hoot owl hootI am a BIG fan of Peaceable Kingdom and love using their cooperative games in therapy.  Instead of having one winner for a game, these cooperative games are designed to have all the players to work as a team against a common obstacle.  Essentially, the “team” either wins or loses the mission/obstacle, rather than one kiddo winning and the rest feeling bummed that they lost!  Most of my students can handle losing at a game, but I always seem to have 1-2 students that winning/losing is REALLY hard for them.  I have had to take “game” breaks to help avoid melt downs and arguing in therapy.

hoot owl kidsThese cooperative games are a great win-win for all parties involved because the therapist gets to bring in a fun game and it squashes fighting and hurt feelings that come with “losing” a game.

If you love amazon like ME, then you can snag this game on there or go head over to Peaceable Kingdom’s website to check out all their cooperative games.

hoot owl visual 2The object of the game is help the young owls get home to their nest before the sun rises!  You have to get all the owls back before it becomes morning, so you are racing against the sun!!  You can adapt the level of difficulty by using less/more owls in the game.

hoot owl game visualThere are sun cards and different colored cards that students take turns picking.  The students have to make a decision about which owl they are going to move along the game board.  If you pick a sun card it goes on the top where the sun spaces are located.  If the players get sun cards to fill all the spaces, the team loses the game because they weren’t able to get all the howls back to the nest.

Why I love this game:

-I LOVE that the directions are printed in the box, so I don’t have to worry about losing them.

-This is a cooperative game, so it eliminates players from being the “loser”.  Everyone wins or everyone loses.  I have a student right now, who is learning about being flexible about winning/losing, so this game allows me to still bring something fun in without the break downs.

-The graphics are bright and fun, which is motivating for my students.

-It’s green!  They used recyclable products to make this game.  Always a win-win when a product is helping reduce waste.

-Easy to store and travel with from site to site.  The box is like a typical board game box, but it isn’t heavy and the box is pretty thin, so it is easy to stick in a bag to carry and go.

 

How to use in therapy:

-This is a great game to play as a reinforcer for any speech or language target.

-Practice turn taking and working in a group.

-This game helps with planning and executive functioning.  Students have to make decisions about what move they should make.  Have your students explain their reasoning for wanting to make a certain move.

-Teach colors while playing this game as all the spaces are different colors.

-Work on the basic concepts “first, last”, “in front, behind” “near,far” “more/less” and “above, below”.  Talk about which owls are first/last, near the nest or far away from the nest, etc.

-This game is great for teaching social skills with younger kids.  Prior to planning the game, map out expected vs. unexpected behaviors when working in a group together.  It is important to discuss kind/not kind comments to make when someone is sharing their opinion or reason for a game strategy.  This game works on flexible thinking and accepting someone else’s idea (a skill we continue to use into adulthood).  Problem solving and discussing how to disagree with someone’s idea in an expected way can also be targeted.

Prior to playing the game, read a book or article about owls.  Compare/contrast an owl to another animal and use attributes to describe a nest, sun, and owl.  Play the game after the language lesson as a reinforcer!

-Target whole body listening and see how your student does in a more “relaxed” activity with keeping his/her body and brain in the group.  Great time to take some informal data!

This is a fabulous game!  I love how it can be adapted for various age levels, so it can be used with many of your therapy caseload.  What do you think?

I am giving away 2 copies of this game on instagram!!  To enter, FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM, regram my photo of the game and/or tag a friend to enter!!

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