When practicing speech sound production, here are some things to keep in mind:
1) Ask your child's speech therapist what sounds to practice at home and at what level they should practice (isolation, single words, sentences, conversation).
2) Keep practice sessions short. Try to practice each day.
3) Remind your child that they should use their "new" way of making the speech sound as they practice and that you will be listening for this.
4) If your child makes a sound incorrectly, stop them and have them try again. Give them instructions and cues as directed by the speech therapist.
5) If your child is not achieving at least 50% success, stop them so they do not continue to practice incorrect production. Try a different activity or level (e.g. move from sentences to single words). If you can't find a level where your child is successful, contact their speech therapist for ideas.
6) Practicing in front of a mirror can be helpful for some children. Sit side by side so your child can see what your mouth is doing and try to match it.
7) Praise correct productions. Try to give specific feedback when praising them (e.g. "Great job of lifting your tongue tip behind your upper teeth. That sounded like a perfect /l/."). Remember to praise small improvements. It takes time for children to correct the way they produce a speech sound.
8) Have fun! Children will be more engaged and more willing to try if practice time is positive. You might play games while practicing or perhaps give your child a reward (e.g. a sticker, extra time on a favored activity) when they finish.
Menu of Activities to Practice Speech Sound Production
1) Choose a board game. When it is your child's turn, have them say their sound, a word with their sound, or a sentence using a word with their sound depending on what level they are practicing. You can have them "earn" the right to roll the dice an extra time if they use their new way of making the sound. Or you can have them say the word or sentence the number of times that matches the number they rolled on the dice.
2) Take a tour of your home. In each room, see if your child can find 5 (or more) items whose names contain their speech sound. Practice saying each word or putting the words into a sentence.
3) When you ride in the car, look for things that have your child's speech sound.See who can find the most. Practice saying them the "new" way.
4) Name a category (e.g. sports, food, vegetables, clothing, names, etc.) and have your child think of 5 things in that category that contain their speech sound.
5) While riding in the car this week, have your child read the street signs out loud, using their correct speech sounds.
6) Go for a walk in your neighborhood. How many things can you find that have your speech sound.
7) Create a collage of pictures that contain your speech sound. Use old magazines or the Internet. Practice saying each word 5 times. Or put each word into a sentence.
8) Read a book to your child. Have them listen for words with their sound and practice them at the level they are working on.
9) Have your child read to you, practicing their best speech. Have them use highlighter tape to mark the words with their sound or have them tell you which words they noticed that had have their sound. Practice these words.
10) Put 10 objects or pictures of items that contain your child's target sound into a bag, box, or pillow case. Have them practice each one as they pull them out of the bag. You can add some fun by trying to predict what the item is by how it feels before they look at it.