Christmas is a great time for spending time with the family and presents a great opportunity to play games together that support children and young people’s speech, language and communication. Taking turns is an essential communication skill and playing any type of simple board game that involves taking turns not only helps children to develop this skill, it also helps them to listen and attend to an activity for longer periods of time.
I CAN’s top five Christmas games would be:
1. Articulate – children have to describe rather than name words, great for developing vocabulary and communication skills. This is a great game for children who might struggle to remember the name of certain words.
2. Headbanz – where people ask questions to work out their identity. Helps develop questioning and how to deduce information from the answers. When children are learning to read, this is often a great game to play as it helps them to read between the lines and think creatively.
3. Taboo – players must take turns in describing a word on a card, without using the tabooed words listed. Great for vocabulary development, this is really important for reading and learning in school.
4. Guess Who – really good for developing vocabulary and learning how to ask questions, and deducing information through grouping pictures together based on similarities and differences.
5. Scattergories – helps children develop vocabulary and make use of their internal ‘filing system’ for their vocabulary by thinking about categories.
For younger children, try and adapt the game to make it suitable to their learning level. Why not take out the time limit or adapt the vocabulary to suit their needs. By making these small changes you can open the game up for more members of the family and increase the fun!