By Victoria F. Burnos, MSP, CCC-SLP
This Christmas season, don’t just reach for the phones, computers and tablets. There are tons of board games and stocking stuffers that will stimulate your little one and lead to fun for the whole family!
With our children more interested in technology and devices, it seems like our favorite board games have turned boring. Bring back family night this winter with some of our favorites that children (and adults) of all ages enjoy.
Collaboration is Key
Great board games continue to emerge that build character in our kids using collaboration. These are games where there is “no” winner unless we are all “winners.” Now, there is a time and place to learn strategy in order to “beat” another player, but as Speech therapists, we’ve found that our kiddos benefit from working alongside one another to reach a larger goal – winning together. Let me share a few games with you and some tips for “how I play.”
Zingo – Bingo with a Zing
Although not technically collaborative, When I play Zingo we work to fill-up the WHOLE board. Not just three in a row. Also, if a child reveals a picture not on their board, but on a friends, I encourage sharing and requesting to help one another complete the board. In the end, everyone is excited to have helped each other “win.”
Hoot Owl Hoot
This game and other wonderful ones like it from “Peaceable Kingdom,” are perfect for collaboration. In this game, all the owls must get to the nest before the sun rises. It is so challenging and requires creative and critical thinking skills to plan and strategize. Pro-tip: Remove one or two sun cards before playing so that y’all CAN beat the sun. 🙂 #hardwork
Looking for little gifts for your little ones? The dollar-spot is a great start, but don’t forget the “Party Favor” section! This aisle is chock-full of small things that bring big fun.
Small Games. Big Hearts. Can’t Lose.
Small, yet mighty these tiny toys are perfect for tiny hands. SImple card games will be great to practice turn-taking and reasoning skills. Use this fluorescent colored dough with any new dough cutting or creating game received. And, these cars are just too sweet and should fit on tracks likely already in your home! These colorful and varied balls are great for sensory development, descriptions or to use alongside other toys to build imagination. And, they are just too fun!
Splishin’ and a Splashin’ for Speech
Bathtime is the best time for language development. It’s part of your daily routine, the water is calming and you have your child’s attention. Stock up on these awesome bath toy finds for your stockings. These characters can be used during bath or even at your water table outside! These animals and objects are perfect to increase category awareness, encourage new descriptive words and to discuss similarities and differences.
The durability of these toys is great for your child if they like to chew on toys. Use these in the farm or boat along with other plastic characters. Opportunities are endless!
There are so many great toys out now. Keep on the lookout for toys without batteries, bells and whistles and let your child create, explore and invent. Keeping your toys simple will actually increase their use and longevity while keeping your child’s interest longer! Merry Christmas and happy playing!
Do you ask yourself: “Are my child’s speech and language skills where they need to be?” Request a complimentary screening today!