I was inspired by a number of flyswatter games that have been posted recently and decided to put together one of my own. I currently see a kiddo who has cluster reduction of all /s/ blends. The slight difference is that instead of dropping the /s/, this kiddo omits the contiguous consonant (ex. “star” becomes “sar”). Unfortunately, this means that the typical minimal pairs I would use, don’t work since they assume the /s/ will be omitted (ex. “star” becomes “tar”). So I’ve been putting together new materials. Hence, “spider” v. “cider.” (The best speech therapy activities are borne from necessity!)
Clip art of spiders/cider (click for free download)
Small box, bucket or “garbage can” (optional)
Print out the clip art on card stock and cut into individual elements (16 spiders, 4 ciders). You can laminate for durability. Put a small piece of adhesive velcro on the back of each one. Be sure that they all have the same type of velcro–all hooks (rough) or loops (fuzzy)! I prefer hooks on the elements. Place a small strip of adhesive velcro on the center of the flyswatter. I put loop velcro here so if you swat at carpet it won’t catch (or if a kiddo swats at someone’s, let’s say favorite sweater, there is no danger of pulls. Attend to details, people!).
Place all elements on the floor, picture side down/velcro side up. Take turns swatting. Did you get a “spider” and label it correctly? Great! Put it in the trash. Uh, oh! Did you spill “cider”? For a non-competitive game, just move it out of play. For a competition, keep it with you and the player with the fewest “cider” tokens at the end is the winner.
If you don’t have a kiddo with the same issues we are working on, you can easily adapt this for early verbalization/vocalization by saying “boo” or “gotcha” on each hit. Or make it a more general articulation activity for /s/ blends by using the vocabulary: squash, smush, smash, swat, squish, splat in addition to spider.