Sunday, July 21, 2013

Love it and List it : my top 5 games to use in speech therapy

I'm a list maker.  

To-do lists, shopping lists, chore lists, lists of ideas, lists of books I want to read, lists of projects I want to do, lists of phone calls I need to make. I have them all. My husband even lets me make him a honey-do list on his day off. Just one of the things I love about him :)

It seems that Jenna over at Speech Room  News loves a good list too because she's having a LOVE IT AND LIST IT Linky Party!  And we're going to make it a monthly event!

Soooo.. I've linked up with her to bring you a list...

 ~My top 5 fave games to use in speech therapy~ 

If you've read my blog or visited my TpT Store, you know I love games- especially for articulation therapy.  Remediating a speech error is hard.  It's hard for kids to change a speech pattern they've repeated thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of times. Plus, we all know it can be frustrating (for them and us!)  Making it fun for them takes away some of the sting, and it motivates them to keep trying.  I don't use games in every session because I don't want to send the message that therapy is only about games, but I do use them randomly as my secret weapon!  Here are just a sampling of some of my games: 
(I'm in the process of moving rooms at my school and the amount of games I moved across campus was alarming!)  I think I may have a little problem (yikes!) 

The way I use most games, of course, is that after a child has performed a task to my liking, he or she is "rewarded" with a turn at the game.  I like games that provide simple turn taking and are easy (but exciting) to play! 

It was way hard to narrow down a top 5, but here it is!
(By the way, each game title is a link so that you can read more about the game and see the price.  Of course, keep in mind that these games are available other places than just the link I've provided) 

Students have to roll dice and try to have them land on the ring of bananas in the center of the board WITHOUT letting them fall in the hole in the middle of the board! Each time they land on the banana ring, they earn banana tokens to put in their pyramid.  The person who earns all 10 bananas first, WINS! I love this game because it's super fun and suspenseful and almost always lasts 30 minutes (the average time of my school's sessions)

We always play this game in wintertime as part of a larger winter theme.  The game uses a tissue (that you provide) as the "ice." The "snowballs" sit in water below the ice. Students take turns plopping the  wet "snowballs"on the ice until the ice finally breaks.  Of course, whoever breaks the ice loses the game!  Here's a tip: expensive tissue will cause the game to NEVER END!! Use cheapo tissue or peel a ply away to make the tissue thin :)  My kids BEG to play this game. The only con is that it uses water  so be prepared for your table to get wet. Overall, very motivating game!

OMG when looking for a link for this game, I found it is a rare find now! I bought it for $5 in the 90s but it is quite pricey now!  (Besides the link I provided, you can find it listed on ebay).  It's my go-to game for the Halloween season and a great game to play after reading one of my favorite books- Stellaluna.  Kids roll the colored dice to see which color bat they must hang on the arch.  They can hang them by their wings, toes, or hands. This takes some critical thinking and some sharp fine motor skills    My kids always say, "Whew,  pink is the lightest one" or "Ohh man, orange is the heaviest." NO ONE wants to make the bats fall because if you do, YOU LOSE!

Funny Bunny is my favorite game for Easter time! This game is easy and fun and the bunnies are irresistable- you can't ask for more than that!  Student must pick cards to see how many spaces their bunny can hop along the hill, but they might also pick a card that makes them turn the big carrot in the middle of the game. Each time the carrot turns, a hole appears on the hill (and bunnies fall in!) Whichever bunny reaches the top of the hill first, wins! 

Wow! I am really showing my age apparently! This game is nearly impossible to find now (it's $130 on Amazon!) but you can find it at Etsy or Ebay for $13. I LOVE this game for therapy of all kinds- language, articulation or fluency!  Basically, it includes cards with categories (things you find in your lunchbox, things you do when you get home from school, jungle animals, etc.) and a list of 10 items that fall under the category. You tell the students the category and they have ONE MINUTE to name as many items that fit the category as they can.  I give them a point (on a dry erase board) for each item they name on the list (or the kids can play as teams). Of course, this requires students to apply language knowledge, and really shows me how my fluency and articulation students are truly applying the strategies we work on in therapy.  The added bonus of time pressure and competition reveals so much to me about my students' abilities to carryover skills.  This is especially great for older students and could easily be played with student all the way through high school.  I love it when my students defend their answers and gripe about why their answer should've been on the list- many times they have a great arguement! 

That's it!! That's my list!  Hope you enjoyed!! When I'm not playing games, I'm making my own! You can read 2 other posts I've written on board games HERE and HERE
You can read about other SLPs' fave games for therapy at Jenna's linky party!
As I've said before, speech therapy should never be boring! 

Until next time, 



  1. Adding Monkey in the Middle to my wish list! It looks like fun. Too bad about Acrobats being out of print.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have Outburst Junior too! My students love it as much as I do. I recently found it at Goodwill for 50 cents so I guess I was lucky! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I found the Acrobats game for $2 at Goodwill last summer. I never knew what it was called though because it was in a gladware brownie pan. Thank you for solving the name mystery for me!

  4. I haven't tried Monkey in the Middle! Gotta check it out! Thanks for listing and linking!

    Speech Room News

  5. Thin Ice is also on my favorite games list! Love it....


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