Articulation Games for the R Sound

Ravishing, Radiant "R" - Articulation Games for the R Sound

Many children have difficulty pronouncing the /r/ phoneme.

These articulation games for the /r/ sound will be a quick resource for you to use the next time you need ideas for eliciting it.

Remember, the more productions you can get during a therapy session the better. Drill is very beneficial for maximizing therapy time, but it still has to be fun! 

Buy Flashcards for R & R Blend Words for $9.99

Isolated /R/

Sometimes, especially in young children, even just eliciting the /r/ sound can be difficult.

Here is a new idea to try…ROAR!

Show the children these pictures of a bear, tiger, and lion.

Explain that these animals have a very good ROAR!

Tell them that they are going to be an animal during therapy and let each child choose their animal. 

Use a mirror.

Have each child practice making scary “animal roaring” faces. Then talk about tongue placement.

Use words consistent with the animal theme, such as “curl back your tongue like a lion.”

Practice growling with the /r/ sound before it turns into the longer roar. This method proved to be successful with my own son who had a difficult time with /r/. 

Initial /R/

Rabbit Rabbit Race to the Rug!

This is a game you can play to elicit a lot of initial /r/ sounds in a short therapy session. It can be adapted to be used in isolated words, phrases or sentences.

You do need a little space for this game, so if you have a small office move to the hallway.

Lay a rug about ten feet in front of the child/ren. (If you don't have a small rug in your office, try the local dollar store!)

Tell them that they are a rabbit and they need to get to the rug!

The way they earn hops is by saying the /r/ sound.

So for the word level, they could take a hop after saying 10 productions. For phrases, they could say “rabbit rabbit race to the rug!”

For each set of productions they get to take one big rabbit hop. 

Randy the Rhino

Print a picture of this rhinoceros and cut a slit in the body.

Print the list of initial /r/ words.

Cut out the words and flip them over on the table.

Tell the child that Randy the Rhino is really hungry!

Flip over each word and say it 5 times or make a sentence using the word before “feeding” it to the rhino.

You could also use the carrier phrase “Randy the Rhino is eating ____” (insert /r/ word.)

Medial /R/

Pirates and Fairies

Print a picture of a pirate and a fairy, or just write the words on two separate pieces of paper.

Then print the following words and cut them out.












Cherry Pie



Ask the child to sort through the words and either give the object to the fairy or the pirate.

Practice saying each word many times or use it in a sentence. “I am giving the camera to the fairy.”

SEE ALSO: The Best Free App for Speech Therapy

Final /R/

Cars Cars Cars!

Bring a variety of small toy cars to the therapy lesson.

These should vary in color, size, and shape so the children can use them in different sentences. (These can be purchased at the dollar store if you don’t already have them.)

At the word level, practice the word “car”.

The therapist can say a descriptive phrase...

  • “I have a red...”

  • “You have a small...”

...and the child finishes with the word car.

Use three cars to practice saying all the sounds “c-a-r” and the final /r/ car can zoom away as the child holds the sound.

If using phrases and sentences, allow the child to make their own sentences while playing with and comparing/contrasting the cars.

Pick up each car and say the color in a sentence…

  • ”This is a blue car.

  • This is a red car.” 

Feather Feather What Do You See?

Use this story to practice final /r/ sounds…

Feather feather what do you see? 

I see a flower looking at me.

Flower flower what do you see?

I see a dinosaur looking at me.

Dinosaur dinosaur what do you see?

I see an alligator looking at me.

Alligator alligator what do you see?

I see a mother looking at me.

Mother mother what do you see?

I see my daughter looking at me! 

/R/ Blends

Isolated Blends

Write the following blends on index cards or post-it notes. 

dr   cr  fr  br  pr  gr  tr

Have the child flip over a blend and ask them to say as many words using that blend as they can think of, even if they are nonsense words.

Then use the list of /r/ blends on our website to add to their inventory of words.

If they can say ten words in each blend, give them a reinforcement.

Remember, the word “prize” is a blend. :)

SEE ALSO: The Best Books for Speech Therapy Practice

Speech therapy books for targeting multiple goals

Silly Story With Blends

Have the child read this silly story aloud, or you can read it to them and have them “catch” you if you don’t pronounce a blend properly.

You can also have them listen for the blends and clap when they hear/see one. There are over 30 blended /r/ words in this paragraph. 

"Once upon a time there lived a prince.

Late one Friday night, he was eating fruit. (He loved grapes and prunes!) There was a knock at the door, and it was a frozen princess!

She asked the prince if he would be her friend. The prince said he would, under one condition. He asked the princess if she likes grapes and prunes.

She started to cry. “No,” she said, “but I do like bread and pretzels!”

The prince began to shut the door, but the frozen princess handed him a drink. He started to drink it, and he turned green, the color of grass!

Suddenly, he became a frog.

The moral of the story? When the frozen princess comes to greet you, don’t offer her prunes and grapes.

Grant the princess some bread and pretzels!"

That’s a RAP!

For comprehensive lists of every phoneme in every position check out all of HomeSpeechHome's Word Lists.

Even better, download the...

They provide extensive word lists at your finger tips in every position for every phoneme.

Word Vault Pro allows you to track data during quick drill with your students. And that is only a small section of the app. Don’t even get me started on the language portion. It's truly remarkable.

Have a RADIANT day!

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About the Author

Lindsey is an M.S. CCC-SLP from Salt Lake City, UT. She received both her B.S. and M.S. from Utah State University. When she's not chasing her 5 crazy kids around, she enjoys creating engaging speech therapy ideas and materials. Read More

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