Game night is one of my favorite nights! Here are some fun and educational games to enjoy with the family! In the words of the Black Eyed Peas, let’s get it started. Let’s get it started in here!
Alright, folks, Arrrr you ready for a super fun game to play with your little ones? Arrrrr you looking for some learning ideas you could use to incorporate into this game? Arrrr you tired of me pretending to sound like a pirate? I am. It’s annoying, but I thought it might get your attention. HA!
If you’ve never played, the premise is not to pop the pirate out. The pirate is placed into a spring-loaded barrel and rotated to randomize the unlucky slot. Players must take it in turns to insert plastic swords into slots in the side of the barrel. If a player enters the sword into a specific slot, the pirate launches out of the barrel, and the player gets the peace sign out. The last player who remains after all others have been eliminated wins.
I’ve been a proud of owner of Pop-up Pirate for a while now, and it is pretty amazing. This game is a great reinforcer game to use to work on other learning skills separately. Take intermittent breaks to play the game when your kiddo is working hard. I do that a lot in therapy. Here are a few other speech-language skills to use with Pop-up Pirate!
Pop-up Pirate can be used to target colors and numbers. The swords you stick in the barrel (that can make the pirate pop out) are red, yellow, blue and green. Tell your kid to name a color sword, and for a harder skill, he can expressively label the color of the sword he wants to use. Take it further by asking your kid to think of other things that are red, or blue or whatever color they chose.
You can always adjust the rules to the game a bit. Grab a dice or write down numbers on post-its (one through five) and have a kid pick a number or roll the dice. Then that is how many swords she has to stick in the barrel on her turn.
You can use this game to make predictions on a basic level. Ask your kid, when do you think the pirate will pop out of the barrel? How many swords will it take? Maybe you and your child each make a guess and whoever guesses closest is the winner.
Generate a story
Give your kiddo a topic or a theme (or for an older kid he can come up with one) and take turns adding different ideas to a story. For each sword she sticks in the barrel, she has to come up with another idea to add to her story. Give her prompts to help keep her on topic and not get too wacky with the storyline.
Practice speech sounds
Does your kid need to work on a specific sound? Give your kiddo a word to practice (that contains that sound.) Or better yet, have her think of that word if she can, and for each turn, she needs to practice saying that sound correctly (or at least a good attempt). See if she can make up a sentence using that sound, as well.
Work on sight words
If your kiddo has to practice sight words, you can have him practice by reading a word or two and then take a turn with the game.
This could be a great theme to ask various –wh questions to your child. “What is a pirate?” “Where does a pirate work?” “Why do you think pirates needed to follow a map?”
Pickles and Penguins
I was at Barnes and Noble doing what I do best and came across this fabulous game for kiddos. Penguins to Pickles looks like a cool game to work on language skills. Basically, you have various picture cards in your hand and you have to get rid of them by figuring out ways two different cards could be linked together (which targets language). For instance, do they both fly? Maybe they are both red? Have a zipper? This game allows for some really creative thinking! If anyone is looking for an early bday present for me, I’ll take it. It’s for the kids, I swear! Get it here!
Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is one of my all-time favorite games to play with my friends, so of course, I am going to favor the “junior” version for kids. It’s great for grade school age children and gives them an opportunity to enhance their vocabulary skills. If you don’t already know how to play, I’m not sure we can be friends. Ha! I’m kidding; it is pretty simple. Full post here.
HedBanz is a therapy favorite! It targets adjectives, asking questions, describing, categories, expressive labels, speech sounds, and speech rate/intelligibility. Grade school-aged children are the target audience for HedBanz, but if you get creative, younger kids will love it, too (I have a few ideas to help you out.) Full post here.
First of all, who doesn’t enjoy this classic game? It has always been a family favorite of mine! Did anyone else have a crush on Charles as a kid? Or, was that just me? Mustache and all–he was my favorite character. Guess Who? covers asking and answering questions, grammar, social skills (being a good sport,) descriptive vocabulary, and overall speech intelligibility. Full post here.
What are some of your game night favorites? Let us know!