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Let's Play!

Today’s blog was inspired by a Facebook post I wrote a few months ago. I had just finished a therapy session and was reflecting on the number of children I encounter on a day to day basis that do not know how to play games. Sure they know how to play “XBox,” “Play Station,” and other video games. However, I am referring to the children that either don’t know how or don’t want to play anything that is not electronic. I had just finished teaching a 7 year old how to count the spaces and move around a game board. It made me wonder, “Do people play games at home anymore?” And that is when it hit me- you should write about this!

So I made a simple post encouraging parents and caregivers to teach their children how to play games. The response was a bit overwhelming. My FB friends/ followers were grateful and wanted to know more. I received numerous private messages, texts, and even calls asking for more information.

This blog is a follow up to that post. Below I have compiled a list of some of the games that I play in therapy (and at home.) It is not exclusive by any means.

  • Candy Land ~ teaches math skills, problem solving, reasoning, color recognition, cause and effect, and turn-taking skills

  • Chutes and Ladders ~ facilitates early math skills, turn-taking, rewards for positive behavior, consequences for negative behavior (falling down a chute for stealing a cookie from the cookie jar)

  • Uno ~ improves number recognition, color recognition, sorting skills, strategic/ critical thinking skills

  • Go-Fish (you can use a deck of playing cards or picture cards) ~ teaches turn-taking, enhances working memory, vocabulary, and social skills

  • Scrabble/ Pictionary ~ builds vocabulary skills

  • Sorry ~ improves reading skills, math skills, social skills

  • Life/ Monopoly ~ teaches money skills, counting, problem solving, and turn taking skills

  • Memory/ Match ~ boosts working memory, attention, and turn-taking skills

  • Taboo ~ targets vocabulary, word finding skills, expressive language skills, impulse control, cooperation

  • Connect Four ~ develops critical thinking and turning taking skills

  • Battle Ship ~ enhances social skills, critical thinking, problem solving, focus, attention, and turn taking

  • Clue ~ teaches deductive logic skills, reasoning skills, social skills, and critical thinking

  • Guess Who? ~ teaches deductive reasoning skills, process of elimination, logical thinking, critical thinking, formulating questions, identifying similarities and differences, and observational skills

  • Apples to Apples~ develops general knowledge, reading skills, vocabulary skills, verbal skills, language arts, critical thinking, reasoning

Board games are a wonderful way to teach new skills and reinforce an abundance of lessons learned in school and life in general. Just remember, everything doesn’t need to have lights and sound to be fun!


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