Motivating Speech Sound Practice

Practicing, even just a little bit each day, is necessary for your child to make good progress.  However motivating your child and sometimes even yourself to do this isn’t always easy. 

Here are some ideas to help:

  • Short frequent practice is better than longer less frequent practice. Practicing every day for 5 minutes is much better than practicing once a week for half an hour. Try setting a timer to let your child see that you are only going to be practicing for this long.
  • Try working practice into your daily routine. Practice at the same time or when you are doing the same thing each day.  At breakfast, driving in the car, walking the dog, just before bed, etc. Make practice something that just happens every day – it isn’t something “extra”.
  • Set up a “Speech Practice Contract” with your child. Agree how much you are going to practice and give yourself and your child a “reward” after doing a certain amount. Make sure that you set a realistic goal. 
  • Keep track of when you practice on a calendar or on this Home Practice Log. Use fun stickers or a colorful marker to mark your practice.  
  • Keep track of how many good sounds/words your child was able to say during one practice session. A week or so later do this again to show how the sounds/words are getting easier.
  • You can also use the Tracking Sheet to show him how many good sounds he needs to make in a practice session. Try to work your way up to 100.  Anytime a “wrong” sound happens he has to go back and “fix” it if possible. 
  • Make practice fun – or not. If your child likes to play games while practicing try some of these Games to Play While Practicing Speech Sounds. If your child would rather just sit down and get the practice done that is fine too. Do whatever works. 
  • Take breaks. It’s important to practice frequently and consistently but everyone needs a break now and then. It is fine to take off a day or two each week and a few weeks during the year. Sometimes breaks can help your child to consolidate what they have been working on.

Motivating speech sound practice is important. I hope these ideas help. Let me know if you have any questions.  

You can reach me at

Madison Garvi