Put away that iPad and no need for that board game because you and I are going to do a speech therapy activity that only requires 2 things: a thumb and a thumb! Yup, I'm totally talking about the classic game called Thumb Wrestling. This timeless and intense hand competition is ideal for your students who are working towards perfecting their /TH/ sound. Come along with me as I describe to you how my students and I go head-to-head (err, thumb-to-thumb) in this action-packed thumb wrestling activity.
First, name your thumb wrestler!
Whenever you watch professional wrestlers on television, they always have cool names. So, your thumb wrestler should be no different. Take the opportunity to visit Google and do a web search for names that start with TH. The results generated will surely help you and your students discover tons of names that have their target sound at the beginning. Here are a few /TH/ wrestler names that my students have come up with: Theo the Muscle Thumb, Thaddius Thunder, Theo the Thumb Thrower, and my personal favorite, Thumbzilla Thor.
Next, design your thumb wrestler!
A naked thumb is so blah. How about you throw some paint on that blank canvas called your thumb and draw a face on it? My students get a kick out of taking markers and drawing eyes and other facial features on their thumb to give it some personality. (And if drawing on your bare skin is just not your thing - don't worry because that is why I created this thumb wrestling worksheet that you can draw on, instead. Download it and start creating the thumb wrestler of your dreams.)
Don't forget to pick your thumb wrestler chant!
Normally, you would chant the following before you start thumb wrestling, "One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war!" That chant is okay, but I came up with a better one that is filled with lots of /TH/ sounds, "Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three, thirty-four, I declare a thumb war!" Feel free to use that chant or make up your own. (Or maybe you can sing my Thumb Monster song? Haha! Either way, your students will be exposed to a large number of /TH/ sounds.
In closing . . .
Clasp those hands so your fingers curl together and your thumbs are facing each other while pointing up. Then, get ready to rumble as you practice your /TH/ sound! I guarantee that your students will love attempting to pin the other students' thumbs to their hands. Or better yet, YOU could get in on the thumb fun and challenge YOUR students to an epic match of thumb wrestling. Is your thumb up for it? Let me know how it goes!