If you have looked through the “Therapy Ideas” section of my blog, you’ll know that quick and easy (and cheap!) are my favorite kinds of therapy games. A 30-minute session goes quickly, especially with a group a students, so I need to maximize every minute for learning and rehearsal. Here’s a new game I created last spring that was a big hit with my carry-over kids!
Can It! requires only 2 things — a package of colored craft sticks (AC Moore, sometimes the dollar store) and a can to put them in (I found a baby-formula can is perfect, but I’m sure you can find a suitable metal or plastic container). I assigned one color to each speech sound: red for /r/, blue for /l/, green for /s/, yellow for /th/. Then I thumbed through my “40,000 Words” book and, using a Sharpie, wrote 2-3 syllable words with the target sound in all positions, one word on each side, toward the end of the sticks. I put them in the can, word-side down. Easy-peasy!
Each student in turn selected a stick, said one of the words, and used it in a sentence. If the word had the student’s target sound, he kept the stick. If it didn’t, he had to Can It! (put it back), but still had to use it in a sentence. I kept data on production of each student’s target sound at the word and spontaneous sentence levels. The students quickly figured out which color they should be selecting from to maximize the number of sticks they could keep, but when that color ran out, they had to select from a different color. Sometimes the word had their sound, sometimes it didn’t. This is when the game got really competitive and fun.
This game was great for mixed artic groups and for students who were working on multiple sounds. Because I selected words not typically found on artic cards and worksheets, we could also use this game to work on vocabulary. Because this game is so easy, I let two students play it and monitor each other while I use Artic-U-Checks to do my quarterly progress monitoring with the third student in the group.