Board games have come a long way since the days of Monopoly and Sorry, geared towards school-aged children and require kids to have a somewhat long attention span. There are so many amazing options now, and children as young as 2 can play! As a Speech Therapist, I use board games daily to work on developing SO many speech and language skills with my clients. They are great for teaching children early social skills. For example, turn taking, eye contact, and playing cooperatively. Here are a few of my favorite games and some concepts that can be easily worked on while playing!
The Sneaky, Snack Squirrel Game!
A fun, simple game that can improve both your child’s language and fine motor skills! Teach your child matching (using words like “same” and “different” as you talk about the colors), color identification and naming, and spatial concepts (focus on words such as “up”, “down”, “in” and “out”). Improve your child’s ability to use their hands and fingers as they grab the acorns with the sneaky squirrel!
This one’s great for improving your child’s attention and processing. I love that the words are printed underneath the pictures to help children learn early sight words!
Pop up Pirate
Super simple and fun for little ones! Practice having your child answer yes/no questions as you ask after each sword is put in, “Did the pirate pop?”.
Where is Howie’s Owie?
One of my absolute favorites! What kid doesn’t like to talk about “boo-boo’s” and play with band-aids? While playing this, work on your child’s ability to make sentences as they make up a story about how Howie got an “owie”. Ask your child “WH” questions, like “Where is the boo-boo?” or “why did he get it?”. Even the youngest players can work on concepts with this game like understanding body parts. Give them a direction such as, “put a bandaid on Howie’s hand“.
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Such a fun, classic game. Work on counting the balls, describing verbs (eating, pushing, playing), and encouraging your child to say more words (like filling in with “go!” after you start with saying, “Ready, set…”.
Children learn best when they are engaged and having fun. These early games are fun for friends and family and can help improve your child’s speech and language skills along the way!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family