Treating the /r/ phoneme can be tricky, tiresome, and annoying for the clinician and student! I haven’t met an SLP at the elementary, middle, or high school level that doesn’t need more speech therapy R activities for their caseload. Today, I will share ten engaging R sound speech therapy activities to help you get those high trials in therapy.

Before practicing R at the syllable, word, sentence, or conversational level, you want to ensure you have established a solid /r/ production. It benefits no one to continue drilling /r/ when it isn’t an accurate production. If you need more resources to establish the /r/ phoneme, keep reading because I share some great tools!

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Feeling Defeated about Teaching the R Sound?

The best advice I got from a veteran SLP when I asked how to teach a child to say /r/ was, “Just grab a pair of gloves, a tongue depressor, and hope for the best!”

In his office video clip, Dwight Schrute sums up most SLPs’ feelings about the /r/ phoneme!  He says, “R is one of the most menacing of sounds!  That’s why they call it murder and not muck duck!”  Those are my thoughts exactly, Dwight.

R Speech Therapy Techniques and Resources

speech therapy activities for treating r. Once you get an /r/ established, there are some great activities on TPT.

If you are looking for manuals and guides for how to teach R to your student, Pam Marshalla has two excellent books. The first book is called Successful R Therapy: Fixing the Hardest Sound in the World. You will learn tips for how to help your student use their jaw, lips, and tongue together to produce r. Pam Marshalla also has The Marshalla Guide: A Topical Anthology of Speech Movement Techniques for Motor Speech Disorders & Articulation Deficits, which is a fantastic resource for a spectrum of speech sound disorders. Not only does she include techniques for remediating the /r/ phoneme, but Pam also shares various techniques for many speech sound disorders. If you serve a caseload with various speech sound disorders, this may be a better fit for your needs, whereas the Successful R Therapy book is excellent for SLPs who treat R often with students. 

Here is a post by SLP Natalie Snyders about getting a good /r/. Some excellent ideas from Playing With Words 365 about teaching the /r/ phoneme.

The Peachie Speechie has some great videos for how to teach r that you can use in therapy with your students.

Speech Therapy R Activities

Not having engaging speech therapy R sound activities for your sessions can make the day drag along! That’s why I am sharing a round-up of ten engaging prevocalic and vocalic r sound activities to help you keep students motivated to practice. If you need tips for encouraging R carryover into conversation, check out this blog post

  1. For word, carrier phrase, and sentence level R sound practice, check out the prevocalic and vocalic r activities flipbooks. You can get high trials while working on the vocalic r that your students are stimulable for using correctly. 

2. Figuratively speeching has an excellent articulation placemat set that is great for sending home for additional practice. It provides activities for the whole week on one sheet with letters included to send home!

3. Whether you are doing teletherapy, in-person therapy, or need to build a speech home program, using the digital speech folders for R will help you customize syllable, word, sentence, and carryover activities in one spot! Once your student’s digital speech folder is set up, you can easily share the Google Slide presentation with the family or pull it up on your computer for ready-to-go therapy.

R Sentences Activities and R Activity Worksheets

4. Erik Raj has these super fun Mini homework sheets for articulation. These mini R articulation worksheets have great silly R sentence questions that students can read and discuss. One way to incorporate more R sentence level practice is to have your student ask a friend, teacher, and parent the silly question outside the speech therapy session.

5. To up your student’s motivation to practice R sentences, use the No Prep Articulation Sentence Challenge Sheets. Students will be excited to see if they can beat their last challenge score! Make sure your students go slow enough to achieve correct productions. Play 3 rounds to see if they can get more trials or correct productions.

R Words Sound Loaded Carrier Phrases

6. Need resources for R words sound loaded carrier phrases? Use the sentence strip visuals to practice R with similar carrier phrases such as “I want a ____.” or with sound-loaded R phrases for initial r, r-blends, and vocalic r.

  1. Miss V’s Speech World has an incredible 52 Weekly /r/ homework worksheets product that helps you get sound-loaded R practice in your session and a one-page R worksheet to send home for weekly practice. 

Speech Therapy R Activities for Carryover

8. To get those high trials when reading passages, you will have fiction and non-fiction passages ready using the R articulation carryover activities set. No more stressing about taking data because the R sound is counted for you to take data easily!

  1. Work on sequencing skills and explaining how to do something with sound-loaded R YouTube videos. You don’t have to spend time searching for videos because they have been organized as QR codes in the R Articulation carryover activities set. The best thing about these how-to YouTube videos is that they are mixed group friendly!
  1. One common core standard in classrooms is to work on comparing and contrasting. Comparing and contrasting occur when discussing characters in stories, scientific methods, and figurines in history. So, why not provide more opportunities for students to practice comparing and contrasting and practicing their r sound? Compare and contrast similar R nouns by attributes. If you don’t have time to think of word pairs, there are R flashcards in this set to help you save time

What R Speech Therapy Activities Do You Use With Your Students?

Sometimes speech therapy for r can get a little boring for the clinician and the student. When in a planning rut, it’s nice to find activities that will liven up the sessions. So, if you have a fun r speech therapy activity, share it in the comments!