Articulation therapy is about establishing correct motor patterns for speech sounds. Once we have helped the child achieve the sound by itself – they then need to master correct sound production in syllables, words, phrases, sentences and every day conversation.  Oh … AND we have to do that for the sound in all positions in a word – be it at the beginning, end or in the middle of a word.

Opinions vary, although it’s estimated it takes about 300 repetitions to ‘ingrain’ a new movement pattern depending on it’s complexity – basically three times more practice using the correct movement rather than the error pattern at each level.  Changing an incorrect speech pattern requires repetition, repetition, repetition and this can become very monotonous and boring for everyone.  So … how can we make this repetition interesting and motivating for both child and parent?

Ta Da!  Meet the PLAY DOUGH 3D ARTICULATION DIORAMA
Child playing with a diorama

This scene was made using clipart pictures from Google Images.  The scene above is for the ‘s’ sound.  I made a ‘beach’ in a tray using blue and yellow play dough and then each picture was placed standing up in the tray to create a 3D effect.

A set of pictures can be made for home and parents can create their own diorama in a large biscuit tin or ‘tupperware’ container with a lid (so the play dough doesn’t dry out).  This then provides a basis for daily therapy activity.

Some ways to use your Diorama to practice the speech sound are:

  • rearrange the pictures and talk about the changes you have made
  • sabotage the scene overnight and have your child guess what has been changed (even add your own characters)
  • include pictures or items that ‘don’t belong’ and use as a verbal explanation activity

Enjoy – Margo