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Over 20 Ideas to Elicit Target Sounds


  • Toss a beanbag/ball – Before tossing the beanbag or ball, make the target sound
  • Look in a mirror – make the target sound as you watch your mouth – make some silly faces, too!
  • Memory – the child must say the target words for the pictures as they are turned over
  • Go Fish – use the target words to request cards (ex. "Do you have a cookie?")
  • Mystery Boxes – fill a shoebox with target sound word items (ex. cup, cat, can, corn, car, etc. for /k/ sound)
  • Speech Book –cut out magazine pictures of target words and paste into a book - practice the words as you look
  • Collage – magazine pictures of target words glued to large paper - practice the words
  • What’s Missing? – remove one of three – four  visible items (all of which are target words) and child needs to guess what’s missing
  • Describing games – use pictures in books that child describes what they see (use pictures with target sounds)
  • Guess who – child describes features on a person or animal(aiming for the target sounds) for another to guess
  • Counting to ten elicits many target sounds (ex. /f/ shows up twice in 'four five')
  • Naming colors elicits many target sounds
  • Create a story – you might present several target words for the child to create a story.  This can be a simple 1–2–3 step sequence story (ex. for targeting /s/ you might ask, "let's make a story about a slimly slug who loves to eat sweet salad on sunny days in the sand".  For the /f/ sound, you could ask for a story about two frumps who go on a fuzzling expedition to the land of Flacks")
  • Target Sound Hunt - Find target sound words in the house, room or while you’re driving in the car
  • Name body parts or actions that have the target sound (ex. thigh, thumb, think, thank, thud)
  • “I Spy” – child needs to describe item in books, posters, pictures, or environment for others to guess
  • Rhyming – Make up rhyming words for ending target sound words (ex. if /k/ is the target sound, rhyme with ‘back’ or "sock" or "make")
  • Silly Names – Make up names for people using the target sound
  • Silly Animals – Draw silly animals and create silly names for them using the target sound
  • Silly Foods – Pretend to prepare a meal, using made up foods having the target sound – If /f/ is the target sound prepare a silly feast of funny fat fried flops for some friends!
  • Generalize the skills – Do any of the above with a new friend or relative to help use the target sound with new people.  Generalizing to others and other situations is the whole goal of learning.  If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere!

Have fun and explore your own ideas.  You’ll be surprised how easy it becomes to find target sound words. The whole family will be aware of the words.  Don’t forget the action words. Have fun using your imagination.


© Kate Ross, MS, CCC-SLP (2011)                                   

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