Speech Development Activities for Siblings

Speech Development Activities for Siblings

Speech Development Activities for Siblings

Language is an additive process which is built on a period from scratch by trial-and-error method and gradually from the role of environment. It involves facilitating and shaping the behavior from time to time till it reaches to an adult pattern language . Learning language is a cerebral function. It is not physically recognizable. The child is influenced by various psychological activities namely conditioning, reinforcement, imitation, and association.

Acquisition of vocabulary involves sound sequence and hearing between words offset and meaning. Reinforcement is also imitating the child, baby, or objects but they do not imitate to learn themselves. For eg: If parents talk to the child and ask information, it does not mean that they gather information from the child, but they increase the vocalization and knowledge of the child. Reinforcement is considered important to the child to increase the learning ability.

In the same way siblings play a big role in the role of speech development in a child. A child imitates another child while trying to bond with him/her.

A study on child development, have found that of 385 pre-schoolers, children who are in larger families have parents that have less time to dedicate to just one child’s learning and the youngest child in these families have less-developed vocabularies than their older siblings and did a bit worse on a standard vocabulary test. But on the contrary, it was opposite if a child had an attentive older sibling. This gives us a notion that an older sibling makes a difference. These children pick up the cues or words that they understand during social exchange.

Sensory activities for language development

Hence engaging your children in play activities help in speech development with their younger sibling in learning new vocabulary and to use them on a daily conversation.

The parent trying to engage their children in play activities might end separating them due to small fights over a toy and pulling the toy one from the other. In those occasions the parents need to talk to the elder sibling as to how she would feel if it was taken from her and to frame a mindset that involves considering the emotions of the other person. This talk might help the younger one to simply imitate the elder one. Taking time to talk to the children over their social behaviour towards their sibling would cause a change slowly as the child starts to understand the cause of his/her act.

Speech Development Activities for Siblings

Speech Development Activities for Siblings

Syllable Game:

Ask the child to repeat the word in syllable fashion by making the words written like balloons /bal/, /loons/etc.  and stick them on pinning boards.

Syllable Game

Block Game:

Ask the siblings to tell the story that each of them has heard from their parents by using the story generation cards. This helps them to increase the length of utterance and to maintain their topic when narrating the story until they finish it. Also, the younger child would try to imitate the older one and finish the task by building the block activity by choosing a block for every phrase.

Block Game

Speech Development Activities for Siblings

Bead NecklaceBead Necklace:

Each bead can be threaded by using a set of words that can be chosen by picking a word from a box like a lexical (Fruits, Vegetables, Body Parts) or a verb. After the child identifies the picture card. He or she can rope in a bead at the end make a necklace for the children to wear. This activity helps the children to facilitate to learn more vocabulary.


Treasure HuntTreasure Hunt:

This activity can be created by giving them cues of finding the syllables of a word like eg: from a bucket and identify the syllable using the cues given and picking the written words in two or three places like a vegetable or animal (/to-ma-to/, /ele-ph-ant/) and asking them to pick them. This helps the children to pronouncing the sounds correctly and also gives them a chance to use the syllable in the correct order. 

Ball GameBall Game:

Catching a ball to and fro helps in taking turn taking skills that initiates communication. Like using the words ‘catch’ and ‘throw’.

Bubble game

Bubble game:

Toddlers love playing the bubbles and enjoy when they fall on the floor. So, we can ask the sibling to blow the bubbles until the other child keeps talking which might help them to encourage each other to create longer sentences.

Reading Books


Reading Books:

Kids imitate the speech when a reading book and asking the elder child to repeat it helps them to imitate true words and speak to the younger kids slowly and use correct grammar unlike baby talking.

Straw BlowStraw Blow:

Asking the siblings to drink liquids using straws with different textures like juice, milkshake and porridge and asking them to blow the liquids on a paper helps them to improve their lip movement and to improve their overall speech muscles.

Mini Golf SetMini Golf Set:

A golf set should be used to play the game using repetition task of new words for small children. For eg: Keep saying the word “morning” until they push the golf balls inside the putting hole. This would sound interesting for the children and help them to imitate each other during task.

Lego Game:

We can label each sound with one colour and ask them to pick each colour by naming the sound that is labelled for each.Lego Game

Sing song Ping a pong:

All the rhymes that your elder kid sings in preschool like ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’, help in developing language skills in the younger child. Give the children to make their own melody and words to help them enjoy and to learn new words.

Decode Game:

Give the siblings a word to be taken from a box and ask them to give a rhyming word. Help them explore them until they sound a true word also encourage them by giving them some token or colourful cards as a reinforcement.Decode Game



Grab a toy bowling set and ask them to roll a bowl only if they completing the sentence for posted phrase like using the sentence ‘I like…….’ and then the child tries to complete it by saying ‘I like a cat’. This helps the other sibling to repeat the sentence but with another animal ‘I like a dog’. Then give them another phrase ‘I want to ..’.So, they get equal opportunities to make the sentence.


Using WH- question like (What, Where, When and Why) and How questions to help with language development, reading comprehension etc by giving them stories with self-explanatory pictures. They might be excited to create a story each of their own.




Play-Doh Speech:

Play dohs can be used when trying different blended sounds and for drilling those sounds like making them repeat it by doing a fun activity.

Hence these activities help the children to develop their speech and language development. If you have doubts that your child has a lower age-appropriate speech and language skills. Kindly contact a speech pathologist to help your child to improve his/her speech skills.

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