Welcome to Sentence Level Games for voiced and voiceless TH
First things first, 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 TH. It is a controlled situation without many distractions. However, when your child is not in "speech mode," he or she may not say TH correctly.
To address this, your child is going to practice TH during functional speech games to work on "carryover of progress." This is a phrase us speechies love. It means, your child will take all the progress made so far in speech therapy at home, and apply it to real life. This is a difficult but exciting step.
1. Remind your child that you are going to play a game and practice TH at the same time. Everyone has to remember to use their good TH sound the entire time!
2. Introduce the target sentences and then practice them with your child before starting.
3. Incorporate as many repetitions of the target sentences as possible.
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.
5. Don't forget to give appropriate verbal, visual, and tactile cues as needed.
Lastly, remember to have fun!!
This is a twist on the classic game “Simon Says.” Instead of saying “Simon,” use “brother” or “mother” since these words have the TH sound.
Target Sentences: Brother says ____, Mother says_____
How to Play: One person is the leader and gives a command, i.e. “brother says touch your toes.” The other players have to follow the commands only if the leader says “brother says.” If the command does not include “brother says,” the other players are not to follow. If they do follow the command, they lose and everyone switches roles.
Remember, your primary focus is to make sure your child says “brother” or “mother” with a correct TH. You secondary focus is to have fun :)
Our version of "20 Questions" is a great way to work on TH as well as improve language skills.
Target Sentences: Does your thing have_____? No my thing does not have_____
How to Play: One person imagines a person, place or thing while the other players have to guess the imagined object by asking a maximum of 20 questions. This game is typically played with yes/no questions only. This part is up to you and the language abilities of your child.
My “th” twist: The person guessing AND the person answering the questions has to say the word “thing” in every turn. For example, is your “thing” a food? No, my “thing” is not a food.
This is a summer game and a lot of fun. It requires the use of a garden hose and most likely some bathing suits!
Target Sentence: It's bath time!
How to Play: Take turns saying “It's bath time” and spray the other person with a hose. You will get laughs and lots of practice!
We are starting a pattern here. Another great language game with a twist.
Target Sentences: I’m thinking of something_____, Is your something______?
How to Play: The rules here are simple. One person finds an object that he or she can see and says the phrase “I’m thinking of something that_____(gives a clue). ” The other players have to guess what it is by saying "is your something a_____(name of an object)?"
Example Script: (Parent sees a dog)
This is the easiest game of all!
Target Sentence: Throw the________
How to Play: Play catch, toss a ball in a bucket, throw dirty clothes in a laundry basket, or throw water balloons. Basically, play anything that you want to play but remember to say “throw” before each turn. This one is simple and easy to play. My tip is to try to squeeze in as many “throws” as possible throughout the day.
Example Script: Parent and child playing catch
This reading game is very simple but a lot of work for your child.
Target Sentence: Depends on the book
How to Play: It is easy. During story time with your child, have your child read a page out of a book. Every time he or she reads the word “the,” make sure the pronunciation is correct. This can be hard to remember as your child may be just learning how to read. Pre-marking each “the” beforehand with a highlighter, pencil, or post-it might take some of the pressure off. As your child improves, you can take away the markings.
This game is not really a game at all. Instead, it will teach politeness and get lots of TH practice throughout the day.
Target Sentence: This will depend on the situation
How to Play: Tell your child that it is “thank you” day. Every time a person says “thank you,” he or she has to use their good TH sound. This is difficult for your child so I would start with a set time like a meal and work up to a walk then an afternoon and eventually an entire day!
Example Script: Will depend on the day and conversations. Below is one idea.
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 TH.
Target Words: Thank you, Thin vs Thick Bread, The, These, Three
How to "Play:" This is not a game at all. Instead, be aware of the all the TH words you or your child might say during meals. Encourage your child to pay attention to your TH sound as well. A sticker or tally system for every TH word pronounced correctly may be good motivation to remain concentrated for an entire meal. See if your child can beat their previous record!
Example Script: Will depend on the conversation at meals