Welcome to Sentence Level Games for M. Yeah!
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 M. It is a controlled situation without many distractions. However, when your child is not in "speech mode," he or she may not say M correctly.
At this level, your child is going to work on saying M during functional speech games. He or she will start to transition their speech progress into their automatic, everyday speech.
1. At first, while playing, model the correct word and/or sentence. Don’t force your child to repeat after you.
2. As your child learns the game, start prompting him or her to say the target words/sentences. If your child refuses, give him or her 3 opportunities to say the word. If he or she still doesn't say it, move on. DON’T CAUSE FRUSTRATION!
3. Adapt games to the level of your child. If your child is speaking using 1-2 word phrases, your phrases during a game should not be more than 2 words. We are working on speech not language skills here.
4. If your child is not speaking in sentences, don't worry! You can practice these games with single words as well. Just change the target sentences to single words.
5. Don't forget to give appropriate verbal, visual, and tactile cues as needed.
Lastly, remember to have fun!!
Time to play house or baby!
Target Sentences: Mom sleep, Mom eat, Mom drive, Mom bath
How to Play: This game is the easiest to play while playing house. If you don't have a house and little people, you can use baby dolls or even make people out of paper. Get on the floor with your child. Name your little people or dolls "mom," "dad," "baby," or whatever you would like. Make sure that one of the toys is mom though! Then, take turns having the "mom" complete certain actions. At first, you may being doing most of the talking. However, your child should join in sooner or later!
The key is to model the word mom as much as possible and have your child listening and hopefully repeat.
Children usually want more of almost anything...snacks, playtime, tablet, blocks, etc....
Target Sentences: More______
How to Play: Toddlers wants more and more and more all day long. Now, encourage your child to say the word more with a good M sound instead of whining or pointing. To make this "game" work, simply pick a day (even set an alert on your phone) to do a "more" day. As you interact with your child, model and encourage your child to say "more" naturally.
If this is too hard to remember with all the stress of being a parent, carve out some time to play blocks. While playing with your child, keep the blocks out of reach. In order for your toddler to get another block, he or she has to say "more blocks" with a good M sound before you will give another block.
Toddlers make a mess so let's make it functional!
Target Sentences: Messy floor
How to Play: Grab a bucket or handful of toys. Then, dump out the toys on the floor and say "messy floor, uh oh." Clean up the toys and repeat. Once your child watches you for a few turns, encourage him or her to join. You may even say..."What do you want?"and child hopefully responds with "messy floor!"
My favorite game...eat something delicious and practice the M sound.
Target Sentences: Yummy yummy in my tummy tummy
How to Play: While you and your child are eating a delicious treat, say the phrase "yummy yummy in my tummy tummy" while rubbing your tummy. Children usually finds this really funny and often repeat. Model the sentence a few times and then encourage your child to repeat after you while eating.
Get out a toy farm and toy farm animals.
Target Sentences:____in farm
How to Play: If you have a toy farm, this is an easy and motivating one to play! If you don't have a farm, you can always invent one with an empty box. Get on the floor with your child and play with the farm. While you play, take turns putting animals in and out of the farm. Make sure to say "_____(name of animal) in farm" before each turn.
Let's practice the M sound and learning matching skills.
Target Sentences: They are the same
How to Play: Find objects in the house that match such as legos, silverware, cards, etc.... Mix them up and then help your child sort them by finding matches. Once a match is found, say ..."they are the same!"
Practice M during bath time.
Target Sentences: ____(name of toy) swim
How to Play: During bath, get out a bucket of toys. Give your child each toy one by one and have him or her drop the toy in the bathtub while telling it to swim. That's it! The good thing about this game is that you can do it every night and it will only take a few minutes!
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 M.
Target Words: more, milk, mouth, lemon, tomato, hamburger, ice cream, ham, plum
How to "Play:" This is not a game at all. Instead, be aware of the all the M words you or your child might say during meals. Encourage your child to pay attention to the M sound as well. A sticker or tally system for every M word pronounced correctly may be good motivation to remain concentrated for an entire meal. See if your child can beat their previous record!