Five Family Games for Language Development
Playing games is a great way to encourage practice in developing language skills. Many games are commercially available, have a language focus, and can be fun for the whole family. Here are five of my favorite language-based games.
Players are encouraged to create words from a series of letters in this card game. It teaches linguistic flexibility, encourages players to look up words in a dictionary, and expands vocabulary. Rules can be modified where the group as a whole can help each player individually.
2. Apples to Apples Junior
This games focuses on vocabulary, word meanings, synonyms, categorization, and reasoning. Players are given a set of cards, each card identifying a different noun. An adjective card is placed in the center. Each player must choose which of her cards best aligns with the center card, then defend her choice.
3. Guess Who
This two-person game is based on question asking and deductive reasoning. Each player has a set board of unique faces and is trying to guess which person belongs to his opponent.
4. Outburst Junior
Fast-paced and interactive, this game focuses on naming items within a given category. The objective is to name all of the items listed within the category before time runs out. This is a great game to play as a group. It can be easily modified by eliminating the timed element.
5. Scattergories Junior
This is another categorization game, but one where players must record items in a category that begin with a specified letter. Again, there is a time limit to each round, which may be eliminated if modifications are needed. The card game version of this game eliminates the need to write words, which may be a successful modification for some children.
Jennifer M. Adams, MA, CCC-SLP