The Best Games for Your Whole School-Age Caseload

So…it is April. You are busy, tired, and OVER speech therapy that takes too much time to plan. Your students have full on spring fever and are climbing the walls. What can you do that is easy, fun AND allows for lots of practice of skills for all ages? 

About twice a year, I have “game week” in speech. It requires pretty much no planning and my kids love playing so much that they don’t seem to mind drilling those sounds 100 times.  I have grades PK-10. Believe it or not, there are a few games that work well for all of these ages. I have listed them below with a short description of how I use them in therapy.

UNO is a classic for a reason. Most people already know how to play, but the rules are easy to learn if not. For the younger ones, card holders are helpful because those hands are so tiny! I also just use the “Wild” card just as a wild card without having players draw four when that one is pulled, and instead of drawing two with those, we just use them as color cards. For my older kids, we use the rules included in the package. With all ages, each child takes a speech turn before playing a card.

I’m not kidding when I say ALL of my students like this game. We play with the traditional rules and each student takes a turn practicing her target before choosing a block. Jenga does have two drawbacks: it can be very loud when the tower falls, so it probably wouldn’t be good to play when the class next door is testing, and it takes a minute to stack the blocks back up. I usually ask the kids to help me before they leave the session.

A colleague of mine recently discovered this dice game and it is awesome for therapy! With 2nd grade and older, we play as directed in the package. For younger students, I might modify it a bit, and play more of a roll a panda. Each child gets 5-6 dice and rolls them all at once. If a panda is rolled, we set it to the side and on the student’s next turn, the remaining dice will be rolled. The child who rolls all of the pandas first, wins. All ages take a speech turn before rolling.

This game is available in my TPT shop in several themes. I really like using it for all ages, but it is more geared toward grades K-5. The directions on the cards include language concepts as well as articulation targets for practice. I have two freebies in addition to the other versions.

I haven't tried this one yet, but one of my first graders told me how much she liked it. After looking it up on Amazon, I thought it looked great for all ages, so it is on my list to order next. If you have played it, let me know what you think!

I hope you and your students have both fun and productive speech sessions using these ideas! I'm always looking for more, so if you know of something I've missed, comment below. Happy spring!

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