Another weekend has arrived and so of course, another trip to Target has taken place. The "Bullseye's Plauground" section of the store is filled with amazing educational and therapeutic materials during the back to school season. Everything in this area also ranges from one to three dollars, so it is a cost effective place to stock up on learning tools. Now on to the topic of the day, the most recent purchase of the weekend: "Find it Fast!" This game has many different versions and therefore a variety of ways to teach new words.
Since we couldn't possibly list all the vocabulary combinations that can be used during these games, we will make this post similar to our LEGO post of the past, by talking about all the different ways you can use Find it Fast. The words you select will vary based on the version of the game you purchase. The two pictured above are the Sight Word and Busy People versions. The latter of the two depicts a variety of occupations and is particularly wonderful for vocabulary instruction! Other versions kept in the speech office include: animals and holiday symbols. (There are more categories too!)
1. Find the matching pictures - This is the way the game is intended to be played. Each card has at least one match with any other card in the deck. The actual way to play the game is to put two cards down and see which player can find the match first. When they locate a match provide positive reinforcement to help them feel good about themselves! If the are having difficulty, provide choices so that they can still respond but with some support. Use three fingers to point to pictures on the card. Place two fingers on the same pictures and one on a different one. Ask your kiddo, "which two go together?"
2. Labeling - For some kiddos two cards with all those visuals is a bit too much stimulation and too large a field to search for a specific item. Instead use one card and make this a following directions game. Simply select one thing for them to search for on the card. Label the item to teach names of specific words. If it were the Busy People Find it you would say, "Find the doctor." If it were the animal edition you would say, "Find the tiger." If they can't locate it give them a clue, (i.e. "The tiger is orange with black stripes." "The doctor is wearing a white coat.") While playing this simple following directions game you are also teaching tons of new words with a visual point of reference for the new vocabulary.
3. Modeling use of describing words and teaching about functions - Again you are going to use only one card. Select a picture and do not label it. Instead use adjectives to describe the appearance or function of the target picture to teach your child more descriptive vocabulary. The clues you can give vary greatly depending on the version you are using. Here are some examples broken down by the type of Find it Fast you are using:
Sight Words: Find a word that begins with /s/ and ends with /n/.
Animals: Find a reptile that is long and thin, with no legs.
Busy People: Find someone who keeps other people safe. Find someone who wears a red uniform.
Holiday edition: Find a round decoration people put on their doors.
There are tons of options here, but you can make the clues as challenging as you think your child can handle.
4. Multi-step directions - Practice two step directives first and when your child masters this skill, move on to three step and then four! Keep challenging them to make it fun and interesting. If this is an area they need to improve in, add an extra incentive and assign prizes if they get a certain amount correct! Perhaps correctly following 20 multi-step directives earns a movie, or whatever item is most reinforcing for your kiddo. Examples of some multi-step commands include:
2-step: First point to the tiger and then clap your hands; Find a monkey and then a snake.
3-step: First point to the teacher, and then the doctor. Then give me the card.