With Hanukkah a week away, dreidels are easy to find in many stores. We got this 12 pack shown below for just $3.00 in Target. Our next post will discuss actually playing the classic holiday game along with some other additional language skills that can be addressed with a dreidel (or pack of them). This post is intended for kiddos who are minimally verbal. If you are looking to elicit 1-2 word utterances, this is the activity for you. Many children show interest in spinning toys and so a dreidel, like a top, can be a motivating and preferred item.
Target Core Vocabulary Words: want, help, go, stop, more, all done, turn, fast, slow
1. Spend several minutes spinning the dreidel and modeling utterances that describe the motions of the toy. The idea is to use the same words repeatedly to provide many language models using core vocabulary. These words and phrases can be generalized for many other activities.
2. Here are some suggested simple utterance combinations:
To request more spins or comment on the continued spinning:
Go, go, go!
Ready, set, go!
To request assistance spinning:
To end the activity or describe the dreidel slowing to a stop:
To describe speed of spinning:
3. After modeling the vocabulary for several minutes, begin waiting before you start to spin again. You are allowing a pause to give your child the chance to use some of the words demonstrated earlier. You may want to try saying part of the phrase and then pausing. For example, if you modeled “Ready, set, go!” frequently, you may try saying, “Ready, set, _______.” and pausing to give them the chance to say only the last word. If a long period of silence occurs, you can begin modeling the vocabulary again. It is great if you can get them to repeat after you and imitate the utterances. If not, they may need more exposure to the words. Luckily, Hanukkah lasts for several nights so there will be multiple opportunities to revisit this task!