10 Amazing Speech Therapy Exercises for Stuttering Children Exposed (2023)

Sometimes, instead of seeking speech therapy for your children, it might be more beneficial to practice speech therapy exercises with your child at home. These exercises aim to improve speech fluency and reduce stuttering by targeting specific aspects of speech production, such as breathing, rate, and rhythm. These exercises can be done individually or in a group setting and are usually tailored to the individual’s needs and abilities. Some of the techniques that may be included in speech exercises for stuttering are:

  • Help Children Talk Slower
  • Easy Onsets
  • Controlled Breathing
  • Oral Motor Exercises
  • Switching to Straws
  • Pausing Exercise
  • AEIOU Exercise
  • Jaw Movement Exercise
  • Train with Apps
  • Reading Aloud

Help Children Talk Slower

Helping children to slow down their speech can significantly improve their ability to communicate clearly. When children talk too quickly, their words can blend, and they may not pronounce sounds correct. One effective way to help children slow down is to create awareness of different speech speeds using labels such as “sloth,” “turtle,” and “cheetah.” Practicing different rates of talking through games and demonstrations can give children greater control over their speech speed.

If a child needs more than awareness to slow down, pacing exercises can help. For example, speech pacing strips with images of turtles and happy faces can be used to guide the child to stretch out words and keep sentences from becoming choppy. Holding up fingers to count words or syllables in a word can also help children pace their speech. Parents should remember to slow down their speech and briefly pause before responding to their child or spouse. Combined with parental modeling and gentle reminders, these exercises can help children communicate more effectively.

You may want to watch this video about the first three exercises that I will be mentioning here, including the first technique I discussed, “Slow Talking,” and the next two techniques, “Controlled breathing” and “Early Onset exercises. These first three exercises may be enough already for your children for the first few weeks.

Easy onsets

Easy onsets, also known as gentle voice onsets, are a fluency technique that can help produce vowel sounds smoothly at the beginning of words. According to Max and Caruso (1997), easy onset speech refers to the gradual initiation of vocal fold vibration.

Speech is composed of both voiced and voiceless sounds. By touching your voice box while making some vowel sounds, you can feel the vibration from the vocal folds.

Sudden movement or excessive tension around the vocal folds can result in stuttering at the start of a word or phrase. Easy onsets can help you initiate an outbreak first and then gradually activate the vocal folds rather than attempting to do both simultaneously.
For example, by adding the voiceless sound “h” to the beginning of a word, such as “after,” the vocal folds do not go straight from a closed position to suddenly vibrating when the vowel is produced. Therefore, when using an easy onset, the word “after” would sound more like “hhhhhafter.”

Controlled Breathing

child controlling his breath

One helpful therapy solution for stuttering is learning proper breathing techniques, particularly using the stomach. The muscle tension that often contributes to stuttering can be reduced by teaching your child how to breathe more effectively. 

By focusing on breathing from the stomach instead of the chest, your child can create a sense of calm and ease in their body, making it easier to speak without stuttering. This technique can be practiced at home by encouraging your child to take deep breaths using their diaphragm or by engaging in calming activities such as yoga or meditation. With consistent practice and guidance from a therapist, your child can learn to use their breath as a tool to improve their speech and reduce their stuttering.

Oral Motor Speech Therapy Exercises

mouth exercise

Producing speech sounds correctly requires our mouth and tongue to move in specific ways. You can do these exercises with your child to strengthen their oral motor muscles. Here are some examples of exercises you can try:

Tongue Push-Ups

“Tongue Push-Ups” is used to strengthen the tongue. It is done by having your child hold half a grape or raisin on the upper ridge behind their teeth (not on their teeth) and push up with their tongue. Gradually increase the time they hold the grape or raisin in their mouth.

Tongue Pops Exercise

To strengthen the tongue, have your child suck their tongue up to the top of their mouth, pull it back, and release it, making a popping sound.

Back and Forth Exercise

To increase oral-motor coordination, have your child stick out their tongue and move it from side to side outside of their mouth, ensuring their tongue doesn’t touch their lips.

Icing exercise

“Icing” is another exercise that increases oral stimulation and awareness. Move ice pops or ice over your child’s lips from the middle outward, and then ask them to smile.

‘Say Ah’ Exercise

“Say Ah” is an exercise that increases the strength of the soft palate. Using a mirror, have your child watch their soft palate move while saying “ah.”

Brushing exercise

“Brushing” is an exercise that increases tactile stimulation and awareness for the lips. Brush your child’s lips with different textures such as a toothbrush, cotton swab, tongue depressor, or spoon.

Blowing Exercise

To increase tongue strength, ask your child to blow objects like small balls, feathers, cotton balls, tissues, or bubbles through a straw.

Whistle exercise

To increase lip strength, you can try the “Whistle” exercise. Have your child pucker their lips and blow, attempting to whistle.

Fish Mouth Exercise

“Fish Mouth” is an exercise that increases oral-motor strength. Have your child pucker their lips and suck their cheeks in to make a “fish face.”

Sucking Exercise

Finally, there’s “Sucking,” an exercise that increases soft palate strength. Have your child use a straw to suck up liquids. You can also try holding a piece of paper at the end of the straw while they suck.

These exercises should be practiced 2-3 times a day for about 10-20 minutes. Using a mirror can help your child see the movements they need to make. By making these exercises fun and creative, your child can improve their speech and have fun at the same time!

Switching to Straws Technique

When your child drinks through a straw, it can help them learn about proper tongue placement, which can aid in relaxation and improving speech.

Using a straw can also help your child develop the oral motor skills necessary for clear and precise speech. Sucking through a straw requires specific movements of the tongue, lips, and jaw, which can help strengthen and coordinate these muscles.

When your child drinks through a straw, it can help them learn about proper tongue placement, which can aid in relaxation and improving speech.

Using a straw can also help your child develop the oral motor skills necessary for clear and precise speech. Sucking through a straw requires specific movements of the tongue, lips, and jaw, which can help strengthen and coordinate these muscles.

To incorporate this exercise at home, start by offering your child drinks through a straw instead of a regular cup or bottle. Encourage them to use the straw by placing it in their mouth and providing positive reinforcement for their efforts. As your child becomes more comfortable using the straw, you can increase the difficulty by using a wider straw or adding resistance to the straw with a special valve or thicker liquid.

Pausing Exercise Technique

Pausing is an essential aspect of speech therapy that can also be practiced at home. To help your child improve their fluency and decrease stuttering, you can work on pausing after specific words in a sentence. Start by choosing a sentence that your child can read or repeat, and then identify words where pausing could be helpful.

Encourage your child to say the sentence slowly and then pause for a brief moment after the selected words. Gradually increase the length of the pause, and continue practicing until your child becomes comfortable with this technique.

It is important to remember that practicing pausing is not a quick fix, and progress may take time. However, with regular practice and patience, your child’s fluency can improve, and their confidence in speaking can increase. Be sure to praise your child’s efforts and progress.

A E I O U Therapy Exercise

The “A E I O U” therapy is a popular exercise used in speech therapy to help children with their speech difficulties. The therapist will instruct your child to say each vowel sound as loudly and clearly as possible. This exercise helps your child become more aware of the sounds they produce and teaches them how to properly use their vocal cords to produce speech sounds.

In addition to helping your child with stammering, the “A E I O U” therapy can also improve their overall speech clarity and pronunciation. By practicing this exercise regularly, your child can become more comfortable with their therapy and develop the skills they need to communicate effectively.

To make this exercise more engaging, you can encourage your child to say the vowel sounds in a fun and creative way. For example, you could have them say the vowels in different accents or at varying speeds. You could also have them say the vowels while making silly faces or performing other physical actions.

Jaw Movement Technique

One of the most effective exercises for improving stuttering involves working on the movement of the jaw. During this exercise, the therapist will ask your child to open their mouth as wide as possible without causing any discomfort. Then, they will guide your child to rub their tongue on the top of their mouth to the back and hold it there for a few seconds. After that, your child will be instructed to move their tongue all the way out and hold it there as well.

It is essential to note that the therapist will closely monitor your child during this exercise to ensure that they don’t experience any pain or discomfort. This exercise aims to help your child gain more control over their jaw movements and improve their overall speech.

Exercise with Mobile Apps

Speech therapy apps offer a fun and engaging way to support speech and language development for both children and adults. These apps use various practice tools, including voice playback and interactive games, to build and improve skills such as conversational abilities, name recall, and fluency. With features like text-to-speech tools and visuals of how sounds are made, each app provides unique ways to support and reinforce speech therapy. Moreover, these apps can be personalized to cater to different age groups and needs.

One example of a speech therapy app is Fluency SIS, which is designed for school-age children who stutter. The app’s Smart Intervention Strategy reshapes the approach to stuttering modification by desensitizing the child to feared stimuli, thereby reducing anxiety and helping them become confident and effective communicators. 

Another app, Fluency Tracker, is specifically for the parents of children who stutter. This app allows parents to enter data regarding the child’s stuttering frequency, time, location, and with whom they were speaking. The data is processed to provide a real-time overview of the child’s anxiety and attitude toward speaking, enabling speech therapists to customize their therapy. Fluency SIS and Fluency Tracker are both available for purchase on mobile devices.

Reading Aloud Exercise

mother reading book to her daughter

Reading aloud to your child is a beautiful way to promote language development and support speech therapy goals. Through this activity, you can target various skills crucial for communication, social interaction, and literacy. Here are some specific benefits of read-aloud and book companions in speech therapy:

Improve Receptive Language 

Reading aloud to your child can help develop their receptive language skills, which involve understanding the meaning of words and sentences. As you read to your child, they hear new words and learn how to use context clues to understand their meanings. Additionally, they learn how to follow a narrative and make connections between events in the story.

Develop Expressive Language 

Expressive language skills can also be targeted through read-aloud. By discussing the story, your child can practice using words and sentences to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. They can also learn how to organize their ideas and convey them in a clear and concise manner.

Promote Social Communication/Social Skills

Furthermore, reading aloud can promote social communication and social skills. Stories often contain characters with different emotions and perspectives, which can help your child learn how to recognize and respond to the feelings of others. Additionally, you can use stories to discuss appropriate behavior in different social situations.

Enhance Articulation and Phonological Awareness

Moreover, reading aloud can also help improve articulation and phonological awareness. Your child can practice producing sounds accurately by hearing how words are pronounced correctly. They can also learn to distinguish between different sounds and syllables, which is essential for developing phonemic awareness and reading fluency.


Speech therapy exercises for stuttering children aim to improve speech fluency and reduce stuttering by targeting specific aspects of speech production, such as breathing, rate, and rhythm. These exercises can be done individually or in a group setting and are usually tailored to the individual’s needs and abilities. Oral motor exercises can strengthen the muscles necessary for clear and precise speech. Incorporating the use of straws, practicing pausing, and learning proper breathing techniques are additional therapy solutions for stuttering. Parents should make these exercises fun and creative to encourage their children to practice them regularly. With regular practice and patience, stuttering can be reduced, and speech fluency and confidence can be improved.

Written by: Sittie Ashia Said

Edited and Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Juhairah Magarang-Said

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