One way to make artic therapy a little more fun!

One way to make artic therapy a little more fun!

Kids love games, right?

Everytime they come into the speech therapy room, you hear “What game can we play today?”

Your peers might frown a little and the explanations flow, but we all know that a game keeps kids engaged while we work on goals.  This article by Char Boshart goes more into depth and is worth the read!

I don’t know about you, but playing Memory and Don’t Break the Ice can be trying sometimes. Monopoly is out of the question, we only have 30 minutes (and really only 24 after the kids walk down, find a seat, and forget to bring their book!)

board game, chance, fun

I have always loved Connect Four, and it’s great for an individual session or a session where you have 2 students.  Is there a way that we can take the fun and natural turn-taking of Connect Four and apply it to our speech articulation goals??

Of course there is!

What makes this game work for artic therapy?

  • Multiple repetitions: on each page there are 21 pairs of target words for a total of 42.
  • Quick moving and engaging: the games move quickly so that students don’t feel like they are doing a lot of work, but they are!
  • Get more than 2 students involved: I have worked this game with 3 or more students- everyone picks a shape they will draw and you go from there!
  • Targets vary in number of syllables: I have found a key to good artic therapy is continually testing out whether kids can say longer utterance with their target word.  By increasing syllable length, we are building up co-articulation skills and setting a foundation for later success and carryover

What doesn’t make this game work?

  • Kids get competitive: we can say this about all games, and as speech therapists we all have our tricks from keeping kids both engaged and out of each others hair! Just be mindful that all games can spark a competitive vibe which sometimes takes away from goals.
  • No pictures: for our pre-readers, this game can be a challenge.  When building the game, it was hard to fit in an image that would work.  I didn’t want kids (and speech therapists) to squint while playing! I have found that many kids will attempt to read the words, and you can work in some imitation.  For our older kids, it’s a home run!

When you are looking for a new way to keep kids engaged in speech therapy, check out Four in a Row!

Check back here for more therapy ideas and technology tips!

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