Word Searches

For Speech Therapy

I'll have to admit that before today I never used word searches during speech therapy. I always naively thought...there is no talking while doing them so why would I use them?

HOWEVER, it occurred to me that word searches can be an excellent tool for speech therapy since they tie in spelling and phonological awareness with articulation. We all now know how phonological and articulation skills are intertwined and that both must be targeted during therapy!

Word Searches For Speech Therapy

Why Use Word Searches?

Word searches are a fun and motivating way to target spelling and articulation!

Children with speech sound disorders and/or phonological disorders are at risk for reading difficulties due to deficits in phonological awareness.

Word searches allow the child to connect how a word is spelled with how it is pronounced. It provides a visual representation for when a child's target sound appears in the word (initial, medial, final position).  

I also appreciate the review for "tricky" letters such as "c." For example, "c" is sometimes /s/ and sometimes /k/, and this isn't always directly taught.


I created 2 different sets of materials. I couldn't resist the chance to target vocabulary as well as articulation and spelling.

  1. The first set of materials is a straight up word search. The child has to say the word 3-5 times before finding it in the word search box. Easy.
  2. The second set combines articulation and vocabulary. First, the child has to solve the "riddle" and write the word in the blank space. Then, the child has to say the word 3-5 times before finding it.

How To Use Them

I tend to use word searches as home practice since they can take a bit of time, and I like to get in as much motor practice as possible during my limited time with a client. 

However, they can be used during in-person treatment, remote learning, or as part of a home practice program. 

  • Home practice: I just send the sheet home. 
  • In-person treatment: We practice saying the word and/or solving the vocabulary questions before finding the words. I may even have the child use the word in a sentence depending on their goals. 
  • Remote therapy: Since the materials are in PDF, the client can use the PDF drawing tools to find and circle the words. I actually use this option for in-person treatment to cut down on printing too!


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