Grandmother Went to Market


I love this game!  I’ve had mine for years so it looks a little different from the currently available version, but they work the same and offer an assortment of speech and language activities.

The game is based on the classic word/memory game that we used to play on long car trips or during Brownie meetings.  The first person says, “My grandmother went to market and bought a (noun).”  The second player builds on this by saying, “My grandmother went to market and bought a (first noun) and a (new noun).”  You continue until a player is unable to keep the chain going.  A chain would sound something like this, “My grandmother went to market and bought an anchor, an apple, a bird, a sweater and a car.”

With this version of the game, you have small cards with simple pictured objects which greatly assist most kiddos memory, but also gives you much more flexibility in what goal you can target.  You can either have each player select 5-10 cards before starting or you can put an array of them picture side down and select on your turn.  (fyi, the back of the card does have the printed word so it isn’t truly a mystery unless you have a non-reader.)

Memory (classic version):  At its heart, this is a memory game.  You choose a card, put it in the chain and then stack the cards so the ones beneath can’t be seen.  Lots of kids need help with auditory memory and this is a nice way to have the picture prompt visible for a brief time, and then have it “disappear”.


Articulation:  This is a great carry-over activity for “th” since, at least for my kiddos, /th/ tends to be a little trickier in the middle (or end) of a word.  You can choose ahead of time the cards available for chaining to incorporate another /th/ (i.e.  feather, birthday cake, tablecloth).  And, really, there is no reason you couldn’t play the game with a standard, target specific artic deck.  The phrase “My grandmother went to market” also lends itself well to /r/ carry-over activities.


Fluency:  I think any engaging language activity can easily be adapted to fluency therapy.  In this one, if it fits your approach, you might consider designating certain cards as ones to try easy stuttering on.  If the memory component is too taxing, don’t stack the cards so you can’t see the ones beneath.  Simply line them up in a row and “read” them on each turn.

Word Retrieval:  For this type of therapy, I would also line the cards up as we made the chain rather than cover them in a stack.  If you need to increase the challenge, you can select less frequently used words (i.e. binoculars, anchor) or used an array of themed vocabulary (i.e. orange, apple, grapes, pear, pineapple, strawberry).


Phonemic awareness:  Rather than have the kiddo give you the name of the pictured object, have them give only the first letter or sound.  “My grandmother went to market and bought an ‘r’.” or “My grandmother went to market and bought a /k, l, r, w/.”  In either situation, I would line up the prompts, rather than stack them.


My own grandmother would have bought jewelry or sardines if we sent her to market, and, alas, neither are card choices.  Left to her own devices, what would your grandmother have brought home?  Please add to the comments below.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lara

    I have done something similar in therapy that the younger students just love. I read the book “Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash” to them. We then take speech cards (flashcards or homemade cards) and hang them up on a “clothes line” that I drape across the therapy room using real clothespins (which the OT loves)! In the same manner as you mentioned in the activity above, we end up with sentences like “She hangs up her ladder, her locket, her ladybug, and her lipstick….” It is fun and interactive for the kids!

    1. admin

      What a great idea! I love when you can change the activity and keep the targets and/or goals the same. I’ll certainly be checking this book out! (click here to see on Amazon) Thanks, Kim

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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.