Cindy L. Meester's Blog- Speech Therapy with a Twist


Not a Stick…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 3, 2016
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not-a-stick

Last posting I showed how I used the Not a Box book. This time I used Not a Stick for our creative and imagination adventures.

This book follows the same format as Not a Box. It has one sentence on a page along with cute line drawings of pig and his/her imagination. This time pigs finds a stick and let’s his/her pretend play turn it into a artist’s brush, sword and other imaginative objects.

First we read the book and made guesses of what the pig had imagined his/her stick to be. The book is set up to show pig standing with the stick and the next page shows what it becomes. It was a interesting to see what guesses my students made.

I gave each student a blank card stock paper and a bag of sticks. What will their imagination turn the stick into? I tried to steer them to new ideas and not just ones from the book. It wasn’t too hard to do. Once they had their idea I hot glued a stick to their paper and they drew their object.

I did not have them draw themselves. I took their pictures and printed them to add to their creations. See below for some of the finished results!

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I even had a crown for the princess.

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I can’t wait to see what my other students create!

Now for the twist. What app can pair up with this book you ask? Here are a few suggestions:

Draw a Stickman – free

Draw a stickman– this one is done on your computer

Draw a Stickman: Epic 2 – 1.99

Draw a Stickman: Epic HD -2.99

Draw a Stickman Epic- free – free

Doddlecast by Sago – 2.99

Now it’s time to add your own twists… Let me know by leaving a comment or two.

Cindy

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What if you catch a leprechaun…..?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on March 16, 2015
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Just a wee bit o’fun in our speech room to share with you.  We read the book The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day. In the book the kids make traps to try to catch a leprechaun. So we decided we needed to make some too.

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I brought in items from my recycling bin at home and the students decided what to use to create their own traps. Here are the results…

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They added pennies to lure the leprechaun to the trap. Now we will wait to see what happens!

This is the sign posted by the traps. Leprechaun Traps

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Of course there were lots of IEP goals worked on along side the trap making.

1. Following directions

2. Problem solving

3. Comparing/Contrasting traps with those in the book

4. Vocabulary

5. Sequencing

6. Predictions

Now can you add your own twists?  I know we will!

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Cindy

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March Madness is Yappening

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on March 6, 2015
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This is not only the month for basketball but also for a March Madness contest for Yapp Guru.

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What is Yapp Guru? It is a group of “experts” who review apps to help others get a better idea if an app is a good fit for your needs. So this month as we will be adding more app reviews to help you all out and bonus some of us “experts” might even win a prize.

What is Yapp Guru? It’s an online site that we’d like you to join for free. Once you have signed up you have access to many app reviews and the ability to vote for your favorite apps.

I choose apps to review that I use in therapy sessions and meet the needs of my students. I love finding some non-traditional apps that lets me add a twist. You may not see a lot of negative reviews from me as I tend to contact the developer first about any concerns. I found this to be much more beneficial than posting an issue about on app on iTunes. I will be honest about the apps I do review on Yapp Guru. But I often tell others to read reviews on Yapp Guru, look at description of the app and view a video about the app in use. This is the best way to gather information to help you decide if the app is a fit for you and your wallet. You can find my reviews here: Cindy Meester’s App Reviews.

So come join the March Madness fun at Yapp Guru. Be sure to check out all the app experts reviews. There are 25 SLPs and 1 OT as of today trying to be the best resource we can for you!

So line up your shot mouse and dribble click on Yapp Guru and join for free. It’s a win win and you won’t even break a sweat.

 

I’d love to hear about the twists you add to apps we have reviewed.

Cindy

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12 perks and knee jerks of 2014 in the life of an SLP (me)

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on December 22, 2014
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Another year has once again moved past me. It continues to move with lightning speed on some days and at a slow motion pace on others. I guess you might call this an end of the year reminiscing blog but maybe I’ll add a few twists.

The twelve whoas and fist pumps of this past year. (in no particular order as my brain functions on random organized chaos)

12. My caseload is somewhat manageable at 49 with ebbs and flow.

11. My finds at thrift stores and on TPT have created bulging cabinets once again. Yes I will keep looking for a Cariboo game for you too.

10. I’m honored to have my blog listed as one of the Top 75 Speech Pathology Websites for 2015. Oh the pressure! Be sure to check out the list and some fun sites.

9. This has been a year of procrastination (sometimes this works in my favor..wink wink). I’m not one for making a New Year’s resolution but if I was this should be one but I’ll wait and just think about it.

8. Missing ASHA this year was a definite whoa or better yet woe is me. I missed reconnecting with SLPs and getting my brain regenerated. Fingers crossed for next year in Denver.

7. I have a great team of teachers and special education staff that I work with at my school plus a speech room with a window.

6. Summer was a way to unwind, relax and still work at the speech clinic to keep my skills growing.

5.  Having my first /r/ in therapy to work on improving since moving to this school 4 years ago. I know it’s like how could you avoid it! Well my school was K-3rd so in MN if you have only one sound error like /r/ you won’t qualify until you are 9.  But now my school is K-4 and will be K-5 so guess what… 9 year olds with /r/ errors. Oh lucky me!

4. Mindfulness has been a skill our whole school has been learning and working on. (I’ve got a ways to go yet.)  It’s a great asset when a whole school has common vocabulary. Check out SpeechTechie and his posts about Calming.

3. Being a part of Smarty Ears advisory board and Yapp Guru app experts (oh yeah I’ve been procrastinating on my app reviews too).

2.  A blog started in 2009 that was born from a defunct Backflip bookmark site with a list of resources to my ramblings and twisted ideas for therapy (is that a perk or a jerk??).

1. Thinking back to my start in 1977 (with only my BS degree) with no internet it’s amazing how easy it to locate great resources from the explosion of slp bloggers, TPT sellers, website resources and apps.

So how was your year? What twists do you have to share? 

Cindy

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PS- Of course family is a perk (most of the time) but this post was about the year in an SLPs life

PSS- Just a few videos for a fun way to close out the year.

 Working on Waiting

Diesel speed (these two pups are mine- kinda how I felt on some of my hectic days at work)

Do you Cariboo?

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on November 20, 2014
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There has been lots of posts on social media about the Cariboo game. Many SLPs are searching for one as the game is out of print. You may be one of the lucky ones to find on on e-bay, garage sale, thrift store, from a neighbor, Amazon (for a ridiculous price) or packed away in your garage. Me? I was one of the lucky ones who paid 3.00 at a thrift store.

It sat in my cabinet at school for some time as I had (gasp) forgotten about it. I added some new balls and it was good to go. But wait! With all the buzz about the game there were ideas on how to use this game. A search on TPT brings up free and inexpensive cards to replace the original cards found in the game. The new cards can target a holiday, books, synonyms, antonyms…. Endless options. I added Halloween cards and all my students (K-4th) loved it and begged to play it again and again.  So we did but with a “twist.”  I stopped reading the clue cards and let them makeup their own clues. And so began my students’ Cariboo obsession and our growing collection of new cimageards.

 

I added a twist on how I place the new cards on the game. Sliding the cards in and out was taking too much time so I turned to one of my favorite tools- Alene’s tack it over and over glue. I often use this in place of Velcro.

 

 

Step one: Remove original cards and place a drop of the glue on each window and wait

Step two: Add new cards on each window and play

Step three: Disvover that the glue works BUT pulls off the doors- oops! The plastic doors + glue were not meant to be permanent friends. So…..

Step one: Place original cards back on each window and then place a drop of glue on the card and wait- I put the glue on the picture side but it might be better to turn the cards over and use the blank sides

Step two: Add new cards and play-  Success!! (The new game cards were laminated- the original cards were not.)

My 4th graders couldn’t wait to practice Multiply Meaning words. My “twist” was having each student choose a word and they could open the door if they knew both meanings. I removed the word only if they knew both meanings. If they could not think of a second meaning they could ask for a clue. One 4th grader asked for a clue for “change” after providing the meaning “change your clothes.” So I put my hand in my pocket and said “I’m jingling something in my pocket.” He guessed a mouse! Yeah we have some work to do yet. 😊

 

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My 4th graders noticed the box cover stated the game was for 3-6 year olds. This made them laugh every time we played. It was like they had an inside joke.

While playing this game with two boys I had to tell them to “stop smelling their balls.” Yeah… it was one of those kind of days. 😁😳🙆

I predict Cariboo will be a go to therapy tool this year with lots of new twists!

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a Cariboo. Check out Activity Tailor’s ideas for Cariboo Alternatives:  Cariboo Alternatives

 

BONUS: Here are some cards to use when working on body parts. body parts    There are two pages one with the words and one without. I used the Custom Boards app to create these. Check out all Smarty Ears apps which are on sale during the ASHA convention right now!

 

Now it’s your turn to leave comments about your twists to Cariboo or another game.

Cindy

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If you have missing parts to a sought after Cariboo game here are some ideas. I can’t take credit as many of these were posted by others at some point in social media.

Missing the KEY then try: golf tee, paper clip, pipe cleaner, pen tip

Missing the BALLS then try: Party areas at discount stores, Party America, dollar stores

UPDATE: I did redo the cards and put the glue dots on the backs of the oruignal cards and like this more. Also a inexpensive subscription to LessonPix is another way to make cards.

App review… ArtikPix Levels+

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on November 10, 2014
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I use a lot of apps in therapy. I mean a a lot! I just traded in my iPad 2 64 gb for an iPad Air 2 128 gb. But I am still choosey about which apps I put on to use daily with my caseload at school and at the speech clinic. So this one of my “twists” in my blog this year is to post reviews of new or not so new apps that I use. Here is the first one as I climb off my procrastination wagon.

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ArtikPix Levels+ is the newest app from Expressive Solutions created by Eric Sailers. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy to review for you (my disclosure). Note: This app requires an iPad running  iOS 7.0 or higher.

I would recommend watching the videos on the link above or below.Watching the video can help you fully appreciate and understand all this app has to offer. embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PenF6ClE_xs[/embed]

This  includes 1477 photographs that target 24 decks of sound cards. I was able to move from words to phrases to sentences and to paragraphs with a simple touch on the screen. The different options to practice make the app engaging and extend it’s use over multiple sessions. You may chose to use the word cards as flashcards, matching pairs (word level only) or pick and spin. Data is collected and saved for each session. You are also able to add your own content to personalize sessions.

The initial set up allows you to chose exactly what sounds and levels you want each student/client to work on. This can easily be changed in the edit mode.

Flashcards: This option is what is found on most articutlation apps. The photos change by touching the arrows. The choices of what level to work on is on the bottom- words to paragraphs.

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Pick or Spin: This option can be used at the word, phrase, sentence and paragraph level. It is is similar to the flashcard level but with a “twist” or I guess I should say “spin.” The photos appear on a computer screen. You can choose to spin (for a new image) or speak (it speaks the words on the screen).

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Matching: This is only available at the word level. When you initially set up your students/clients you can choose to have this at different levels of difficulty- easy, medium or hard. The picture below is set to the medium level with 3 rows of 4 cards. Easy is 2 rows of 3 cards and hard is 4 rows of 5 cards.

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Create: This feature allows you to add your own cards. You can add an image from your own photo library or through a link to bing.

This app currently is in the app store for free with the TH deck and in app purchases for other sound decks: Free TH deck.

Here are a couple of  my “twists” for this app.

1. I always use my articulation apps with my fluency and language students/clients. They can practice fluency techniques and vocabulary skills.

2. I plan to make new decks specific to my students for social skills- in the group/ out of the group- think Super Flex ideas.

 

 Cindy

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“Insecting” things are happening…

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on May 20, 2014
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One of my last posts was about our Beach Theme and this is my part 2 of our three units to end the school year. It’s all about bugs.

 I wrote about bugs as part of a nature unit in an earlier post that you can read HERE.

Here are a few new things that we added this year. bug 1  bug 2

1. Bug vocabulary – I created worksheets using boardmaker.

2. We made an art project with the bug worksheets. This was a way to target, following directions, sequencing, problem solving, prepositional concepts, etc. You will need:

  • Construction paper for the background (I used blue) and green for grass (draw a line to cut up to)
  • Trees- some students drew their own, some colored tongue depressors or a strip of construction paper and glued them on
  • Log- same as the trees- I did break the tongue depressors in half
  • Flowers- some students drew their own and others used the flowers from our bug sheet.
  • Glue the bugs on the tree, under the log, under the grass, on the grass, in the sky, etc.
  • We glued the extras on the back along with the instructions. from the sheets.
  • You can use the bug sheets I created: bug 1   and bug 2

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3. We used bug capsules to”grow” a bug. I have found these at Target, Dollar stores,etc.

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4. We wore bug masks (from Target dollar spot) while exploring our bug area.

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5. We even ate bugs!!! ( I bought these on clearance after Halloween but there are often gummy bugs in the candy aisles.)

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6. We read a lot of buggy books and played with some buggy apps.

Here are a few we tried:

 Bugs and Buttons

Bugs and Buttons 2

Bugs and Bubbles

Bugs and Numbers

Bugfest

Bug Games for iPad

Sago Mini Bug Builder

Butterfly Farm

Insect Coloring for kids-lite

Forest Insect Pests in North America

7. Images and Videos- there are a lot online to view about bug life cycles and more. Check out those from National Geographic  or  Science Channel

So now add your own buggy twists!

Cindy

I’m a guest blogger… Check. It. Out.

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on February 19, 2014
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If you haven’t been on The Dabbling Speechie blog you are missing a lot of great ideas and information. Check out my guest blogging stint on her site: Guest Blog on the dabbling speechie!

A sneak peek at what I wrote about:

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And of course add your own twist!

Cindy

Polar bear twist

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on February 4, 2014
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I think polar bears are beautiful animals. I love to help kid learn facts about them. But I’m really tired of the same thing and was looking for a twist. One of my students and I checked out some books about polar bears  from our media center.  We gathered the usual books with cute pictures and fun polar bear facts. I refused to even look for the Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear book.  As we looked through the books one really caught my attention it is called Irving and Muktuk- Two Bad Bears by Daniel Pinkwater. There is a series of books with these characters.  The story follows the two bears who crash the blueberry muffin festival year after year. They are trying to steal as many muffins as they can. They disguise themselves in their vain attempts to get muffins.

So then my twisted brain came up with the following plan.

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1. Read the book with the students- work on comprehension, wh questions, vocabulary, inferencing, articulation, compare/contrast, predicting, sequencing, expected/unexpected behaviors, problem solving, cause/effect, perspective taking (what were those bears thinking!) etc.

2. I found how to draw polar bear directions on line and printed some of them off.  I gave each student a marker and a recyled paper (reduce, reuse recycle!). They chose which polar bear they wanted to draw. This worked on sequencing as they needed to follow each step. You can find the site I used HERE.

3. The next time we reviewed the main idea of the story and talked about how the bears disguised themselves. Then they came up with how they would disguise their bears. I did not let anyone see the other students bears. And only one student came up with the same idea (Batman). I encouaged him to think of a new one and he did.

4. We used microsoft word clip art and a google image search to find  pictures that would work with their costume/disguise ideas. Lots of problem solving and thinking about what pieces they would need for the disguise. The disguises were taped on so they could be lifted and show that it really was a polar bear. I think this one is my favorite.

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5. I created a banner for our  blueberry muffin festival wall with materials from the supply room. I also printed out pictures of the ways the people traveled to the event- snowmobile, snow shoes, skis, small plane and dog sled.  I cut some blue tag board to create the ground and sprayed it with fake snow. Of couse I printed out muffins! Here are my signs Blueberry Muffin Festival    what do you see     small muffins     vocabulary pics

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6.  I used post it notes to write the vocabulary words we learned: snow mobile, snowshoes, cross country skiing, small plane, dog sled, festival, muffin, captured and disguise. These were placed on our blueberry festival wall and the kids could match the words with the pictures.

7. I took pictures of all the disguised polar bears and created a book uisng Custom Boards app. You can see our book here- be sure to check out our surprise ending found in part 2: Muffin Book part 1    Muffin Book part 2

And yes we did learn some polar bear facts along the way but that wasn’t really the plan. I guess some kids are just curious!

So now it’s your turn to add your own twist!

Cindy

Rolling, Rolling in the speech room (psst a giveaway post)

Posted in Uncategorized by Cindy on January 15, 2014
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I recently won a game called Tenzi from Millions of Fingerprints Blog.  It has become a huge hit in my speech sessions.

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The set I received came in a long tube with four different colored dice in sets of 10. As stated on the tube it is a easy fast paced game in which everyone rolls until someone gets all their dice on the same number.  One of my students told me this was the “funnest day” ever in speech!

This is how I introduced it to my students with a speech therapy twist.

Vocabulary: die, dice, dots, square, cube, roll, shake, high/low, count, match,  same, different, matches, rules, more, most, less, least, slow, fast paced, demo/practice, set aside, strategy, eyeballing, invent, create (inventor/creator), original

Logical thinking: I showed the dice and then removed them from their vision. I asked them how many dice they thought the game had. I gave them the clue that the game was called “TENzi.”  It was interesting to see how the different brains processed this information.

Team players/Social skills: They each chose a set of dice. If they wanted the same color then they had to come up with a plan on how to decide who got that color. Some chose rock, paper, scissors; some asked me to put one die behind my back and they picked a hand; some willingly let the other player have that color, etc.

Playing the game: My rule for any dice game is when rolling it has to remain on the table or you lose your turn. With this many dice I gave each player a plastic container or the cover of the container to use for rolling their dice (worked great).

  • We played a demo or practice game first which helped everyone become familiar with the rules. We talked about if this was a slow game or fast paced game.
  • We talked about strategies: setting aside the dice (outside of the container) we were matching, picking, eyeballing the dice quickly when first choosing what number had the most showing; should you hold the dice high or low when rolling/shaking.
  • I told them that the game inventors/creators encouraged us to invent new ways to play. So we did. Disclaimer: The game comes with other ideas on how to play but I never looked at them so we may have created similar “new” ways to play.

Our inventions for new ways to play Tenzi (the groups also had to come up with a name that fit the game)

1. Castle:  Each player uses 10 dice- the object is to build a castle (pyramid) with 4 dice on the bottom, then 3, then 2 and then 1 on top. Each player rolls and tries to get 4 fours on the bottom then moves on to 3 threes, 2 twos and 1 on the top. The first one to finish their castle is the queen or king. You could make a smaller castle by using only 6 dice (threes on the bottom, then twos and one on top)

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2. Silent Tenzi: Play in pairs and each player has 3 dice. The object is to get numbers 1-6. One team member rolls their dice and tries to get 1-2-3 (in order) when they have that the partner rolls their dice and tries to get 4-5-6 (in order). This is all done without talking. You could also play this as a single player against others.

3. Tower: Each player has 6 dice- the object is to stack each die on top of each other. The bottom die would be 6 and then 5 etc. until the top reaches 1. Or play it with 1 at the bottom and stack up to 6. You can add a challenge by stating if the tower falls before it is finished those dice must be rolled over.

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4. Dice-O:  Play in partners- each person has equal number of dice (you could play this with 2-10 dice)- Each team member rolls one die at a time and when they both have rolled the same number they set them aside and continue until all their dice match.

5. Pig:  Each player has 6 dice- you are trying to create a pig face.  You need to roll ones for eyes, 4 for the nose, 6 for the mouth and threes for the ears. The first person who finishes their pig face makes a pig noise.  You could call this another animal but pig is what my students wanted.

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6.  I Got It:  Each person has one die- One player calls out a number. Everyone rolls at the same time and the first person to roll the called out number yells “I got it!”

7. School:  Each person has 6 dice.  Each number represents a grade- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th. Everyone rolls at the same time. You need to roll a 1 before you can move on to the next “grade.” Once a player rolls a 6 (for  6th grade) they yell “I graduated.”

8. Match Dash or Double Trouble: Each player has all 10 dice. Everyone rolls once and whoever has two matching dice is the winner OR  you could play until all a player gets 5 matches.

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9. It’s Not Adding Up:   Each person needs 1 die. All players roll at the same time in the same location or container. Whoever adds up the total shown on the dice is the winner. You can also play this for subtraction but we only used two dice.

10. Make a Tail: Each player uses all 10 dice. The object is to create a snake-like creature. Roll a six for the head, eight ones for the body and a 3 for the tail. You cannot make a tail (3) until you have finished the rest of the snake. The first one who puts a tail on their snake hisses.

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So now it’s you turn to add your own twist!

Check out the free app Tenzi app for iPad (it is also available for Android)

Oh yes and now for the GIVEAWAY!!! 

Just sign up through the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win your own Tenzi game!

Cindy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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