How to Use Themed Articulation Word Lists in Speech Therapy


Speech therapy should be meaningful and motivating. Do you agree?!


One way we can make practicing articulation in speech therapy meaningful is to choose words to are related to the theme and activity that we are doing (what four year old says the word, “thimble”??). Using speech sound targets that are related to the theme will help you easily incorporate words into any of your themed speech therapy activities - books, games, songs, and toys! You can use these tips during speech therapy with preschoolers, toddlers, or school aged children.


Here are seven easy ways you can use themed articulation word lists in your therapy room.


  • Pair with a quick themed turn taking game for lots of practice.

  • Write your target words on a sticky note and have them handy when playing with themed toys. Sometimes I like to think of how I will elicit the words in play before the session (for more information about how to elicit speech sounds in play, check out this blog post).

  • Give your student’s teacher target words to practice that are part of a theme being used in the classroom. You can even encourage the teacher to write them on the whiteboard/smart board to remember to use them!



  • Use a themed picture book to go on a picture scavenger hunt for your target words.

  • Send to parents to use during home speech therapy activities! It is much easier for parents to practice speech sounds if the words are naturally occurring in everyday conversation!

  • Mix up the word lists! Read words from different lists and have the child say the word and then tell you if they are part of your theme or not. You can ‘keep’ the words that are part of your theme and use them in a later activity.





  • Choose a few target words before a session and try to plan activities that feature those words.e.g. t with a pet theme -> choose pet, cat, and sit to play with a toy store and cats). When your play activity is already loaded with the target sound, the child will have so much