Sometimes, traditional minimal pairs just DOESN’T cut it. The moans and groans that you hear coming from your kids when you pull out those cards make you feel guilty. And you get that sudden realisation that your session will NOT go to plan today.
So, this is how I get phonology organised with some of my stopping targets that will guarantee that my child will have some fun.
As with all of these activities, resiliency plays a part. Some kids can persevere if they get their word wrong, and really try to fix it. Other times, you get the water works. If this is the case, I let them be the teacher or work more on auditory discrimination so that we can still play with the activities.
STOPPING OF ‘F’
F-B: feet-beet. These are great words that you can do a lot with. We do a lot of crafts and Mr. Potato Head is always a hit. Grab books that have mismatched feet, and you have to match them to the right owner – or we draw really silly feet on animals. I always have the error card with me (beet/feet) so that if my student says “I want red beet” – I can give them the picture card of the beet.
OTHER FUN TARGETS: fin vs bin: I have a ton of under the sea related pictures and toys. Plus, playdough and kinetic are always on hand! It’s fun to make, draw or add fins into the water while we are getting a lot of practice in.
STOPPING OF ‘S’
S-D: sign-dine. I bet every therapy room contains transportation toys that have traffic/road signs (train sets, car sets). You always want to be thinking of different ways to bombard the child with the core words: “look at all the signs I have. I have train signs, traffic signs, stop signs, give way signs. What sign do you want first? The train sign or the stop sign?” Think about the child following your directions and then providing directions for where to put them. I also like to use train/transport apps and see who can spot signs and carryover homework that they do in the car with their parents.
OTHER FUN TARGETS: see vs D: this variation of “I Spy” is a fun game to play – particularly while in the car. Using “I Spy” books and asking your partner what they “see” is very easy too.
STOPPING OF ‘SH’
SH-D: shoe-two: Yes I brought out my old stash of Barbies! Little girls in particular (but boys too!) absolutely LOVE changing Barbie’s shoes. This works well with any other figurines that you have. We also might draw shoes on characters using a whiteboard, or look through books, and see if we can find pictures of people wearing shoes.
OTHER FUN TARGETS: show vs dough: I love putting a range of mini toys and trinkets into a bag. I then ask my students to put their hand in and show me what they have (or vice versa). Sometimes we hide things in our hands and we have to guess which hand it is in!
STOPPING OF ‘CH’
CH-T: chop-top: Chop up play dough into little bits, grab one of those fun food sets that have velcro (see below) or think of use apps such as Toca Kitchen Monsters and choose to ‘chop’ up all of your food.
OTHER FUN TARGETS: chalk vs talk: Use mini chalkboards and have the reinforcer be that your child can draw something on the board, or keep a tally of how many times they said their word correctly.
If you lack minimal pairs, then look at my STOPPING CATEGORY on Teachers Pay Teachers (featured in some of the pictures) or have fun drawing your own cards.