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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Can You Have Fun Building Language Skills? Games in Therapy

When I worked in a school district with students with language disorders, my therapy sessions tended to work in language skills in one of two basic formats: children's literature and children's games.  

I still have a box full of my favorite games that I just can't give up.
I work now primarily with students with complex communication needs, who are nonverbal.  Even then I tend to play a lot with toys, or interact with fun activities that motivate them to communicate.

I used a lot of Ravensburger games (I am not receiving any consideration from them - they don't even know about this post), because they offered a lot of opportunities for language skills development, emory, or other processing skills.  My two favorites were Mystery Garden and Enchanted Forest.

In Mystery Garden, a special object is chosen by one player and, as students move around the board to get to the castle, they ask questions in order to figure out what the item is. It takes some strategizing and good language processing to determine the best question to ask to get the most information. It also takes some memory skills to remember what clues have been given so far.
In Enchanted Forest, players move around the board, peeking under trees to find the secret item.  Players have to remember which trees they've been to, and what item was under each, in order to move strategically around the board.

Both games are great fun while still being difficult enough to tax the skills of students with language learning disabilities.  My students loved to play these games, and never even realized that they were really "working."
Some days it's all about the motivation.  Have fun in your therapy sessions.

SLPs used games in therapy for lots of different purposes.  See more of them in this link party.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking up! I have never played any of those games!! :)