With school closures happening around the nation it is extremely stressful for parents to educate their children at home. One way you can help your children work on language at home is by playing games. This ‘I Spy’ language game is engaging because it allows your child to move around and there are a lot of ways you can work on your child’s speech and language goals.
For speech therapists trying to figure out lesson plans for an entire caseload, this activity can help you give actionable therapy ideas because the free parent lesson plan includes ways to use this one activity to target a wide-variety of goals.
You can coach your parents each week with how to adapt this game to build vocabulary.
How to Play the ‘I Spy’ Language Game
Directions for activity: Print the ‘I Spy’ check-off sheet and give it to your child. Have them go around the house looking for different items that are in the category groups or noun-functions. Once your child finds an item, they can check it off. If the things are small, your child can put them in a box or container as they see the item. Your child is finished with the ‘I Spy’ game when they have spotted everything on the list. If you have multiple children at home, you can break them up into teams to see who can finish the list first. They can look for these items in their toys, rooms of the house, or in their yards.
How the ‘I Spy’ Language Game Will Build Vocabulary
The research continues to show that children build stronger vocabularies when they build a depth of knowledge with a word. This means when they attach several associations with the word, they will have a stronger understanding of what that word means. So, when we work on attaching category groups to words, it helps children understanding how words go together. This is a handy skill for word finding, explaining similiarities and differences and organizing language. Check out this blog post about categories HERE.
At home, you can play this ‘I Spy’ language game to work on categories and noun-functions while also working on articulation, speech fluency, social skills, grammar, and vocabulary. It will help you feel confident that you are engaging your child in a low-tech educational game that is helping them grow.
There are also strong links to building vocabulary and reading comprehension. So, even though your child isn’t practicing reading they are building foundational skills that will help them with understanding what they are reading.
Coaching Parents on How to Use This Game
For SLPs that are trying to provide lesson plans for their caseload, this free download will help you plan easily.
You can send this home with parents and include the parent lesson plan. It shows all the different skills they can target, so you can guide your families based on your students goals.
This activity can be played many times, so encourage your families to not just play once! Coach them with how to adapt this game to continue to work on their child’s goal. Or, show your families easy ways to extend the activity. For example, after the child plays the ‘I Spy’ Language game, give the parents tips for teaching how to compare/contrast two items in a category group.
Make sure to download this free lesson plan by clicking the pink button below.
Speech and Language Skills to Target with ‘I Spy’ Language at Home
Articulation – have your child find items that have their sound. Then, have them practice the word 10x with their correct sound production. Make a silly story with the items using their best sounds!
Vocabulary – compare and contrast two items in that category group by how they are similar and different.
Grammar – create sentences by adding in an adjective about the item or talking about “where” the item belongs such as “A pillow belongs on top of my bed.”
Social Skills – work on having your child initiate questions and comments. Model social language during this activity. Give pause time to see if your child will nonverbally or verbally initiate a message.
Speech Fluency- have your child practice their strategies when saying the things they found or when using the item in a sentence.
Oral Narration – Have your child create a story about one of the items they found. Or, make up a story with all the items!
Your kids will be having FUN while they are learning. As much as we want our kids to be diligently working on worksheets and math problems, your kids need activities that will inspire them. Let me know how it goes by tagging me on Instagram: @thedabblingspeechie