Welcome to Sentence Level Games for SH. Yeah!
Throw away your flashcards! You will not need them at this stage. When your child sees those cards, he or she goes in to "speech mode." This is something I see all the time!
Speech games are a controlled situation without many distractions. However, when your child is not in "speech mode," he or she may not say SH correctly. It is harder to remember to say sounds right. If this is your child, you are in the right place.
Now, your child is going to work on saying SH during functional speech games.
1. Before starting a game, remind your child that you are going to play a game and practice SH at the same time. Do a quick "warm-up" by repeating a few SH words to get started.
2. Introduce the target sentences while you explain the directions to the game. Practice the sentences a few times.
3. Remember to incorporate as many repetitions of the target sentences as possible. That is the real reason you are playing after all!
4. Make sure you, the parent, takes turns during games. You have the opportunity to model the target sentence which has the power to accelerate the process. Your child is listening!
5. Don't forget to give appropriate verbal, visual, and tactile cues as needed. The ultimate goal though is to fade these cues so your child is independently saying SH correctly.
Lastly, remember to have fun!!
This classic card game never misses with my students!
Target Sentences: Go Fish
How to Play: "Go Fish" is a pretty common card game. I will review the rules for those who don't know it. You need a table and a deck of cards. Any cards will do as long as there is one match for each card. You can use playing cards, vocabulary cards, really anything. Each player gets 5 cards and the rest go in the middle of the table face down. One player starts and asks anyone who is playing "(i.e., mommy) do you have ____(i.e., number 6)?" The player asking the question is trying to make a match with a card he or she has in his or her hand. If the player, in this case mom, has a six, she gives it to her child. Her child then makes a match and lays it on the table. The next player then gets a turn and asks another player for a card in hopes to make a match. Continuing with our example, if mom did not have a card, she would say "go fish" (with a good SH sound of course)! The child then would pick a random card from the center pile and add it to their hand. If the card is a match, the child gets to lay the match down. The first player to match all the cards in his or her hand wins!
Be creative with this game. All you need is something or someone to go "crash!" I will give one example below.
Target Sentences: Push car, Crash cars, Crash into blocks
How to Play: Get out a ball, a car, or something to push. Then stack up blocks or anything that can be safely crashed into. Take turns rolling the ball or even better pushing a car into the stack of blocks to see how many you can knock over. Say "push car" before each turn, and then say "crash into blocks" once the car hits the blocks. I even like to count how many blocks were knocked over with the sentence "I crashed 8 blocks."
Tell a story about a girl!
Target Sentences: She____, What did she do?, etc...
How to Play: It is time to retell a real story or make up a story about a girl. This could be a story about a sister, friend, mommy, grandma, or character in a story. The only thing to remember is to use and say "she" as many times as possible.
Let's play ball with a trash can!
Target Sentences: Ball in trash can, Throw paper in trash can, etc...
How to Play: Get out a can, bucket, or a real trash can and anything you can throw into it. Once ready, this game is very simple! All you have to do is throw the object or try to throw the object in the trash can while saying one of the target sentences above. That's it! This is easy and fun.
Get to your know child a little better and practice SH!
Target Sentences: I wish for____
How to Play: Make wishes with your child. While sitting at the table, driving in the car, or out for a walk, talk about wishes. What do you wish to have or to happen? Dream small or dream big with this game. This is one of my favorites since I get to know my students a little better!
This is my version of freeze dance. This will also burn some energy!
Target Sentences: Now shake, Stop shaking
How to Play: This is a dancing game and a lot of fun at that! You can play with music or not. One person is in charge. This person says "now start shaking!" Everyone starts dancing and shaking hands and hips. Then, the same person says "stop shaking." Everyone must freeze. If anyone doesn't stop moving instantly, he or she is out.
A game of sorting by size: tall and short.
Target Sentences: This one is short, This one is shorter, etc...
How to Play: This sorting game is good for language and math skills as well as practicing SH. Talk about multi-tasking! Gather a bunch of objects, toys, or even food. Then, get sorting. Decide which one is the tallest and which one is the shortest.
I always end my practice ideas with my most functional conversational game. This one involves a meal time since we eat everyday making it easy to remember to practice SH.
Target Words: wash, mash potatoes, chef, milkshake, mushrooms, dish, dishes, sugar, licorice
How to "Play:" This is not a game at all. Instead, be aware of the all the SH words you or your child might say during meals. Encourage your child to pay attention to the SH sound as well. A sticker or tally system for every SH word pronounced correctly may be good motivation to remain concentrated for an entire meal. See if your child can beat their previous record!