Flash cards are SOOOO boring! Drill pages are just no fun. But games are fun!
So how do we get kiddos to practice the things we know they need to review? And ... can we get them so excited to practice that they are begging you to work with them?! I believe the answers to both of those questions is to play games while you practice.
Play Games (with a purpose!)
You can play regular games like Candy Land, Jenga or Connect 4!
You can play active games like bean bag toss, hide-and-seek style games or run-around games!
Or you can play simple, printable theme based games that keep your kiddos engaged because they are new, colorful and fun! (More about this later!)
How Can You do This?
As a therapist I keep a list of skills I'm practicing with each child next to me. I have lists of sounds, words or other language concepts. When I provided group therapy, I had lists for each kiddo in the group. I would have loved a resource like this back then!!
At home, you can print this page (it's a free download!) and document what you'd like your child to be practicing while you play.
Are you ready to get started?!
First, get a copy of this from my TeachersPayTeachers shop here (it's free!).
Then, print your your Practice Page! If the game uses a die to move, print the 6 item list. For other games I'd print the 10 item list. I've been doing lots of dice games so I've been using the 6 item list most often. But use what works for the game you are playing!
Next, pick the skill that you want to work on! This can be practically any skill! I've done math facts, vocabulary, sight words, all kinds of other reading skills and of course speech sounds and language skills (I've even put our Latin nouns on a list!)
If your child is in Speech Therapy, ask your therapist about what your child should work on! The therapist should be able to tell you the level that your child is currently needing to be working on at home (for example: words that start with "k" at the single word level, or "sh" at the end of syllables, or "p" in simple sentences, etc!)
Then just write up a few of those words and get practicing!
Ok, so all you have to do is:
print the page you want
fill in the skills you want to work on
play a game with your child and practice while you play!
Actually Using the Practice Skills Page
So, you have your page printed out, the skills listed and you are ready to play a game with your child! Great! Let's get into the more nitty gritty of this, shall we :)
If you are playing a dice game use the 6 item list and whatever number you roll is the number of spaces you move, right?! But go ahead and also say the word on your list that is by that number! Roll, move, practice. Roll, move, practice! I encourage kiddos to practice even on "my" turns. Sometimes, I'll practice/model the skill but the goals is for the child to be practicing. (And to be completely honest... don't tell my little kids about this... sometimes I'll roll my die-app until I get the number I want them to practice. Shhh! Don't tell!)
If you are playing other games, like Candy Land or Jenga or the Ladybug Game (one of my all time favorites!!!) you can use the 10 item list and go through the list over and over until the game is done.
So on the first turn you say the first word, on the second turn you'll say the second word, etc... until you get to number 10 then return to the top of the list!
The 10 item list is good for games like Tic-Tac-Toe, I just cross off the tenth spot since tic-tac-toe only has 9 spots to place a marker on. It's quick, fun and motivating!!
Want to see this in action, check out my YouTube:
That's it! You can help your child practice the skills they need to work on and make it fun at the same time!
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