Have you heard of the game Diggity Dogs?  I wanted to show you how to use Diggity Dogs in speech therapy.

how to use diggity dogs in speech therapy

Most of my speech students LOVE dogs, so this is one is a keeper!

diggity dog 1Educational Insights  created a game that has real life photos of dogs that need to be adopted!  This game worked best with kids who were 5+ because it is a more a complex game of go fish, so you have to be able to ask other players for a match as well as find 3 cards that match what the dogs are wishing for in their heads.  Once you get all three cards, you get to adopt the dog!  Whoever has the most adopted dogs at the end of the game wins.

diggity 2You set the 7 dogs out on the table and give each player 3 cards.  On your turn you ask another player for one card. If they don’t have the card you need draw from the draw pile.

How I use it in therapy:

  • Most of my elementary caseload have articulation and fluency goals, so we used this game as a reinforcer after they practice their speech targets.  We aimed for higher productions because in between turns could take a bit longer.
  • For language, this could be a fun way to have students describe the different dogs by use adjectives.  Students who are working on articulation carryover could also describe the dogs in connected speech.
  • Any game such as this one is an awesome way to work on social skills with turn taking, asking questions using the players names with expected nonverbal language (body posture, eye contact, tone of voice), waiting your turn, and learning to keep a secret.
  • This game was pretty motivating for my students, so  there was some big disappointment (aka tears) when a student didn’t get to adopt the dog they wanted.  That was a good opportunity for me to discuss small and big problems and the expected behaviors for when things don’t go our way.  The student moved on and we were able to continue to play.  As much as winning and losing isn’t fair, it is part of life, so our little speechies need to learn how to control their emotions when they lose.
  • This game works on executive functioning and being able to plan ahead.  You have to match 3 cards and they have to match one of the dogs, so this takes mental flexibility (changing your plan when someone doesn’t have your card or takes your card), impulse control (not blurting out what cards you have or what dog you are trying to adopt), and organization (creating and executing a plan for how you are going to adopt a dog).

Why I love this game:

  • I loved that this game comes in a small box, so if I had to travel between schools, this would be an easy game to travel in my work bag.
  • The kids loved the real life photos of the dogs and started initiating conversation about their OWN dogs.  Love it when there is lots of chatter and laughs in my room.
  • You can make your own dog pictures, so kids could potentially bring in pictures of their dogs to use in the game.
  • The directions are easy to read, set up was a breeze (2-3 minutes) and the dogs are on sturdy cardboard.

Diggity Dogs Game is available for $14.99 on their website.  You can also purchase on amazon (affiliate link included) and get free shipping if you are a PRIME member.

How would you use this game in therapy?