There are so many games out there to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Here is my list of favorite games to use in speech therapy. All have been used by me, an SLP!, and my students have loved!
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Bubble talk is hilarious! If you have students with social communication goals it is an absolute must have! I recommend it for 5th-12th grades. Bubble Talk players match funny captions with hilarious pictures. It’s played a little bit like apples-to-apples, with one person being the judge for the funniest caption. It provides a great way to explain and use humor, which is a great social skill!
Sorry! is a classic board game and a must have for any speech room. I like it because it brings out a competitive edge in the students. Sometimes we want to let all of the children win, but as we all know, learning to lose is a necessary life skill. This game also teaches students how to strategize and enhances complex thinking, which I love!
Hedbanz has been around for awhile and I absolutely love it! So many speech therapy goals can be targeted while playing Hedbanz. There are a lot of speech activities that address answering questions, but I love that this game targets asking questions. It promotes complex thinking, imagination, making inferences, and increasing language skills and vocabulary. Of course, as with most games you can also easily target articulation goals as well.
Guess in 10: Animal Planet
Guess in 10 is a fun game for elementary school age students because kids this age love learning about animals. This game can be used to address receptive and expressive language skills. The player gets to ask up to 10 questions and then they guess which animal is on the game card. I usually shorten the game to whoever wins 3 cards is the winner instead of 7, due to time constraints. You’ll be surprised at how many animal facts your students know!
Now who doesn’t love an anxiety ridden game where you could be bitten by a shark?! The kids love it so it has to go on the must list! I like Shark Bite because it is a highly motivating incentive to get the kids to first work, then play. It can be used to practice turn-taking skills. Other than that though, I mainly use it for an incentive or with articulation cards. I like that it’s easy to set up and easy to put away.
Happy or Not: The Game of Emotions
This game is a cool way to teach emotions because it has great visuals. Happy or Not is a must have game for any SLP who have children diagnosed with autism or any other social communication deficits. The pictures in this game are more realistic than I’ve seen in other games. I also like it because the instructions are simple and it’s easy to play.
I will always be a sucker for Candyland! The thing I love about this game is that the kids really want to win, but it’s all luck! So unlike with Sorry!, there is no strategizing. It makes play a little friendlier, but leaves plenty of teachable moments for good sportsmanship. I use this game most with 1st-3rd graders.
Guess Who is another oldie but goodie. I love any game that can target many aspects of language and that is why this classic game still makes the must have list. When playing guess who players are using the process of elimination, which can be a difficult concept to grasp. Guess Who can be used to help enhance both receptive and expressive language skills.
Jenga… with a twist
Any game that keeps the students hands busy is great in my book. Classic Jenga is great, but how can we use it for speech therapy? I like to write WH- questions on one side of each block and words targeting articulation on the other side. This way you can target language skills or articulation throughout the game. If that seems like too much work for you, have the students do it! It’s a great way to get them to come up with questions and vocabulary words.
Yeti In My Spaghetti
Yeti In My Spaghetti is another kid favorite. This one, like Shark Bite, can be used as a highly motivating incentive. The students love it, especially in the lower grades. I like it because it’s motivating and easy to play.
Board games are always a great time in speech therapy, but if you work with younger kiddos, check out this blog to find out must have toys for preschool speech therapy!