When I am working with kids, at times to keep them engaged, I need to spice or modify the board games that they are familiar with to keep it interesting! But they also need to be quick enough to finish in a therapy session! I have gotten most of my games from either Goodwill, gifts, or even from my childhood. And with these different games, they can target so many different speech and language objectives, and the students have a blast playing with them as well. These are some of my go-to’s and how I use them in therapy with many students with different IEP goals:
Cariboo Island: I absolutely LOVE Cariboo and Cariboo Island games. There are templates where you can make your own cards to modify the game based on the goals targeted with your students. During my CFY year, I found this and the preschoolers LOVED it. Highly recommend! Cranium does not make these anymore, but I have found one at Goodwill, and my other fellow colleagues in the past have also had good luck finding them secondhand. You can also use them for language goals as a means to identify different language concepts, such as spatial concepts, descriptives, and plurals. I have also heard of other SLPs working with younger students in birth to 3 services while collaborating with occupational and physical therapy to put different animal walks following a motor sequence in them, where they would need to request which one to open up and follow the directive prior to opening up the door. So many ways to use this game-I love it!
Crocodile Dentist: I was first introduced to this game during my internship in an elementary school, and as a parting gift from my preceptor (thank you Christy!), she gave it to me to use in my own practice! The kids absolutely love the anticipation of whether or not it will take a bite. I have also used it to show where to put your tongue while making different sounds by using play doh also. Check out my freebie and articulation bundle (more coming soon on my tPt store) to be used while playing this game!
Candyland or Candyland Bingo: Every speech therapy room needs a Candyland. I recently found a Candyland Bingo (seen above) at a Goodwill with all of the gingerbread man pieces, but the Bingo cards and spinner were no where to be found! But they would be perfect to use for articulation therapy and for language therapy; a game quick and easy to finish during a session. See my freebie targeting spatial concepts at my tPt store to use with your students! Bundle targeting different concepts soon to come!
Yeti in my Spaghetti: This is my most recent purchase, and the students enjoy this game immensely! Easy to set up and easy to play again and again in your therapy sessions. Similar to Jenga or Topple in a way, I ask my students to repeat speech sounds or complete language tasks a certain amount of times to get high repetitions with cards available in my speech room. The game can be very quick after you start taking the spaghetti out, so it is easy to start over again. Check out my Freebie in my tPt store and as well as other companion activities to use with this game!
Spot It – You can get a lot of repetitions by playing “I Spy”, talk about “what word rhymes with ____” to work on different phonological awareness skills, identify and describe object functions, answer wh- questions, talk about things that fit into the same category, or things that go-together… The options are limitless in this little game!
Whac-A-Mole: Especially with younger kids, this is a great game for kids to get some energy out, especially those little “movers!! I downloaded a freebie from fellow blogger Speech Room News called “Whack A Sound /S/ (FREEBIE): Self-Checking Articulation Game” to use with this game as well. The students love it, and it is very motivating for them to take a turn, so they will do anything (including a high number of repetitions!) to play!
Jenga: Oh again, the anticipation! No one wants to be the one to knock down the tower. You can put articulation/language cards on top of every row of blocks, or give each student a large blow up dice (I found a pack of 4 in the dollar section at Target!) and tape post it notes on them with the target word/task and how many times they need to repeat the task to have them roll to get higher repetitions. The possibilities are endless!
Let’s Go Fishin’: Yet another fun game to play in speech therapy. I have found a great resource created by another SLP blogger, Simply Speech, that I bought off of TeachersPayTeachers called “Gone Fishing for Articulation.” Again, this is a super motivating game, and the kids love to “fish” for really moving, hungry fish! It may be a little harder for younger kids to manipulate the fishing poles, so I have instructed my students to use their fingers instead of the poles to avoid some frustration later on! But overall, a very fun game! If you do not have the resource by Simply Speech, throw a dice into the mix and have the students practice a high number of repetitions for their therapy target, and let them go fish!
Feed the Woozle: Adding sound effects and commenting on how hungry the Woozle is definitely cracks the students up. Or really, any activity where they pretend to feed something-always a hit in therapy! Stay tuned for another companion bundle to use with this game within the next few weeks! This game is sure to be a hit with your students.
UNO Moo!: Uno, but farm edition. How cute is this game?! Another Goodwill find for me. This is another great way to work on answering questions, asking questions, and taking turns.
Zingo!: This is another great find at Goodwill! For Zingo, I have used this to target final consonants and other phonological processes, pronouns, turn-taking, talking about object functions (out of these 2 pictures, which one tells time?), answering questions, and asking questions.
Guess Who?: Taking turns, answering wh- questions, asking wh- questions, talking about attributes or descriptives… Can’t go wrong with this classic. You can also swap out these pictures for others. Stay tuned for a new activity that has a twist on this classic game that the students will love!
I love to adapt these and use them for a variety of goals in therapy-it’s one thing I love about being an SLP! 🙂 I love my Goodwill nearby and always like to see what different games I can come across to use in therapy. What is your favorite game to use in therapy or your go-to’s? I would love to hear from you!
Stay awesome everyone!