Christmas is just around the corner. This is also the time of year that I get the question, “What would you recommend for my child?” As an SLP, I am ALWAYS going to recommend engaging, NON-TECHNOLOGY based toys and games…ALWAYS! Parents are so wrapped up in IPads, tablets and all the apps that go with them. What about a good ol’ fashioned game board? One that causes the whole family to sit around, play and INTERACT (insert huge gasp with the “Clueless” AS IF glare!) I know, right? Board games reinforce skills you don’t even realize. Turn-taking, pronouns (my turn, your turn, his turn, etc), following directions, being patient and waiting your turn, conversational skills while you wait, and these are just to name a few! Depending on what game you play, you can add an entire set of more skills! So what board games am I recommending in this post? (Notice this is just part 1. I have some more planned for you.)
SLP Recommendation #1: “Sneaky Snacky Squirrel”
I love this game! Not like just love it, I really LOVE it! This game is an easy game for little ones that does not involve reading. Spin and see what color you land on-easy enough. The squirrel is a set of tongs which is great for some fine motor skills. Use the squirrel to pick up the color of acorn you need and put it on the tree stump. The first one to gather all 5 acorns wins. With this game you can work on: colors, spatial concepts (like “on the tree”), pronouns (my turn, your turn), question asking (“What did you spin?”), and following directions. Lots of kiddos do not know what acorns are so, a great activity is to go and find some acorns after you play this game. Talk about why the squirrel and the acorn go together (ASSOCIATIONS!) Have fun with it! There is also a lift-the-flap book that talks about colors. This would be an adorable set of a preschooler or even kindergartener!
SLP Recommendation #2: Hoppers Jr.
Kids love when I pull out frog themed games, especially boys. This game is adorable. I love the problem solving skills it reinforces. The child must get all the frogs to “jump” off the board, leaving only the red frog. The tough part is only moving the frogs to jump each other. They can’t jump over empty lily pads. This game comes with a deck of “puzzles” with varying degrees of difficulty. Pick a card and set up your board according to it. The answers are on the back if you get in a jam. You can also use this game to work on the concepts of “over,” “in front,” “behind,” and “off.” You can shop this game here.
SLP Recommendation #3: “Cookin’ Cookies”
I have used this game for YEARS! In fact, I used it so much, one of my sweet families bought a new one for me last year at Christmas. Why do I love this game? 1. The simplicity of it. 2. You can hit stuff. 3. Cookie themed! It is a spin on the “Memory” game. Lay all the cookies out and choose your recipe card. Use the suction cup on your spoon to choose a card. Flip it over to see if this ingredient matches your card. Be the first to get all of your ingredients and watch out for the rotten eggs! I use it to target so many different skills such as pronouns (my turn, your turn), matching, increased MLU (“I found/need a…”), vocabulary (sugar, flour etc.), colors (“What color of spoon do you/I have/want?”) and final /R/ (sugar, flour, butter). I did not find a good link for this game. I found my copy at Target but I have had families tell me they found it on Amazon.
There will be more posts coming with toy/game/book suggestions so keep watching! Here is a review I wrote about an adorable book for children with hearing impairments. It would also be a great read for any kiddo!
Happy Shopping! This blog post DOES NOT contain affiliate links. These are just products that I use and recommend to any other SLP or parent.