By: Kyle Mutch MS CCC-SLP

Whether it’s remembering someone’s name, the name of a place or identifying basic objects, everyone occasionally struggles from word finding issues. Word finding difficulties are more prevalent in children with language disorders and can lead to academic and social challenges. In this post, you’ll learn about strategies and activities that help prevent words from being stuck on the “tip of the tongue”.

Common Signs of Word Finding Difficulty

  • Extensive delay lead up to the end of the question: “Where’s my……………..paintbrush?”
  • Using many filler words in place of specific words: “Have you seen my, um, my, the, um…paintbrush?”
  • Nonspecific language: “The thing I paint with.”

Strategies to Enhance Word Finding Skills

The key to word finding is providing a way for children to make stronger connections between words. Word finding activities help children organize the information to make word recall easier!

Describe the objects:

  1. What category/group does it belong to?
  2. What does it look like?
  3. What does it smell like?
  4. What does it taste like?
  5. What does it sound like?
  6. What does it feel like?
  7. What is the function?
  8. Where is it found?
  9. What are the different parts?

Make associations between objects – You could say, “It goes with _______ and makes me think of _______”. (e.g. peanut butter/jelly, shovel/pail, hammer/nail—Thanksgiving/turkey).

Discuss similarities/differences between objects (e.g., tape/glue go together because they are sticky, milk/water go together because they are drinks, blue/orange go together because they’re both colors).

Talk about synonyms and antonyms (e.g., tall/short, big/small, full/empty, soft/hard, wet/dry, clean/dirty, hard/difficult, fix/repair, gift/present).

Games/Activities to Facilitate Word Finding

I spy



Heads Up


20 Questions

Word Burst/ Outburst

We would love to hear the word strategy activities you have used with your child! If you suspect that your child is having word connectivity issues, contact us to set up a speech-language evaluation.