This is a fun game that can be played with the entire family. Collect a bunch of your child’s toys and put them in small boxes or sandwich bags and hide them in different corners of the house. When I played the game with my clients via zoom, the bags were hidden behind furniture’s, under the bed, on top of the desk, inside drawers, in the bathroom nook and corners etc.
Define Your Goals:
- For some clients, I worked on comprehension of concepts such as: under, behind and inside.
- Some children, I worked on the goal of expressive language. For example, “the child will use “in, on, under and behind.”
- Some children, I used this game to work on speech sounds.
- Some children, I used this game to work on asking and answering questions. For example, “Where is the bag?”
What You Need?
1 or 2 flashlights
8 sandwich bags or boxes (grocery bags work too)
A box (to collect the toys and put them in)
When you are ready, have the child carry the flashlight and look around the house and find the bags and put them in the big box. If you are working on responding to questions, when your child finds the hidden objects, you can ask, “Where did you find the bag?” If your child does not immediately respond, give your child a little time and then repeat the question, but this time you can use a gesture, by pointing to the place your child found the bag. If your child still cannot answer, use a carrier phrase or an initial sound cue, “I found it…(pause and wait 30 seconds and then add the sound cue) unn…,” for the word “under.” If your child is unable to respond even after giving above cues, your child may not be quite ready to say it. It is okay for you to model the correct response for your child to hear.
• What is a carrier phrase? A carrier phrase is a sentence that you start and pause, and the child fills in the blank. For example, “The boy is _______.”
• What is an initial sound cue? An initial sound cue is saying the first sound or first syllable of a word to aid in recollection of the target word.
If your goal is to help your child say specific speech sounds, collect toys that have the sounds that your child is working on. For example, my client was working on the “b,” sound, so I had his mother collect the, “b” toys for this game. Be sure to mix it up, hide about 5 toys with “b” at the beginning and along with other toys, so your child does not become frustrated with the game being only about “b” sounds. It is okay if your child says only 3 correct “b,” as you model the others. Model the correct way to say the “b” sound, but do not keep correcting the child. Hearing you say it the correct way is also teaching the child how the sound is made.
Uduak (Udie) Osom holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Udie has served students of all ability levels from preschool through grade 12, for over 20 years. She is very passionate about neuro-developmental disabilities and social-cognitive disabilities. She is the owner/director of Innovative Therapy Services, a pediatric speech, language and social skills clinic in Santa Clara, CA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.