I see a lot of /r/ and tend to follow the philosophy of addressing it not only by position, but by the influencing vowel. Once a child really gets going with it, we don’t have to work through every last permutation, but “air” is one of the most common and earliest appropriate targets I see. So, I’m always on the lookout for fun ways to address these words.
Collect 3 carrots that match your path color
Set up the garden in the middle of play with all the carrots pushed in so the colored tip can’t be seen. Each player chooses a colored path. (I have a student that insists we mix and match the paths. We play for either 6 carrots (all of both colors) or just those that match the final square.)
Roll the number die and have your bunny hop up the path. Once you reach your colored square, you roll the picture die to determine how many carrots you pull. Did you roll a farmer? Point him towards your opponent and send him scampering back to start!
Um, so where are the “air” words? These are the ones I incorporate:
Arrow: Each path begins with a colored arrow, “I have the pink arrow, you have the purple…..”
Area: “Hmmmm, which area had that pink carrot?”
Erin/Aaron: Possible bunny names
Carrot: Appears on both the die and as a game piece, “I found the blue carrot.”
Daring: “The daring bunny is pulling out a carrot.”
Narrow: “He’s hopping down the narrow path.”
Very: “The bunny is hopping very quietly so the farmer doesn’t see him.”
Scary: “Oooo, there’s the scary farmer!”
Glaring: “Who is the farmer glaring at?”
Gary/Harry/Barry/Carrie/Karen/Mary: Possible bunny names
Where: “Where is the yellow carrot?”
There: “There is the purple carrot!”
Scare: “The farmer is turning to scare you!”
Square: “I choose the blue square.” “”I landed on my square.”
Pair: “I rolled a pair of carrots.” “Now I have a pair of carrots.”
Hare: You can easily substitute “hare” for “bunny” throughout the game.
Beware: “Beware of the farmer!”
Claire/Blair: Possible bunny names
If you are looking for more structured activities for “air” or other vocalic /r/ sounds, check out Artic Attack and other R games. These popular pencil and paper games achieve high trials in a short period of time, are great for therapy or home practice and are on sale from March 12-14, 2013.