Any board game can be turned into a language and social learning time, but here are a few NSPT favorites:
5 Board Games To Promote Speech In Children:
- Cariboo, a creative game made by Cranium, promotes turn-taking, requesting, and conceptual skills. Personal pronouns can be targeted by asking, “Whose turn is it?” while requesting skills can be targeted by having your child ask for game materials such as a card or key. After requesting a playing card, you and the child can discuss colors, shapes, letters, and numbers (for example, “Wow, this door has 4 yellow butterflies on it!”). Cariboo can be played individually, but it is highly recommended to play it with friends!
- S’Match encourages the development of conceptual skills, such as similarity, colors, and numbers. When your child flips over two cards, phrase your questions so that you provide choices. For example, “Are blue and green the same or different colors?” or, “Do cows belong with animals or transportation?” Like Cariboo, S’Match also practices requesting and turn-taking skills by encouraging your child to ask for game pieces and declare each partner’s turn.
- Guess Who is a classic game that promotes grammar (e.g., do/does, has/have) and syntax (word order) skills by asking questions. If your child has a difficult time phrasing a question, you can model the question first and have him/her repeat it (e.g., Does your person have facial hair?). While Guess Who is designed for ages 6+, younger children can play this game too. Guess Who is fun to play with teams of partners!
- Zingo brings a new spin to BINGO. While you and your child take turns matching tiles to the board, encourage your child to name distinctive features of the pictures (for example, “Look, you matched a sun. Where do you find the sun? What color is the sun? How is the sun different from the moon?”). Zingo can be played independently, but it is more fun when you and your child play together.
- Scattergories is designed for adolescents and adults, and promotes vocabulary, word retrieval, and organizational skills. For example, name something you can find at a beach that starts with the letter /s/, such as “swimming suit.” If your child is having word retrieval difficulties, use strategies such as identifying the category/function, describing what it looks like, or drawing a picture.
All these games can be found at:
These games are so fun that your child will not even be aware that they are learning! The list of language learning games is endless, so if you have any games that you would like to share with our North Shore Pediatric Therapy families, please share and comment below.