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Tricky Sticks- A Super-Easy DIY Game for Cheap!

 Make this easy game your students will love for next to nothing. 

Tricky Sticks- Make this Super-Easy Speech Therapy Game

Let’s face it, sometimes speech therapy drills can get boring.  Getting all those repetitions is well… repetitious. Adding a fun game keeps my students, (and me) motivated. I am always on the lookout for new open-ended games to change things up.

Tricky Sticks is a perfect quick-play game for speech therapy.

Here’s why I love Tricky Sticks:

1. I can use it for any target
2. It’s perfect for mixed groups
3. I use it with all ages- so easy and they all love it.
4. Quick-play- so you get plenty of repetitions/ responses, maximizing therapy time.
5. Play as long as you like, no set finish time means it lasts your whole session.
6. Space-saving. You can store your sticks in a cup or baggie.
7. Super cheap and easy to make!

I first got this idea from a wonderful resource teacher. 

Wow-  simple and fun, I had to make a set for speech. I stopped at the dollar store and got a package of colored craft sticks for less than two dollars. Can’t beat that!

I opened the package and separated out 1/3 of the sticks. The rest I put aside.  Next, I took a black marker and added stars on the bottom of a few of the third I had separated out, and squares on the bottom of the rest of the third.  (ok, maybe it’s rectangles) Not too fancy, but it doesn’t matter a bit.

That’s it! You can make this game in just a few minutes. Easy peasy. Now if only writing IEPs and evaluation reports was this quick and easy. A girl can dream…


 Ready to play? Here’s how.

1. Pop your sticks in a colorful cup, shape ends down.
2. Have your students answer a question or practice their articulation word. 
3. After they respond, they pick out a stick and look to see if it has a shape.
4. If the stick has no shape, it’s a “keeper.” The child keeps the stick in his pile and gets one point.
5. If the stick has a square, you give it to the player on your right.
6. If the stick has a star, pass it to the player on your left.
Tricky Sticks- Make this Super-Easy Speech Therapy Game www.speechsproutstherapy.com7. Play as long as you like. When the session is finished, the person with the most sticks wins.
A variation for older children who are mature enough not to be upset if they lose… I tell them the star means boom! and they put all their sticks back in the cup.

Why Tricky Sticks?

Actually, I am not really sure why I started calling this game Tricky Sticks, other than it sounded catchy and interesting to my students. We have been playing this favorite for years, and my kiddos love it. I have seen some people call a version of this game Kaboom, that sounds catchy too. 

What do you think? 

You don’t have to use the colored sticks, but I think it’s more fun that way. I hope you give this little game a try. Have fun! 

Until next time,

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