It's normal for a kid to start out not being able to pronounce certain sounds. The irregular pronunciation usually becomes a part of the family vocabulary. But sometimes, those speech irregularities, such as a lisp or a stutter, don't go away -- that's where speech therapy comes in. There are a few activities families can do along with the speech therapist, too.
- Get it twisted: This one's fun whether you have a speech impediment or not: tongue twisters! Tongue twisters are funny, but they also have the practical purpose of making you work to articulate sounds. We've probably all heard about Sally selling her seashells at the seashore, but how about "Mrs. Smith's Fish Sauce Shop" or "A noisy noise annoys an oyster"? And trying saying "toy boat" seven times fast.
- Make a list: You might have played this game to pass the time during a long car trip. It's all about making a list. You start with something like "I went to the circus and I saw an acrobat." Then the next person says, "I went to the circus and I saw an acrobat and a lion tamer!" The game builds upon the preceding items one by one. You can do it alphabetically (I saw an anchor and a baboon…" or by sound "I saw a lion and a lily…").