Welcome to Sentence Level Games for D. Yeah!
You now must throw away your flashcards! When your child sees "speech flashcards," he or she goes in to "speech mode." In "speech mode," your child can easily say D. It is a controlled situation without many distractions. However, when your child is not in "speech mode," he or she may not say D correctly.
At the sentence level, your child is going to work on saying D during functional speech games. He or she will start to transition their speech progress into their automatic, everyday speech.
1. Remind your child that you are going to play a game and practice D at the same time. Everyone has to remember to use their good D sound! I like to do a quick "warm-up" and repeat a few D words for practice.
2. Introduce the target sentences and then practice them with your child before starting the game.
3. Incorporate as many repetitions of the target sentences as possible.
4. Make sure you, the parent, take turns during games. You have the opportunity to model the target sentence which has the power to accelerate the process.
5. Don't forget to give appropriate verbal, visual, and tactile cues as needed.
Lastly, remember to have fun!!
Play our "down game" throughout the day for short bursts of time.
Target Sentences: This will depend on the game. Some examples - down the slide, down the stairs
How to Play: How you "play" this game will vary on the situation. Pick a day to be a "down" day. Be aware of the word down throughout the day and try to squeeze in some extra D practice. I will list some examples below of where you might be able to practice saying "down" naturally.
**When your child completes these actions, have him or her narrate their actions by saying a phrase. For example, if your child is knocking blocks down, have him or her say "blocks fall down."
Most kids love to dance. Practice D while dancing, fun!
Target Sentences: Let's dance, Dance now
How to Play: You can play this game with music or without. I "play" this game with my toddler all the time. We take turns saying "dance____(name of person)." That is it!
To make it fun, you can have music to turn on and off. When the person giving the instructions is "in charge," he or she can turn on the music and say "start dancing" and then turn it off and say "stop dancing."
Go to the park and slide down a slide or build one at home!
Target Sentences: Down slide (2 D sounds!), Up slide, Slide time
How to Play: How to play this game will depend on where you are. The easiest way would be to go to the park. However, this is not always possible. Therefore, you can build a slide out of pillows and a couch at home for your child. Or, you can make a slide simply by turning a hardcover book over and use it as a "slide" for cars or little toys.
Have fun playing with shadows. What can be easier?!
Target Sentences: Look at my shadow, Shadow_____(name of animal)
How to Play: Have fun making funny shadows with your child. You can play this game outside during various hours of a sunny day. Or, make shadows on the wall by shinning a light behind you. While taking turns, practice saying the word "shadow" in a sentence. You may say "look at my shadow_____(name of animal)."
This may be a favorite for your child!
Target Sentences: More candy, My favorite candy is____, Chocolate candy
How to Play: There is a lot of room for creativity here! You can talk about candy as you eat it, list your favorite candy, organize candy at home, make pretend candy by drawing, etc... My favorite way to play this "game" is to talk with your child in the car about candy. For example, you might say "My favorite candy is_____." This is also the most healthy way as well! The speech therapist in me likes the organization game too since it works on attributes. You can organize candy by color, size, and/or ingredients.
Make an obstacle course with your child!
Target Sentences: Crawl under the _______
How to Play: Design an obstacle course with your child. This could be as simple as moving some chairs around the room and stacking up some pillows. Once the obstacle course is built, take turns giving directions to each other on what to do (this is great following directions practice too). Make sure to say the word "under" as much as possible and the word "done" when a direction has been followed to practice the D sound.
Play a good old fashion game of hide and seek or scavenger hunt.
Target Sentences: Your turn to hide, Go hide, I'm hiding, I found you! I found it!
How to Play: To play hide and seek, one person hides while the other person counts to 20. After counting to 20, the person who counted goes looking for the person hiding. The way to play this game and practice the D sound is to have your child say "go hide" before you hide. Then, when your child finds you, your child says "I found you" and "my turn to hide." Another way to play is to hide an object around the house and have your child try to find it.
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 D.
Target Words: dough, dinner, dish, candy, hotdog, bread, seed, seeds, food
How to "Play:" This is not a game at all. Instead, be aware of the all the D words you or your child might say during meals. Encourage your child to pay attention to the D sound as well. A sticker or tally system for every D word pronounced correctly may be good motivation to remain concentrated for an entire meal. See if your child can beat their previous record!