This summer is turning out a little differently than expected. Many families are finding they have more time at home, and fewer opportunities to socialize with others. For children who are really missing that social engagement and interaction, here are some game ideas to enrich conversational skills, perspective taking, and interpreting nonverbal cues from home!
- Conversation tokens: Each player contributes to the conversation by asking a question or making a comment and stacks their token on top of the other. You could play with any sort of token that is stackable (e.g., checkers, dominos, cookies). If one of the players says something off-topic or can’t think of something to say, the tower is knocked down.
- Conversation ball-toss: Each player contributes a comment or a question and then passes the ball to someone else, who must do the same. This encourages conversational turn-taking and incorporates some movement too!
- “Kids On Stage” (or charades): This game is great for interpreting nonverbal cues and learning to use them effectively. You could expand the board game by adding “emotion cards” where the player needs to act out a certain emotion (e.g., excited, confused, scared, frustrated, joyful, bored, etc.)
- “Headbanz” (or “What Am I?”) The person with the card on their forehead asks questions before time runs out to figure out what picture is on their card. This game incorporates turn-taking, categorization, verbal description, and deductive reasoning.
- Traditional board games (cooperative and competitive): These are a great way to learn important social skills like working together, turn-taking, managing disappointment when losing and learning to be a good sport.
These are just a few ways to spend time at home with loved ones while working on critical social language skills. Enjoy!