Skip to Content

43+ Best R Speech Therapy Activities

Speech Therapy Store is dedicated to making your speech therapy life easier one resource at a time. To do this, we often partner with companies that share that mission. If you sign up or make a purchase through one of our partners’ links, we may receive compensation—at no extra cost to you.

I’m excited to bring to you my complete list of R speech therapy activities! Working as a speech therapist in the elementary school setting I would say about 50% of my caseload was working on articulation and about 25% of those students were working on the r sound and r blends. 

Correct Production

In the English language, the r sound is one of the most difficult sounds as well as one of the last sounds to develop. There are two different ways a speech-language pathologist can teach tongue placement for r remediation. 

First, let’s review the two different variations of tongue movements for producing the r sound:

  • Retroflexed R
  • Bunched R

The two different tongue positions are very similar and vary in mid-tongue and tongue tip placements:

  • Teeth: The /r/ sound is made by having a slight gap between the teeth.
  • Lips: Lips should be in a neutral position and not rounded. (A rounded lip shape might lead to a /w/ in place of an /r/ sound, such as “wed” for the word “red”.
  • Sides of the Tongue: Be sure to place the sides of the tongue against the upper side of your teeth to allow for the passage of air to go down the center of the tongue.
  • Tongue Placement:
    • Retroflexed Tongue Position: Have the mid-tongue somewhat tense but not bunched up. Then place the tip of the tongue pointing up just past the alveolar ridge.
    • Bunched Tongue Position: Have the mid-tongue bunched up near the roof of the mouth. Then place the tip of the tongue pointing down or straight.
  • Air: Then blow a skinny stream of air over the center of your tongue (you do not want the air to come out the sides of the tongue).
  • Voice: The r sound is also a voiced sound so your voice box or vocal cords should vibrate. You can tell that their voice is turned on by touching your voice box on your neck and feeling it vibrate.

R Speech Sounds

  • Prevocalic R – is when the r sound comes before a vowel sound, such as an initial r word “red”. 
  • Vocalic R – s when the r sound comes after a vowel sound, such as: or, ar, er, ear, ire, air.

Target Word List – List of Functional Words

Here’s an r word list for you to use in therapy or at home practice to work on your student or child’s new skill.

  • For Example: run, rest, ride, rake, root, parade, tarp, harp, worm, farm, soccer, wire, weather, faster, baker

See the full list of 1220+ R words at the word level, phrase level, and sentence level here.


Word Positions: R Words Speech Therapy 

Initial Position of Words

The initial position of the r sound is at the beginning of a word. For example, “rock” or “race”.

Medial Position of Words

Some words have the r sound in the medial position of a word, such as “scared”, “tired”, and “fork”.

Final Positions of Words

The final positions of words are when the target sound is at the end of a word. For example, “tiger” or “star”.

SEE ALSO: 21 Best Reinforcement Games for Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy Activities

Below I’ve outlined 43+ ideas for articulation activities that can be used to make your speech therapy sessions planning a breeze this year. 

Older Students

Using real-life photos is a great way to work on r articulation therapy with your older or middle school aged students. Here are a few resources that use real life photos.

  1. Real-Life Photos, Phrases, & Sentences – Grab our free r words with real-life pictures or use our interactive flash cards right from our post.
  2. R Conversation Prompts – ARTICULATION by The Prairie Speechie is a set of “Would You Rather” question prompts to work on R articulation at a conversation level.

Articulation Cards

A fun way to work on your students target sounds is to use articulation cards because you can use them in so many different ways. 

You can target r in the therapy room by playing memory or go fish by simply printing a 2nd set of cards. 

  1. R Articulation Cards for Speech Therapy Activities & Drill Sheets – FREE! By Ashley Rossi is a TPT best for a reason! This freebie of 12 articulation cards comes in color and black/white and can be used for drills or homework sheets!
  2. Articulation Cards: Vocalic R by Speech Please is a great set of 138 printable articulation cards for speech therapy!
  3. R-initial Articulation Cards by Speech4Africa is a set of 27 picture cards that are print and go ready. This deck has initial r cards. 

Boom Cards

Using boom cards is like using digital versions of your child’s favorite games.

  1. Articulation Cards for Speech Therapy BOOM CARDS™ R Initial FREEBIE by Stacey Crouse is a set of digital boom cards that target initial /r/. They come with built-in features such as modeling and self-monitoring. 
  2. Free Speech Therapy Boom Cards | Vocalic R Coarticulation Sentences – AIR by Goldielocks Speech is a great, no-prep set of boom cards that allows the student to read the sentence and then pick the correct word from context clues in the sentence. 
  3. You might also want to check out our complete list of boom cards with a whole section just for articulation.

Conversation Level

When looking at the process of articulation therapy we typically begin at the word level and work toward the conversational level. Here are a few ways to work on the r sound at the conversational level. 

One idea is to work on identifying the main idea of a story while working on your r sound in conversation.

9. R Articulation Sentences Freebie by Speechie Worksheet Station is a great set of R articulation worksheets at the sentence level for all positions of /r/. Once the child says the sentence you could then have a short conversation about that topic.

10. “R” Articulation Practice “Would You Rather” Questions For Speech Therapy by Rachel’s Collection is a free sample of 162 “Would You Rather” Questions that prompt practice of the ‘r’ sound in all positions.

Sensory Bins

Using sensory bins can be a perfect practice session for the young children you have on your caseload. 

11. Dinosaur Sensory Bin – Have the child or student request what items they want to add to their sensory bin or describe what they’re doing as they move things around and play! Possible r words (dinosaur, tree, rock, triceratops).

Rainbowfun Dinosaur Sensory Bin,Dinosaur Toys for Toddler Boys and Girls,Include Glow in The Dark Dinosaur,Easy Storage Sensory Toys

12. Ocean Animal Sensory Bin – Have the child or student request what items they want to add to their sensory bin or describe what they’re doing as they move things around and play! Possible r words (turtle, seastar, crab, pearls, water, seahorse, shark).

Rainbowfun Ocean Sensory Toys, Sensory Bins for Toddlers Include Sea Animals, Balloon for Stress Ball, Water Beads etc., Kids Crafts Age 3 4 5 6 7 8

Turn-Taking Game

Here are a few therapy ideas to work on articulation r therapy using a board game while also working on the skill of turn-taking. 

13. Pop the Pirate is similar to the game Pop the Pig. Simply have your students take turns putting their colorful swords into the barrel. Then if the pirate pops up your out. Kids love the suspense of waiting for the pirate to come flying out of the barrel! This game is also perfect for a student working on /r/ and /r-blends/ to work on articulation words while they play, such as “sword”, “barrel”, “treasure”, “red” “pirate”, “arrrgh”, “green”, “my turn”, “your turn”.

TOMY Pop Up Pirate Game - Provides Plenty of Swashbucklin' Fun on Family Game Night

14. Jumping Jack is similar to the game Pop the Pirate. Simply have your students take turns pulling the carrots out of the garden. Then if the rabbit jumps out, you’re out. Kids love the suspense of waiting for the rabbit to come flying out of the garden! This game is also perfect for a student working on /r/ and /r-blends/ to work on articulation words while they play, such as “carrot”, “green”, “orange”, “rabbit”, “my turn”, and “your turn”.

Jumping Jack Game by Goliath — Pull Out a Carrot and Watch Jack Jump

Ready To Go Worksheets

Grab these therapy ideas that are ready to go and are perfect for the busy SLP.

15. Articulation Silly Stories: /r/ by Motivational Speechie is a popular print and go freebie! Similar to mad libs, students roll dice or spin spinners and fill in the blanks with target /r/ words then read their silly stories!

16. R Articulation Drills FREEBIE All Positions: Initial, Medial, Final by Snugglebugspeech is a great set of worksheets that target /r/ in all positions. These are print and go ready!

Small Containers

I love using small containers to store different small objects all with the r sound in them. Here are a few ideas you can use your small containers for.

17. Mini Puzzle Erasers – This set of miniature includes animals, cake, vegetables, fruits, vehicles, sports, and Christmas themed erasers. 

Greentime 90 Different Pencil Erasers, 3D Mini Cute Erasers Puzzle Animal Erasers for Birthday Party Favors, Desk Pets for Classroom School Carnival Prizes Desk Buddies Halloween Treat

18. Dinosaur Mini Sorting Game – Have your students place the dinosaur in the matching colored bowls. You can have them request what they need and practice the following r words (green, red, purple, orange, tweezers, dinosaur).

Naughtybro Dinosaur Counting Learning Activity Set with Matching Sorting Bowls for Toddlers Ages 3-4, Color Classification and Sensory Training STEM Educational Games Toys Gift for Kids Boys Girls

Playing Card

Using playing cards is one of my favorite simple therapy ideas. Simply use a set of playing cards with your student’s articulation words on them.

19. Valentine’s Day Articulation Card Deck by Sublime Speech is an amazing uno style game with 70 cards to practice /r/ articulation with a winter/Valentine’s Day theme. 

20. Mix ‘n Match Articulation Cards /R/ blends by Jamie Morris is a great set of /r/ articulation cards to make practicing /r/ in all positions fun and interactive! 

Picture Scene

Picture scenes are always fun because it feels like a scavenger hunt.

21. Carryover Picture Scene: Spring – R Blends NO PREP FREEBIE Print and Digital by The Speech Boat is a great set of spring-themed picture scenes to practice /r/ articulation! These are print-and-go ready. 

22. Articulation Carryover Activity for SPRING What’s Wrong Picture Scenes FREEBIE by Two Sisters Therapy – Nicole Absher is an amazing, interactive and digital no prep activity that uses “What’s wrong?” picture scenes to prompt conversation to practice /r/ articulation.

SEE ALSO: Free Articulation Games for Speech Therapy

Activity Sheets

Here are some articulation worksheets that I found on teachers pay teachers to make your therapy planning a breeze. 

23. I Spy Articulation Game with /R/ – Initial, Medial, Final by Articulation Station is a free, printable I spy type game that targets /r/ in all positions. 

 24. /r/ articulation coloring page (unlabeled) by Elaina Bartlow is a fun set of coloring pages that focus on /r/ sounds in all positions. This set of coloring pages is unlabeled. 

Interactive Games

Who doesn’t love a fun interactive game to practice target sounds in the speech room? If that’s you, be sure to check out these digital formats of your favorite games below. 

25. Roll Your Sound – Prevocalic /r/ No Prep Articulation FREEBIE by SLP Speech Nerd is a fun and interactive speech game that targets prevocalic /r/ sounds. This is a great activity for elementary aged students!

26. Speech Spinners! No Prep Articulation Game – Medial R Freebie by Peachie Speechie incorporates the popular fidgets spinners into a fun game to practice medial /r/ articulation!

Short Stories

Using short stories is a great way to work on the reading and conversational level of r articulation therapy.

27. Randy’s Car — a Story for Articulation Practice by Clarity Speech and Language is a great short story to use for /r/ articulation practice. 

28. Spooky Speech Story by Tamara Tugong is a great, interactive short story filled with /r/ articulation sounds! 

Flash Cards

Another fun activity is to use interactive flash cards right from your computer. These interactive flash cards are also perfect to share with parents for home practice.

29. Interactive Flash Cards – Have fun using our interactive r flash cards right from your computer! We’ve included 25 flash cards for the initial r, medial r, and final r for a total of 75 interactive flash cards to use with your students or clients right from your computer. 


30. No Print Articulation Flash Cards – R Freebie by Speech Therapy Plans are an amazing, no prep activity for on the go therapy. This set provides 10 productions of the /r/ sounds.

Seasonal Activities

Here are a few seasonal activities with r therapy ideas.

31. Rainy Day /R/ Articulation by Carrie Manchester is an interactive, rain themed game that targets /r/ in all positions!

32. R/L Articulation Trials | Lemonade Themed is a great summer themed set of worksheets for students to practice /r/ articulation with interactive sheets! These can be used for homework, group work or individual practice!

BONUS: Be sure to check out my seasonal lists which all include articulation freebies for the R sound.

SEE ALSO: 279+ Free Speech Therapy Digital Materials

Mr. Potato Head

Another fun activity is to play Mr. potato head and use the carrier phrase, “I need the _____ for Mr. Potato Head.”

33. Mr. Potato Head – Grab your favorite Mr. Potato Head and practice using your r sound as you have your child or student request body parts. Possible r words (ear, arm, red, green, “I need the _____ for Mr. Potato Head.”).

Potato Head Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase Parts and Pieces Toddler Toy for Kids (Amazon Exclusive)

34. Mr. Potato Head Interactive – There is also an online version where you can have your student request and make Mr. Potato head on the computer!


Here are some books with the r sound to work on your student’s articulation. Books are also perfect for auditory bombardment to send home for home practice.

35. Initial RLittle Red Riding Little Red Riding Hood: A Classic Fairytale Keepsake Storybook by Gaby Goldsack (initial r words – red, riding, and ran).

Little Red Riding Hood: A Classic Fairytale Keepsake Storybook

36. Medial RGiraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae (medial r words – giraffe, Gerald, different, around, and clearing).

Giraffes Can't Dance

37. Final RRow Row Row Your Boat by Iza Trapani (final r words – beaver, water, hear, roar, oar, and your).

Row Row Row Your Boat (Iza Trapani's Extended Nursery Rhymes)

38. R-BlendRoom on the Broom by Julia Donaldson (r-blend words – broom, dragon, and frog).

Room on the Broom

Toy Ideas

Do you like using toys in therapy? Here are two toys that are perfect for eliciting the r sound. 

39. Toy Race Car Ramp – Practice your child’s or students r sound with this toy race car ramp. Have your students practice the following words with r (car, red, green, vroom).

TOP BRIGHT Car Ramp Toys for Toddlers 2 3 Year Old Boy, Race Track Car Toy for Toddler Age 2-4 Boy with 4 Car, Parking Lot & Gas Station

40. Play Toy Barn – Practice your child’s or student’s r sound with this play toy barn. Have your students practice the following words with r (barn, red, farmer, horse, door).

Battat – Big Red Barn – Animal Farm Playset for Toddlers 18M+ (6Piece), Dark Red, 13.5" Large x 9" W x 12" H

Movement Games

If you have students who love to move why not try these different movement games while you work on your student’s articulation therapy?

41. Green Light Red Light One student is the director and all the other students line up across the room. The director then gives the instructions “green light” meaning go and “red light” meaning freeze and if a student doesn’t follow the correct direction they are out and the first person to make it all the way to the director by following the “green light” meaning go and “red light” meaning freeze directions wins!

42. Scavenger Hunt – Play the Mixed /R/ Scavenger Hunt! by Liv T the SLP while having the student or child work on their r sound.


If you have a list of r words to practice you can use a fun reinforcement after your student practices so many sounds. For example, have your student say 5-10 words from a practice list and then let them have a small reinforcement.

43. Vocalic R Word Lists for Articulation Drill in Speech Therapy FREEBIE by Stacey Crouse is a great set of simple and versatile word lists to reinforce /r/ articulation!

44. Articulation Cues for Help at Home – FREEBIE by Speech Language Pirates is a great set of handouts to send home for students to reinforce and practice /r/ and other articulation.

R Carryover

Do you have any students working on the r sound at the carryover level? If so here are some activities that are perfect for a carryover activity.

45. FREE Articulation Carryover /R, S, Z/ by Beverly Plass is a great set of no prep, photo filled articulation worksheets for students to practice /r/ and other articulations!

 46. Winter Word Search-Mixed /r/-Speech Therapy-Articulation-Carryover by Crafty Vee’s is a fun, interactive winter themed word search to help carry over practicing /r/ articulation. It includes /r/ in all positions. 

Tricky Sound – Most Effective Therapy

Here are a handful of different types of speech therapy exercises to help your speech students produce the tricky r sound.

In Conclusion: R Speech Therapy Activities

We hope you have found this article helpful for working on your child or student’s r sound. 

Be sure to grab your freebie of 20 initial words, 20 medial r words, and 20 final r words to start practicing 5 minutes a day.

Good luck!

Need Different Sounds?

You won’t want to miss out on my complete growing list of all my articulation word lists! This list includes s blends and coming soon l blends.

Want Even More R Speech Therapy Activities?

Want the Best of the Bests?

Be sure to check out our most popular posts below!