5 Best Speech Therapy R Sound Activities To Try

If you are a speech-language pathologist in need of speech therapy r sound activities, make sure to check out this blog post! Many young children and older children have speech sound disorders, and R speech sound errors are very common!

This article lists my top 5 recommended speech therapy activities for the r sound, and it also provides different ways to teach the R sound during r therapy. Additionally, you will find r words (including initial r, r blends, and the vocalic r sound) that can be used for speech sound practice in your therapy room. These lists are very helpful to use during your speech therapy sessions.

This article lists the 5 best speech therapy r activities to try in speech therapy!

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R Words for Speech Therapy

Are you a speech therapist looking for a list of prevocalic r, vocalic r, and r blends to use in therapy? It can be very helpful to have an R and Vocalic R word list on hand during your sessions. Check out the R Words for Speech Therapy to see a list of words with r in the initial, medial, and final positions of words. Your students can practice at the word level, or form their own silly sentences using the provided words!

In addition, some speech therapy students may have difficulty with l and l blends. Here is a list of functional words for speech therapy with initial l and l blends.

Different Tongue Positions for R

The two most common tongue positions for R include the bunched R and the retroflexed R. It is okay to try eliciting r using either method. The correct tongue position is the tongue position that will work best for your student! The retroflexed tongue position involves a curled tongue, in which the tongue tip is raised and angled up toward the alveolar ridge. The bottom of the tongue would be visible during a retroflexed tongue position.

The bunched r is also known as the retracted r. The tip of the tongue is retracted and the sides of the tongue are “bunched” and “lifted” toward the pharynx. It is helpful to understand the difference when treating vocalic r. Read more about the retroflex r vs the bunched r. This article will also provide elicitation tips for the different variations of R, and methods for teaching tongue placement.

Here are 5 awesome speech therapy activities to target the R sound in speech and language therapy!

How To Teach the R Sound in Speech Therapy

Many school SLPs feel that R can be a difficult sound to teach. Younger students, and many older students, may be working on the R sound. There are, however, many effective methods to elicit the R sound, so SLPs don’t need to just rely on good luck! It can be helpful for speech therapists to have a starting point when teaching the R sound. It can be useful to figure out which specific target sound needs to be addressed. R can be very influenced by a vowel sound.

There are many variations of R, and it is likely that a student may be able to say vocalic air words, for example, but not vocalic OR words. A great way is to start with the ER sound in isolation. From there, you can shape the other R sounds. For example, blend OH plus ER to form the OR sound. Another key is to make sure the chin does not shift, or move, during the production of R. Visual cues, such as the use of a mirror, can be helpful. Learn more about how to teach the R sound in speech therapy.

Sound-Loaded Books with the R Sound

Do you like to use books in speech therapy? There are many books that feature the R sound (initial r, vocalic r, or r blends).

Short stories with pictures can be fun for younger students. They can practice target words, and books also provide lots of auditory bombardment activities. Llama Llama Red Pajama provides a ton of practice for the word “red”. Another option is The Rainbow Fish, which has beautiful illustrations and is a beloved classic. You can emphasize the word “rainbow”.

The Turkey Trouble series has lots of R sounds in it! Some words included are turkey, rooster, and farmer. These stories are very fun for elementary students. Check out the Turkey Trouble Companion for Speech Therapy. Please note that this is not a standalone product. You will need the book in order to use the companion.

This is an articulation activity that targets the r sound for speech therapy. It pairs with the Turkey Trouble book.

Room on the Broom is another great option in the fall! In this story, a witch makes animal friends when she keeps losing things, such as her bow or her wand. They help her find the items, then enjoy a ride on the broomstick. The witch is thankful for all of her friends when she encounters a dragon! SLPs will also love this Room on the Broom Companion for Speech Therapy. This is not a standalone product, you will need the book in order to use the companion.

If permitted by parents, older students (upper elementary or middle school students) may enjoy Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This book has a TON of r sounds in it, including the main character’s names (hello Harry, Ron, and Hermione)! This is also a great way to practice R at the conversation level as you discuss the book.

Fun Ways to Practice the R Sound

Here are some easy, engaging ways to practice the R sound (or any speech sound) in speech therapy!

  1. Hide articulation cards in a sensory bin.
  2. Go on a scavenger hunt for R objects around the school.
  3. Play a bean bag toss game with articulation cards.
  4. Use a popper toy paired with articulation cards.
  5. Tape articulation cards to a board or wall, then try to hit them with a bouncy ball.
  6. Pair any articulation cards with a game. Practice saying the target word before taking a turn.
  7. Search for R words on a map!
  8. Look for R words or pictured objects with the R sound in a magazine or grocery advertisement.
  9. Print out short stories or child-friendly news articles, then search for the R sound.
  10. Complete an articulation craft together.
  11. Hide articulation cards in a container or toy, such as Ned’s Head.
  12. Pair articulation worksheets with daubers or stampers.
  13. Play articulation tic-tac-toe.
  14. Write articulation words on a dry erase dice.
  15. Draw pictures of articulation words on dry erase dots for desks.
  16. Hide mini objects with the target sound in theraputty. This idea came from my coworker, an intervention specialist. The kids absolutely loved it!
  17. Pair play dough with articulation smash mats. You can always laminate any articulation worksheet, and smash dough on the words.
  18. Have students practice reading the morning announcements, or a book report presentation, in speech. Focus on the R sound.
  19. Use a wordless picture book and see how many R words or pictures your student can find.
  20. Play articulation hopscotch.
  21. Pair speech sound words with a yoga move or stretch.
  22. Place a bunch of articulation cards on a table. It helps to make multiple copies. Give your student a fly swatter. Say a word- they need to find it, swat it, and say it!
  23. Play a matching game or memory game with articulation picture cards.
  24. Have your student write the word, say it, then draw a picture on a flash card.
  25. Let your younger students “feed” a puppet his target articulation words.
  26. Spell articulation words using letter tiles, then practice saying the word.
  27. Keep it simple! Play catch with a ball in-between practicing target words. Try using a beach ball and writing the words on the ball!
  28. Play articulation hopscotch! Write the target words on the hopscotch grid.
  29. Add articulation words to a Twister (trademarked) game board!

Engaging Speech Therapy R Sound Activities

Check out these 5 articulation activities for R! These speech therapy r sound activities include worksheets, printables, articulation cards, and an entire R program!

Correct That Vocalic R- Program

A child’s speech can be very impacted by vocalic r errors. If you are a speech pathologist trying to treat “stubborn r errors”- then you need to check out this comprehensive program! Those persistent R errors may, in fact, not respond well to the traditional process of articulation therapy.

This course is based on Sandra Holtzman’s CEU course and incorporates the foundational skills of orofacial myology. Plenty of step-by-step activity sheets are included, and make it easy to send home practice words and activities. Speech exercises and practice words are included in this all-you-need resource to *finally* correct that vocalic r!

vocalic r speech therapy activities

Vocalic R and Prevocalic R Card Game Companion

Here is a fun way to work on those r sounds! Since the popular color-coded card game was one of my students’ favorite games to use during therapy, I needed a way to use it to work on specific skills! Enter this Vocalic R and R Card Game Companion.

This is such a fun activity!

It’s very simple to play. First, you will need to choose the desired target sound for articulation practice. This resource targets R and vocalic R in different word positions. Initial, medial, and final sound position pages are included.

This is an articulation worksheet for speech therapy that targets initial r.

Next, your student will choose a card from the pile. Look at the color or symbol on the card, then reference the sheet to see what practice word to say.

You don’t need to look any further for a fun way to incorporate working on those r sounds!

R Blends, L Blends, S Blends Articulation Worksheets

Do you have dinosaur lovers on your speech therapy caseload? These paleontology articulation worksheets are perfect for younger students! They are low ink and no prep. Pair them with daubers, stampers, or mini objects. Your student will practice saying the target word as they make their way to the dinosaur fossil!

R blends included (initial position):

  • /br/
  • /kr/
  • /dr/
  • /fr/
  • /gr/
  • /pr/
  • /tr/

S Blends included (initial position):

  • /sk/
  • /sl/
  • /st/
  • /sm/
  • /sn/
  • /sp/
  • /sw/

L Blends included (initial position):

  • /bl/
  • /kl/
  • /gl/
  • /pl/
  • /fl/
This is an articulation worksheet with a dinosaur theme for speech therapy. It targets r blends.

Try out this fun articulation activity with your preschool or kindergarten speech therapy students!

Speech Therapy R Sound Activities for Gliding

These gliding minimal pairs are the answer for incorporating auditory bombardment, auditory discrimination, and minimal pair practice into your speech therapy sessions. Speech-language pathologists will love the simplicity and organization that these phonological disorders printables provide. Data collection will be a breeze. Even better, speech therapists won’t have to worry about searching through all those minimal pair decks, trying to find the right picture cards! These minimal pair activity sheets are included in the Minimal Pairs Bundle.

Read about more simple minimal pairs activities for speech therapy.

R Articulation Cards

These unique articulation speech sound mouth cards provide a nice change from traditional articulation drill cards! It is very fun and motivating for students to see their cards in the picture of a mouth! This set includes R in the initial position, as well as a variety of other speech sounds.

They make really fantastic speech room decor when you hang them on the wall! Your students will also love to hide these articulation cards in sensory bins or games such as Ned’s Head. Read about more of the best speech therapy games for younger children.

More Articulation Activities and Articles

If you are in a hurry and need this article summed up, here are the top 5 speech therapy r sound activities:

  1. Correct that R Program
  2. Vocalic R and Prevocalic R Card Game Companion
  3. S Blends, L Blends, R Blends- Articulation Worksheets
  4. Minimal Pairs Bundle
  5. Articulation Cards

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