“Are there any specific games or toys that you can recommend for children with speech and language delays? I need some ideas for the holidays.``

Happy holidays! Game night is my favorite night… Playing games is such a wonderful way to improve children’s comprehension of language, verbal language skills, and basic pragmatic skills.  Listed below are some of our favorites:

Ages 2 and upCANDY LAND:  This terrific game was published in 1949 and is still popular today.  Candy Land is a fun and educational game that can target many important skills such as: basic counting, matching colors, turn-taking and many more.  When playing this game, consider asking your child questions about the location of game pieces.  For example: “Who is in the front/back?”; “Who is behind the girl with blonde hair?”; “Who is closest to/farthest from the Candy Castle?” These are important concepts that children will hear regularly during their school day and great concepts to learn at an early age.      

Ages 4 and up –  HEADBANZ: This is an exciting language based game that enhances a child’s ability to ask and answer questions.  It  can improve children’s describing skills, categorizing skills, word retrieval, vocabulary, problem solving skills and much more.  Players place a card with a target word in their opponent’s head band.  The opponent can ask questions to find out what is on his/her head band.  Another variation to this game is to have the child describe the picture to their opponent for them to guess.  For example: “It’s a kind of animal.  It lives in the zoo.  It’s big and has a long trunk.  What is it?”  

Ages 6 and upGUESS WHO: This mystery face game allows the child to ask and answer questions about different characteristics of various faces.  It requires the child to formulate grammatically correct questions and comprehend descriptive concepts.  It targets problem solving and deductive reasoning and is a perfect game to work on many language concepts.  

All ages – DISNEY PRINCESS ENCHANTED CUPCAKE PARTY GAME:  Although this games seems like it would be more suitable for the female population, many of my male clients love it as well!  Who doesn’t love a cupcake?!  This game is a perfect collaborative game for children who are a bit competitive and perform better with games that don’t have a “winner/loser”.  Children can work together to create beautifully decorated cupcakes.  Adaptations include having a child describe various parts of the cupcake to their peers for them to create the perfect cupcake.  This will enhance both receptive and expressive language skills.  

A few other favorites include:

– Captain Bones
– Piranha Panic
– The Joker Fun House
– Apples to Apples Junior
– What’s in Ned’s Head
– Monkeying Around
– Don’t Wake Daddy