Holy January. It’s been a bit since I posted last, but life has just been, well, life. Ha! But, I’m here now!
Here are some of my favorite games and speech-language tips for early elementary kiddos:
I love this game so much for kids that I actually wrote a whole blog about all the different areas this game targets. In short, this game is great to help kids ask questions, compare/contrast and problem solve. The most satisfying part of this game: knocking down people on your board. So therapeutic. Or, is that just me? Get it here.
A unique name for a fun game! The object of the game is to be the first person to name an item in a particular category. But, there is a twist. Each answer is dependent upon specific letter cards for each round. This game is fast-paced, educational and a pretty good time. It’s a convenient activity to pack and take on the go, as well. Get it here.
Hedbanz is terrific for helping kids to ask questions and provide descriptions of objects. I have used this game in therapy for years, and my children never seem to get tired of it. It’s also a lot of fun because kids love to wear the headband while trying to guess the mystery card on their head. I also wrote a longer blog about Hedbanz if you’re looking for new ways to target language goals. Get it here.
Now is when I would make a joke about pirates, but I think I’ve overused it a bit lately and I don’t want to annoy anyone. Argh, you happy with that decision? Gotcha! Pirate Talk is a little pricier than other games, but if you are genuinely looking for an expressive/receptive language game where you don’t have to think much (just read questions off of cards), then I highly recommend this game. Kids love to use the electronic spinner and collecting coins to win the game. Get it here.
Food Frenzy App
I love, love, love this app! It is only five dollars, and it has provided my clients with countless amounts of fun. This app is excellent because it is exciting and engaging while working on listening and following directions. I actually let my clients know this game is more than just the graphics! It’s about focusing and using their short term memory skills to complete multi-step directions. The only downside is that it makes me so hungry especially when you get to grill various foods! Get it here. (iPad only)
Blurt is a great game to teach new vocabulary words or reinforce words that children may already know. This game has different difficulty levels– which is helpful, so you can appropriately challenge your kiddo. Take this game a step further and have kids use the vocab words in sentences that make sense with the definition of the words. Blurt is fast-paced and keeps my students engaged. Get it here.
Who doesn’t love a randomly timed buzzer? Last Word is very exciting because you never know when the timer is going to go off during a round. It is a category game where each player has to take turns naming items in a category until the buzzer runs out. Don’t let the timer go off during your turn! Fun for this age, especially. Get it here.
Tall Tales is another creative game to work on expressive language, sequencing, and practicing oral narratives. To play this game, kids draw out mini objects from a bag and then they have to think of ways to link those objects together to tell a story that flows and makes sense. It’s fun to hear kiddo’s stories! They are so creative. Get it here.
Bubble Talk is similar to Meme the Game but more appropriate for kids. In Bubble Talk, you are presented with an unusual picture scene and then players have to pick the best caption to fit that scene. It’s excellent for targeting figurative language, flexibility in thinking, perspective taking, and cooperation. And, it gets a lot of laughs! Get it here.
Apples to Apples, Junior
I have total heart eyes for this game. (You can read more why here.) The down and dirty explanation of the game is that it helps teach adjectives and synonyms. Players may have to explain their answers which is a more challenging expressive language task. Apples to Apples can help kids “read” other players and play cards to their advantage by what they think other players will do. Get it here.
Speech-Language Recommendations for 6-9 year olds
Read together with your child
As your kiddo is reading, stop periodically and ask him questions. Start thinking about questions that require some higher level thinking. These questions might include skills like, making predictions, inferencing what is happening in a situation not explicitly stated, talking about character feelings, and problem-solving possible story solutions.
Ask your kiddo questions that require more than a one-word answer
So, basically, avoid yes/no type questions. I
Set aside time for family conversations and game time
Look for games that require kids to problem solve or explain their answers. Or, refer back to good ole’ Witty & Wordy for game ideas!
Ask your child to explain a skill or something they recently learned
Have her think of the steps needed to complete the skill, or whatever it is she learned recently–to help her with sequence and flow of the story.
Encourage kiddos to ask you questions about your day
This process helps them formulate questions and to think of others outside of themselves.
Practice speech problem areas in small amounts of time
If your kiddo has difficulty with a specific speech sound, set aside small amounts of time each day to have a chat with your kid while he practices that sound at the conversational level. He should also practice slow and clear speech at this time, as well.
And, that covers it!
What other games or tips do you have for this age group?