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Five Family Games for Language Development

Speech and Language Staff
February 23, 2017

Playing games is a great way to encourage developing language skills. Many games are commercially available, have a language focus, and can be fun for the whole family. Explore some of these five games for a fun and educational family game night!

1. Quiddler

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. Hedbanz

Without looking at the card, each player chooses a card and places it in a plastic headband worn around his head allowing all other players to see his card. Using questions and deductive reasoning, each player must guess the card he is wearing.

5. Scattergories Junior

This is a categorization game, but one where players must record items in a category that begin with a specified letter. 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.

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