In our last post, we talked about some simple utterances to target during fifteen minute play with a dreidel. We didn't assign a time increment to this post because we are providing a few different activities and how many tasks you complete will dictate the amount of time needed.
If you got the dreidel set from Target, which we showed in our last post, then you will have twelve of them. If your child is working on identifying colors or classifying skills, you can help them sort the dreidels. You can say, "Let's sort the dreidels into groups. We can make a pink group, a light blue group, and a dark blue group. Where does this one go? Oh it is pink! it goes in the pink group!" You can model one or two more examples. Then see if your child can do it.
Classic game play:
If you want to play the classic dreidel game, we have several options to make it simpler. Trying to interpret the symbols may become frustrating to a child who is unfamiliar with them. If you are okay with telling them what each symbol means, that is certainly an option. We wanted our kiddos to have a little less support during play, so we printed tiny PCS symbols to put on the dreidel to replace the symbols for nothing, all, one and half. (See above picture.) You can google symbols and print them to scale depending on the size of your dreidel. However, keep in mind that the concept of half is a difficult one for kiddos who have not learned this yet. We chose to instead replace "half" with "three."
You can use the dreidel to target receptive language skills with your kiddo too. Before you start, it is a good idea to get your specific goal in mind. What do you want to work on with your child? Are they trying to master one-step or multi-step directives? Once you know figure that out, decide what useful vocabulary you could incorporate into the directives (i.e. body parts, prepositions (positional words), colors, shapes). Here are some examples:
Give me the pink dreidel. (colors, one-step)
Put the dreidel on something blue. (colors, one step)
Put the dreidel on your nose, and then your ears. (body parts, multi-step)
Put the dreidel UNDER the table. (prepositions, one-step)
*Tip* Assigning a small prize, like a sticker or a treat, after a certain number correct may help them be motivated to practice this skill.
Many times children enjoy reading tasks more if they are presented in a game format or if they have a special tool, such as a pointer. Select your target skill and use your dreidel as a pointer. If you are working on letter identification or sight word recognition, you can present some flashcards. Simply say, "Put your dreidel on the letter A." or "Put your dreidel on the word and." You can even use this concept with reading comprehension by having your child place the dreidel on the correct multiple choice answer.