My quarterly “Big Fat Check” of rebates from online shopping with Ebates came recently. As always, I used it to purchase therapy materials and supplies. (If you aren’t familiar with Ebates, read my blog post about it HERE). Given that everyone around here is buried in snow and, quite frankly, sick of it, I decided to spice up therapy with a couple of new games. Both turned out to be winners!
I found Pictureka! at Five Below. You can’t any cheaper than that! Despite the low price, the game offers lots of possibilities in therapy. Each player gets 1-2 large sturdy cardboard cards, about a foot square, that are covered with fanciful drawings of real items and crazy creatures. A deck of cards offers two ways to play: (1) find the picture that matches the one on the card (good for kids who need visual scanning and discrimination practice) and (2) find a picture that has a described feature or fits into a named category. The game comes with a 1-minute timer and a die. According to directions, you roll the die, then find that many pictures that match the description before the timer runs out. When playing with my K-2 students, I gave them just one card each and we didn’t use the die, as very often there weren’t 5 or 6 items that matched the clue. Instead, I gave them some bingo chips, which they placed on the pictures they found. When time was up, they uncovered and named each of their pictures. This led to asking some to explain their choices, so we add verbal reasoning to naming and receptive understanding of categories and descriptions. Not bad for a $5 game! I also played this game with my older /r/ students, having them call out “Pictureka!” with their best /r/ every time they found a picture that matched the clue. Older students could handle two boards at a time, which increased their verbal responses. For both age groups, we cleared the boards after each turn and, interestingly, didn’t keep score. They all enjoyed the game, but none felt the need to make it competitive. This was especially good for my younger students with language issues; they could play and learn without feeling they weren’t successful as the other players.
Another game that my 3rd – 5th graders really loved cost a bit more but was well worth it. Funglish, which I purchased through Amazon, has sturdy cardboard word cards filled with all kinds of adjectives, color-coded by type (color, size, appearance, texture, etc.). The directions describe team play, but we adapted it for play between 2 students. A student draws a card, picks an item from the list on the card, then puts several adjectives that describe that item on an easel in one of three areas: always, sometimes, and never. The other player(s) try to guess the item or ask for more clues. What a fun way to work on adjectives and deductive reasoning!
The snow is still on the ground, the air is still cold, and the sky is still grey. But the atmosphere in the speech room is warm and sunny, and I’m collecting data on goals while the kids are playing, laughing, and learning.