I Spy – ‘S Blends’
This game is designed to target s-blends. S-blends are words that have ‘s’ and another consonant together (e.g. ‘star’, ‘skunk’, etc.). S-blends are particularly tricky to pronounce for many children. Some kids will delete the ‘s’ (e.g. ‘swing’ become “wing”), some kids will delete the second consonant (e.g. ‘swing’ becomes “sing”), and some kids will do something completely different (e.g. ‘swing’ becomes “fing”). Whatever difficulties your child is having, these strategies will help your child produce these tricky words!
Strategies to help your child produce s-blends:
- Start by letting your child know what sound you are looking for. For example, say “We are working on our snake sounds. Ssssssss.”
- Write the letter S on a separate piece of paper as a visual cue to help your child remember what you are working on.
- If this skill is new or still very tricky for your child, start with naming only single words (e.g. “Snake”). If they do well with single words (i.e. they can say a single word correctly without help 4 times out of 5) then try phrases (e.g. “I spy a snake”).
- Go slow when saying s-blend words. Make the ‘s’ long to emphasize it. For example, “sssssssss-pace”.
- It can help to have your child run their finger down their arm as they say the ‘s’ sound in the word and then say the rest of the word when their finger reaches their hand.
How to Play:
Take turns naming an item or action for the other person to find. If you are working on single words, just say the item or action (e.g. “skipping”, “stop sign”, etc.). If your child is ready for the challenge of phrases, say the full phrase such as “I spy skipping”, “I spy a stop sign”, etc.
If your child does not need to practice s-blends, you can still use this game to target other skills. Consider these ideas when playing ‘I spy’:
- Practice colour concepts (e.g. “I spy something red and white”)
- Make it complex (e.g. “I spy something with red and blue stripes”).
- Use categories (e.g. “I spy a type of clothing”).
- Increase the number of steps (e.g. “I spy the scarf, then the stop sign, and last the spinach”).
- Talk about function (e.g. “I spy something you eat”).
- Use all the senses (e.g. “I spy something that smells stinky”).
Make directions increasingly more complex as your child masters new concepts.
- Concepts before/after (e.g. “Before you spy the skunk, point to the sprinkles”, “Point to the sneaker after you spy the spider”).
- Concepts of inclusion/exclusion (e.g. “I spy all the animals”, “Point to all the clothes except the skirt”).
- Concepts of location (e.g. “I spy an action that is below the swan”, “I spy an animal that is next to skipping”).
Download an ‘I Spy’ game here.