Hello peeps! Sure is getting close to Christmas. I have started my celebrations for the season. Have you? Last night I was blessed to share an evening with a group of gals that I complete evaluations and work with in early intervention. Great food, a gift exchange, and laughter. Always good for the soul and I am grateful for this group. I have been in Early Intervention and in private practice for quite some time and these gals have been amazing teachers and colleagues. If you are new to Early Intervention find some peeps to observe, to ask questions, and to learn from. Any who… we are talking toys and games for the little ones. This week I could not stop thinking about Zingo, so Zingo it is!
Do you have this game yet? The little cards go in the slots ( as depicted here ) found in the card holder. You slide the holder and two new cards appear. On each card is a line drawing of a variety of nouns. When the cards appear the goal of the game is to be the first to see the card you need, get the card, and “match” the card on your board. The written word appears on each card which is great for our visual learners and for pre-literacy skills. The first person to fill the (bingo or Zingo) card wins.
Eight years ago to this month, I started with my first 2 clients in Early Intervention as an independent provider. One of those kids I went on to see until the age of 5. That being said, many times my parents find the best toys and this was one of them. Zingo! And this little boy loved Zingo. The game does indicate ages 4 and older on the box, which is awesome because it means we can have fun for a longer period of time and grow into the game. I use it with my younger ones too! For my little 2 1/2 year olds to 3, I often improvise using some of the following ideas.
So, we can take turns sliding the card holder and ask questions such as “Whose turn?” This is a wonderful opportunity to take the child’s hand, tap his chest gently, and model “Me” “Mine” or “My Turn”. (My turn icons on my Pinterest page.) Why do I also include the hand gesture to the chest? I am so glad that you asked! For our kids that become easily prompt dependent we can pair a verbal with a gesture and eventually fade the verbal prompt. (Check out my post on Toys and Prompt Selection Physical prompts are easier to fade than verbal).
If one or both cards do not match we can ask, “Where does the card go?” (If there is not a match it goes “In” the slot). I would teach the child to respond with “In”. Why? Because it is a Vowel-Consonant sequence which is actually depicted in the Kaufman Praxis card set (I am a big fan of Nancy!). It is also a word we can teach so kids start to describe by location (other examples include: out, under, behind). And, why will kids do this? Because, they love “pushing” that card into the hole. (P.S. For the little hands you may have to help them get started by putting the card in a skosh but then they should be able to “push” it through.)
I have also used this game as a matching opportunity and incorporated asking “Yes/No” questions. When the 2 cards appear, I might ask, “Do you have a train?” The child has to visually scan his card and answer “yes” or “no”. Some kids that demonstrate echolalia may just repeat “yes or no” without comprehending the question. We then teach this skill. I might use “yes” and “no” icons on Boardmaker as a visual strategy to directly teach the expected answer. (I made some “yes” and “no” pics and pinned them here if you are interested.)
What else is going on with this game? Well, the cards are simple and not visually distracting for starters! And, the makers did a nice job of picking some early vocabulary including some of the following: apple, cat, dog, tree, train, ball, shoe, foot. We can use this game to work on labeling! Ask the child, “What did you find?” This provides the child the opportunity to label the card. If your child is at the imitation level consider using visual cues (as I discussed here and here) to elicit one or more sounds in the word. If your child omits final sounds, there are several Consonant-Vowel-Consonant Words within this game to work on that skill too.
Anywho, in my opinion this is a great game for most little ones. I enjoy using Zingo with some of my kids because it is easily moldable into addressing some speech and language goals. And, once again, it has the within stimulus reinforcer: the part that slides and kids getting to “push” the cards through. That is it for this post but… Oh yes, there is always a but!! This week is a bonus week because I am sharing the 12 Days of Toys. What is this?
Well, let’s just be honest here. I really had no clue where this blogging stint was going but I have just been rolling with it. (I am giggling at home). Someone said, “Why don’t you write a blog for me?”. Then another person asked. Then someone said you should blog so I did and here we are. I initially wrote down at least 12 ideas, more have sprung and I have just kept going. The Toys and Tips posts just happened. So, who wants a cohesive Christmas idea list with links to each post all in one? The list will include each toy I have discussed so far. Look for the post this Thursday night and/or consider following my posts via email. The instructions are below.
(P.S. Next week’s post is a guest post and it is regarding meltdowns vs. tantrums. Don’t miss it!)