Chutes & Ladders for Language Therapy

by FS&TS

10 Ways to Target Speech, Language and Pragmatic Skills with Chutes and Ladders

By Kelsey Wagner, MA/CCC-SLP

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Climb to the top with these easy ways to target different skills your child is working on while playing this classic game!


1.) Pronouns-- Practice describing who is doing different actions on the game board as you pass over them.  Talk about how you can identify if it is a boy, a girl, or a group of people, and what word you would use to talk about them.  For example, “She is coloring.” or “They are petting the animals.”


2.) Describing Actions-- Practice describing what actions different children are doing on the board.  For example, “He is reading.” or “She is carrying.


3.) & 4.) Regular and Irregular Past Tense Verbs-- After passing by a child on the board, describe what he just did.  For example, “He climbed.” or “She swept.”


5.)  Spatial Concepts-- Practice describing where your game piece as it moves around the board.  For example, “Your guy is next to the slide.” or “My girl is above the ladder.”


6.) Sequential Concepts-- Practice describing what order players are in as they move along in the game.  “You got a six!  So now you’re first, he is second, and I am third.”


7.) Articulation sounds-- Incorporate your child’s targeted speech sound into each turn they have.  For example, if they are practicing their /g/ sound, have them say “Go!” while they move their piece.  If they are practicing s-blends, have them say “Spin!” while they spin, or “Down theslide!” while going down a slide.  Or have them practice a word or phrase containing their own speech sounds they are practicing to earn a turn.


8.) Cause and Effect of “Expected” and “Unexpected” Behaviors-- Discuss what happens to different children on the gameboard as a result of their actions.  For example, “She helped out with chores around the house when she was sweeping.  That made her mom happy.  Because her mom was so happy, she got to go to the movie!”


9.)  Responses to “Expected” and “Unexpected” Behaviors-- Talk about what the boys and girls on the gameboard could say when in certain situations on the gameboard.  For example, “I didn’t mean to break your window.  I’m sorry.  I can help you fix it.”


10.) Describing Emotions-- Ask your child how he thinks different boys and girls in the pictures feel.  Talk about what clues on someones face tell us about how they feel.  For example, “He must feel worried.  I can tell he feels worried, because his eyes are open wide and he’s covering his mouth.”