Help Your Child Learn to Play Games

Children Playing Games with Therapist

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Do you remember the last time you played a game for the first time? You likely had to read the directions, look at all the game pieces, explain the game to your friends, and play a trial round or two. Imagine trying to learn a new game as a child with language deficits! Although simple in nature, some of the games on the market have a lot of pieces and they all have their own set of rules. This can quickly turn playing a new game into a tricky situation! Here are some tips for introducing and playing new games with kiddos who have language deficits:

 

1. Choose games that have few pieces

The fewer the pieces to manipulate, the fewer distractions! This will make it easier for your kiddo to focus on learning the rules of the game. Some examples of games with few game pieces include Chutes and Ladders and Candyland. Games such as Sneaky Snacky Squirrel and Hi-Ho Cherry-O! are great for some kids, but they also have a lot of small pieces that can make the game challenging when first learning to play.

 

2. Select games that don’t have many rules, and introduce them gradually

Fewer rules means fewer pieces of information that your child needs to understand and remember. Stick to the basics at the beginning. The first time you play a new game with your kiddo, focus on spinning the spinner/rolling the dice, figuring out the result of the spin or roll, and waiting his/her turn. As your kiddo gets the hang of the game, maybe you can introduce the rules such as skipping a turn, having to put pieces back, and returning to the start.

 

3. Modify games as necessary

If you see a problem when playing the game, fix it! A great example of this is using fewer cards to play a game of Memory than what come in the game. A game of Memory played with ALL of the cards would be confusing for anyone! If your kiddo has a hard time spinning the spinner only once, you hold the spinner. If your kiddo wants to pick 10 cards instead of 1, you hold the pile!

 

4. Use simple language

Keeping your language simple allows your kiddo to better understand the rules of the game and ultimately have greater success playing the game. For example, rather than saying ‘You need to wait your turn, and then you can roll the dice and maybe you’ll get purple or blue!’, try saying, ‘Wait your turn and then roll the dice’, or ‘First wait, then roll’. Less is more!

 

Hopefully these tips will create a fun experience for everyone playing the game!

 

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.


Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
 
Facemasks:
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
 
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
 
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.

 

Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!