“Than Cue Fork Humming!” *



Mad Gab came into my therapy by way of my own dining table.  My husband and son had picked it up during a trip and we had fun in restaurants trying to “listen out” cards while we waited for our food to arrive.


The official rules have you racing opponents and the  timer to solve mondegreen puzzles. (I didn’t know what this was either.  Mondegreens are words or phrases resulting from a misinterpretation of what’s been heard.)  For example, “Eye Minnow Firm Ahead” translates to “I’m in over my head”.  It’s tricky!  We often found that not looking at the spelling at all and having one “reader” to keep repeating the puzzle phrase at a rapid pace gave us the best chance at solving it.


Since then, it’s also found its way into my therapy room.  Certainly it’s a game for older students (Gr. 3+), but it has multiple uses:


  1.  Carryover for articulation:  Rather than reading phrases/sentences or just eliciting conversation from a pre-adolescent, it’s much more entertaining to puzzle out “Abe Adder Each Archer” for a client finishing with /r/ therapy.  Or “Inns You’re Hint Spa Less He” for a stubborn /s/.  (Have you figured them out yet? “battery charger” and “insurance policy”
  2. Idioms/Figurative Language:  Both of these abound in this game.  Try these out “Eek Hot Achin’ Toothy Glee Nurse” or “Ache Hidden Ache Hand East Oar”.  (Stuck?  How about “He got taken to the cleaners” and “A kid in a candy store”)
  3. Vocabulary development:  What a fun and exciting way to build vocabulary!  “Icon Fin Stem” and suddenly you can discuss the meaning of “convinced” (you did get “I convinced him”, right?) not to mention starting a conversation on how to actually persuade someone to your opinion!  “Thesis Upper Eye Aura Tea” and suddenly you are discussing your client’s biggest responsibilities (after all “This is a priority”).


It’s not my scope of practice, but I can see this being lots of fun with an adult population as well.  Oh, and don’t forget to bring it home from time to time.  It’s great fun at family parties.


 *Thank you for coming!


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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.