Speech At Home: The W Sound

Long awaited (sorry!), here is the second sound for the Speech Series to help parents and caregivers work at home with speech delayed tots, or for those looking for a head start or early nudge into speech development. I should also disclose right away, that “W” isn’t the traditional next sound to work on once your toddler has mastered the “M” sound. I went from the “M” sound into the “W” sound because my toddler was directing his own development and showed increased interest in “W” words like “Wow!” and “Water (Wawa)”.

As previously stated: I’m not a speech therapist, and these activities are recommended to me by our speech therapist, curated from Dian Baker and Nancy Caleffe-Schenck’s h.o.p.e. pamphlet, along with a mix of other ideas I’ve stumbled upon. So, basically, I’m just trying to help encourage other moms with ideas, showing you that they are simple, easy, and totally manageable to work on if you might have a toddler with a speech delay, sensory processing disorder, or maybe just want to work on speech early!

A great way to work on enunciation and new sounds is by bombardment- the more the sound or word is heard, the more familiar it becomes! My son’s favorite “W” word has been “wow!” and “wheel”, and we use books and vehicles to repeat “wheel”.
  • You can walk here, walk there, walk forward and backward.
  • Pretend to be different animals and walk like a penguin, wiggle like a worm, waddle like a duck and “quack, quack, quack“, swim like a whale, crawl like a spider in a web, or fly like an owl.
  • Wash up for a meal of waffles and watermelon. Don’t forget to drink water. Wipe up your mess, and sweep the crumbs off of the floor.
  • Wake up and look outside the window to check the weather. Is it hot, warm, or cold? Is it dry, wet, or windy? Wave goodbye when you go away, and when someone says “Thank you”, say “You’re welcome“.

One of the best “w” words we’ve accomplished has been “water”. It’s something that is needed every single day, and meets the needs of my toddler (and his thirst), making our communication stronger. We’ve incorporated sign language throughout our speech development to help with any communication frustration, and the sign for water looks like you’re holding up the letter W with your fingers, and you bring the “w” to your mouth to tap it. My son took this sign and turned it into more of the classic mouth-cover as if he were playing a game of cowboys and Indians, but not only did he use a specific sign to communicate his want for water, the sign (and his adjustments) helped him form a better “Wa Wa” sound.

“Follow a cow, a pig, and a duck as they wallow in the mud. Along comes Mrs. Wishy-Washy who washes them clean: wishy-washy, wishy-washy. But when Mrs. Wishy-Washy returns to her house, the three animals rush back into the mud. “Oh lovely mud,” they say.”

Ways to build communication with this book:

  • Regular Past Tense Verbs: jumped, rolled, paddled, screamed
  • Irregular Past Tense Verbs: went, said, came
  • Auditory Memory for Repetitive Phrases: “In went the…””Oh lovely mud..”
  • Sequence events and retell a simple story
  • Exclamations and exciting words: “Wheee!”

Props for this book:

  • Plastic toy animals (cow, pig, duck)
  • Bowl of water (for the tub)
  • Bowl of chocolate pudding or oatmeal (for the mud puddle)
  • Scrubbing brush or washcloth
  • Towel
  • Storybook
  • Swing at the park
  • Dig for worms
  • Watch the weather from the window
  • Wash dirty toys and dishes with water to get everything wet
  • Sweep
  • Build a wall out of blocks and knock them down- Whee!
  • Play a wake up game with putting toys and dolls to bed and yelling “WAKE UP!”
  • “This is the Way” song
  • “Wee Willie Winky” song
  • “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
  • “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?”

If you are dealing with any speech or sensory issue and want to connect, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! This series was born for the purpose of providing support, community, and resources to any other mom during this confusing development time.

2 thoughts on “Speech At Home: The W Sound

  1. This is great. My 2nd had a speech delay. He has some errors, but not enough to qualify for speech anymore. This is very helpful!

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