Part 4: Use Virtual Scavenger Hunt to Expand on Your Child’s Social Skill and Language While Social Distancing

During my sessions with some of the clients this week, we played virtual scavenger hunt. It was socially entertaining and also a great way to work on language skills. When I played it with my clients, I modified the objectives depending on the child or the group. The idea is to increase the child’s language while also keeping them busy and entertained. First decide on the number of children you want to invite. My advice is to keep it simple by just inviting 2 children and their parents. You can use Google Hangout, Skype, Zoom and others. Be sure you also discuss your goals with the families you invite. I have included the prompts and suggestions I used that helped facilitate language. Write on a piece of paper what you want your child to learn from the scavenger hunt. Some of my objectives were:

  • the child will identify objects when described by functions,
  • the child will describe objects by functions or by attributes etc.

How To Virtual Scavenger Hunt-(simplified for younger players)

  1. Send invitations to your children’s friends or even encourage your child to invite the friends
  2. If you are having your child invite friends, rehearse what to say with your child
  3. Decide on the Category (birthday party, things you find in the bedroom, things in the kitchen)
  4. Take the lead and moderate as you are the host
  5. You call out and item, the children run to get it
  6. The first person to find the item and bring and shows it first, gets the point.

When I played with the clients, we took turns giving each other clues. It gave the children the opportunity to use language to describe the items by functions or by attributes. For example, “Find something that you can wear under your shoes and it has to be white,” “Find something in your bathroom that you can use to wash your hair.” Another example, “Find salt in your house and bring it to me,” “Find your mom’s shoes.” Decide on the number of items that has to be hunted and when to declare a winner.

Prompts that Can Help with Recall

  • Rehearsal to a song is a great way to help children with learning differences keep information. I had the children singing to “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” “Old McDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O, and on that farm he saw something you wear on your eyes E-I-E-I-O.”
  • Clapping and humming also works for some children.

staff_54_2223410517Uduak (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 ussom@pediatricspeech.com.

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