Let’s talk about games this week! The first few posts centered around the Toys and Tips series have been regarding toys for the younger ones. I thought we would enter a game or 2 within this blogging journey for our kids that are a skosh older. Shopping Cart Dash fits the bill! And, at 13 dollars I am in! A family gave me this game a couple of years ago and I immediately loved the game and the concept. Why? Per usual, I am so happy that you asked! My turn and your turn are great skills to think about. But, this game is loaded with more language opportunities too so let’s talk about them!
This game does not have your average game piece to move around the board! It is a pushable shopping cart on wheels! Love it! The carts come in four basic colors too which offers a prime opportunity to ask, “What color do you want?” or to give a choice by asking, “Do you want blue or red?” This site provides a couple more pictures of the game to take a gander at also!
Shopping cart dash provides a chance to sort by color or…Yes! We have options folks! Or, we can sort by food type, including dairy, meat, fruits, vegetables, drinks ( I am so glad coffee was in that category.) and treats! The food items are color coded on the back so the user can spread the cards out and have the child sort the cards by color. The idea is to sort each card into the denoted category before the game starts.
Money is involved! Great idea for introducing the concept of paying to receive something as well as math concepts.
When I play this game I think of the concept of verbal routines as I discussed in this post. What do I mean by verbal routines? Within a game when the same expectations occur for each player over and over we can think about how to word our questions to teach the game and to teach the child how to verbally explain the game. For example we can ask, “What do we do first?” (answer: “roll the dice”). “Now what?” (Answer: “move my cart”). What happens next? (Answer: “check my list”). Yes! In this game each player selects a shopping list! Once your shopping list is complete and your cart is filled with those six items, you win!
You might consider asking: “Where does the bacon go?” (Answer: “in my cart”). “Now what do you do?” (Answer: “Pay for the bacon.”) The options are endless! And, of course in any game or activity you can incorporate turn-taking and ask, “Whose turn?” Sometimes, when you are teaching a child pronouns the child may demonstrate pronoun reversal. If this is the case, I often use a visual to teach the skill. (Keep this in mind for your visual learners.) I made my own your turn and my turn icons to print and laminate which you are welcome to on my Pinterest page. For therapy I often laminate the entire my turn and your turn strip together vs. cutting each picture out. Or, I have also put a picture of myself on a little laminated strip following the icon “your turn” which then prompts the child to say, “Your turn, Tracy.”
I was just telling my mom that for some of my older kids I like using verbal routines to then teach the child to describe the steps involved in a game just as you might ask a child what the story is about within a book. As our kids interact with peers it would be great if the child could explain (or attempt) the directions to the game to a same-aged peer. After you have played the game a couple of times with your child you could ask, “How do we play?” Ask an open ended question to allow the opportunity to use longer phrases and sentences. What is an open-ended question? I am so glad that you asked!
Here is a sample of some open ended questions just to get your noggin thinking. Remember, if you ask a child a “yes, no” question that is what you are going to get… A “yes” or a “no”. Might even be a head shake. If you want your child to use more words and you are not working on “yes/no” questions do not ask one! And, on a side note… If you want your child to complete a task or a routine within your day do not ask a question such as, “Do you want to go to bed?” Change your question to a statement and say, “It is time to go to bed.”
There are 6 food items in each category which gives the game a total of 36 items to label. Ask the child, “What is this?” Awesome! Vocabulary building!
And remember, sometimes we have to put away the rule book (Did you read my first post, “A box of cereal and rolling with it?”). Maybe the only expectation you have is for the child to match. You and your child might just find what is on the list and put the items in the cart. Your child may not be combining words. Consider modeling a 2 word phrase to expand on his language as described here. Or, you might be working on longer utterances so modeling, “It is my turn,” might be appropriate. But, there is always a but! This game is loaded with language opportunities which extends beyond my turn and your turn. I had my turn! Now it is yours! What is one of your favorite kids’ games?
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post! If so, consider sharing with a friend, a parent, a therapist, a social media site, etc! I post weekly…Every Monday night so be sure to tune in or consider signing up to receive the posts via email! How? I am so glad you asked!