is influenced by the surrounding vowels, so speech-language pathologists will often address vocalic R variations separately.
- ‘R’ Final – ‘R’ final sounds are at the end of the word, as in ‘actor,’ ‘tar,’ and ‘jar.’
- ‘R’ Blends – Words with R blends, pair R with another consonant or consonant blend such as “train,” “spring” or “frog.”
Generally it is more efficient to master R in a specific position or context before moving on to another.
When it comes to speech therapy activities, they don’t need to be limited to the confines of the classroom. From the grocery store to car rides, there are ways to practice ‘R’ articulation on a day-to-day basis:
There are many ways to incorporate ‘R’ activities during playtime. For example, set up a scavenger hunt of carefully selected objects containing the R sound they are working on. As they present each item they find, they can say or imitate the word.
From ‘crossing’ to ‘turn,’ there are chances to practice ‘R’ articulation everywhere you go. If your child is reading, encourage them to read signs as they see them. If they cannot read yet, point out items that contain the R sound and have them imitate when appropriate. This can also be done when out grocery shopping, at the mall, or anywhere else where displayed text is present.
Activity Tailor provides engaging and effective ways to implement ‘R’ activities as part of speech therapy. Take a look around our site and see what you find!