When I was in speech therapy as a kid, we played Candyland as a reward for doing our pronunciation work. Fast forward to now, and I’m playing board games with my son as part of his speech therapy. Except we aren’t playing Candyland. We’re playing Animal Upon Animal, Qwixx, and Sum Swamp. And board games aren’t just a reward, they are actually part of his speech therapy!
My son’s speech therapist is a huge advocator of board games and oral motor games during speech therapy. Instead of just rote pronunciation, she finds what is behind not talking, not pronouncing. She builds the foundations from the ground up, instead of working on the symptom of speech delays or pronunciation issues. So, board games are a huge part of my son’s speech therapy. It’s part of sequencing, planning, and making logical choices. These all help with speech!
So, we play Animal Upon Animal, talking through each turn, then do oral motor exercises in between. Think tongue pops, la-la-la’s, and putting cheerios on the tip of our tongue. It’s so fun, and my son responds really well to it. And we get to play board games daily as part of his speech therapy! How cool is that?
Another thing I love is that his speech therapist is very open to trying new games. I got her hooked on Codenames, and recently she bought No Thank You Evil to try with her students. Board games are more than just entertainment for us, they are a means to get my son talking and talking well.
What’s exciting is my son’s speech delay is gone. He’s talking at the right level for kids his age, now what’s left is to work on his tongue and lip strength so he can get those pesky L’s, F’s, and V’s. Well off to do more oral motor games with my son while we play Space Planets!