Let's Go on a Sound Safari!

One of my favorite activities to do in therapy sessions, with children of all ages, is to go on a Sound Safari! Leaving the 4-walls of our office, and heading out into the building or outdoors helps children to start identifying sounds as you name objects/people/actions you see in the environment. This activity is a favorite of mine for targeting articulation awareness, early literacy and auditory skills. 

So let's go on a virtual safari! Let's imagine that you are a child who is incorrectly producing the sound /s/. Let's say you have learned how to shape the sound, but are now having a difficult time realizing when the sound is present or not. It's time to head out of our speech-therapy room and go on a safari in search of the sound S. We head down the hallway and see: plants, a sign, and stairs! We head outside: sun, stop sign, sidewalk, and chips (at Dos Pinas). Each time we see one of these words we track it on our safari word sheet and practice saying the sound in the word, in a sentence, and when we get back to mom and dad, we tell them a story using our /s/ sound in the description of all the items we have found!

If we want to add in pre-literacy or literacy skills, our safari has us searching for "S", that we discover is just about everywhere in this building: Sound Speech and Hearing, Climb Real Estate, Eyes on You Optometry, etc. We made a task that can often be seen as mundane or repetitive for children, into a real life search party!

So the next time you are trying to find an activity to do with your child, try playing around with sounds - see how many objects/people/actions you can find in your environment that start with a specific letter. 


Jody Vaynshtok

Jody is a California-licensed speech language pathologist with eight years of industry and clinical experience. She has worked with both adult and pediatric populations during her time at private practice, birth-to-three, and hospital facilities. She is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a variety of communication and cognitive disorders. In addition, Jody has a passion for working with adults looking to achieve clearer communication. Jody received her BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences and MS in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. She was a part of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford’s cleft and craniofacial clinic participating in the multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of children born with craniofacial abnormalities. She holds a staff position at UCSF and is the lead speech language pathologist for the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Hearing Loss Clinic. When she's not busy having fun with her clients Jody enjoys spending time with her husband, Anton, friends and family. And if she's not headed out somewhere fun for dinner, you might find her at Bar Method working out!