Z Functional Games
Sentence Level

Welcome to Sentence Level Games for Z. You are ready to work on Z during functional games. Yeah! 

Throw away your cards because when your child sees "speech flashcards," he or she goes in to "speech mode." In "speech mode," your child remembers to say Z correctly. However, when your child is not in "speech mode," he or she may not say the sound right.

Therefore, your child now must work on Z during more "natural" games. This is how we transition all the great progress made so far into automatic, everyday speech!

I created games that naturally contain Z words. To be successful with these games, make sure to incorporate as many Z sentences as possible. Also, give appropriate verbal, visual, and tactile cues as needed.

My Best Practice Tips:

1. Remind your child that you are going to play a game and practice Z at the same time. Everyone has to remember to use their good Z sound! I like to do a quick "warm-up" and repeat a few Z 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.

Functional Games


Target Sentences 

Next puzzle piece, I found a puzzle piece

How to Play

Put a puzzle together with your child. Take turns finding a puzzle piece. Make sure to say one of the sentences above during each turn to get a lot of /z/ practice.

Example Script

  • Parent: I found a puzzle piece that fits.
  • Child: I want to find the next puzzle piece.
  • Parent: Okay, find it! Good job saying /z/ too!
  • Child: I found a puzzle piece. 
  • Etc...


Target Sentence

In the zoo, I saw ____

How to Play  

One person starts the game, "in the zoo, I saw______" (insert an animal). The next person has to say the target sentence the previous response and a new response. The game continues like this until one person can't think of all the previous answers.

Example Script

  • Parent: In the zoo, I saw a tiger.
  • Child: In the thoo, I saw a tiger and a polar bear.
  • Parent: Uh, oh, I didn’t hear your /z/ sound in “zoo.” Try again.
  • Child: In the zoo, I saw a tiger and a polar bear.
  • Parent: Great /z/! In the zoo, I saw a tiger, polar bear, and parrot.
  • Etc...


Target Phrases/Sentences

On my pizza I have____, Pizza time, Put____on my pizza

How to Play

Make a pizza for dinner, draw a pizza, or make one out of play dough. Whatever you decide, the important part is to use one of the target sentences above as much as possible. 

Example Script

  • Parent: It's pizza time. Let's pick out what toppings you would like. Make sure to say pizza with every topping so you get a lot of /z/ practice such as “on my pizza, I want apples.”
  • Child: Okay. On my pizza, I want pineapple.
  • Parent: That sounds like a yummy pizza topping. What else?
  • Child: On my pizza, I want mushrooms.
  • Etc...


Target Sentences 

I have a present for you, I think my present is a ________

How to Play

Find a box, cup, shoe box, or anything that closes. This game is more fun if you can't see through the box and it is small enough that you can pick it up. Hide an object in the box and tell your child that you have a present. See if your child can guess what the present is by shaking it, feeling the weight, etc...If your child does not guess the object correctly, give a clue and try again. Switch roles once the object has been successfully discovered.

Example Script

  • Parent: I have a present for you. Guess what it is. Pay attention to your /z/ in the word present.
  • Child: (picks up box and shakes it) I think my present is a candy bar.
  • Parent: Good /z/! Your present is not a candy bar. You cannot eat it.
  • Child: I think my present is a marble. 
  • Parent: Your present is not a marble. It looks like a square.
  • Etc...

Zap It

Target Sentences

Zap it, Zapped it

How to Play

Blow bubbles outside with your child. After you blow bubbles, have your child try to pop each one. Before popping the bubbles, your child must say "zap it." 

Example Script

  • Parent: (parent blows bubbles) Try to zap them, go!
  • Child: Zap it (pops bubble) 
  • Child: Zap it (pops bubble) 
  • Child: Zap it (pops bubble) 
  • Parent: Good job! You zapped them all. Great /z/ sound too! Let's do it again!
  • Etc...

Description Game!

Target Sentence

The (object) is_____

How to Play

Pick an object in the house to describe. Tell your child to describe the object and make sure to use a good /z/ sound when saying “is.” Model the target sentence for your child with a slightly exaggerated Z at first. Then have your child say a sentence.

Example Script

  • Parent: Look at this blanket. Let's describe it with a good /z/ sound in the word "is." Try saying “the blanket IS green.”
  • Child: The blanket is green.
  • Parent: Great /z/!
  • Parent: The blanket is fluffy.
  • Child: The blanket is huge.
  • Parent: The blanket is warm.
  • Child: The blanket is soft.
  • Parent: Your turn. Pick the next object.
  • Etc…

Cookies, Please

Target Phrases/Sentences

I have ____cookies, Chocolate chip cookies, My cookies

How to Play

This game can be played with real, toy, or pretend cookies made out of paper or play dough. There are no specific directions on how to play but rather play or make cookies while paying attention to the /z/ in “cookies.”

Example Script

  • Parent: Let's make some cookies out of play dough.
  • Child: Yeah!
  • Parent: My cookies are going to be green.
  • Child: I'm going to make red cookies.
  • Parent: I'm putting stars on my cookies.
  • Child: I'm putting sprinkles on my cookies.
  • Etc...


Target Words

Wash, Mash Potatoes, Chef, Milkshake, Mushrooms, Dishes

How to "Play" 

This is not a game at all. Instead, be aware of all the /z/ words you or your child might say during meals. A sticker or tally system for every /z/ word pronounced correctly may be good motivation to remain concentrated for an entire meal. See if your child can beat their previous record!

Quick Printing

What's Next

You've made it! If you want some more practice, check out some language worksheets.

› Functional Games


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