Looking for speech therapy games to motivate your upper elementary school students? This age range is past the “babyish” stage, but most upper elementary school students definitely still love PLAYING while working on speech and language goals! Games don’t just need to be reserved for your preschoolers! Games can help keep our older students motivated as well. They provide brain breaks. Best of all, playing games in speech therapy can help you build rapport with your upper elementary school speech and language students.
In this blog post, I’m going to list the BEST speech therapy games you could use to keep those 4th and 5th graders motivated!
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What are the best games for speech therapy?
I’m pretty picky when it comes to picking games to use in therapy with my students. I don’t want games that require batteries (who has extra batteries on hand at work?!). Also, I *try* to stay away from games that are too noisy. That’s a personal preference and more for my own sanity though!
For my upper elementary school students, I’m primarily using games to keep their motivation and allow them to take a short “brain break” before practicing more speech and language objectives.
Therefore, any games that are “quick to play” are perfect for drill-then-play speech therapy activities.
Here is a list of my absolute 10 favorite games to use in speech therapy for upper elementary students.
For the record, there is nothing wrong with using these games in simple “drill-play” activities. However, after checking out the list, scroll down to see some unique twists for using these games in your therapy sessions!
Using Games to Work on Speech and Language Goals
Your student can work on speech and language objectives in a variety of ways using the games suggested in this blog post! Here are some quick and easy ideas to try.
Using Connect 4 in Speech Therapy
You know those sticky circle dot adhesive things? Instantly turn your color tokens from Connect 4 into a speech and language activity! If you don’t have the adhesive dots, try using a permanent marker.
Of course, you could write target articulation words on those dots, but I’d recommend numbering them instead. There are 21 total tokens of each color in Connect 4.
Pass out a sheet of paper to your student. If they’re working on articulation, the number on the token could correspond with a numbered speech sound word list.
In other words, if you have a list of 21 articulation words, and they pull token 14, they’d look to their list to see what target word they should say before taking a turn. Easy peasy!
I created a FREE open-ended list for you here. You can write in the articulation words or language targets of your choice.
Try this idea out with Connect 4 (Hasbro Gaming).
Using Memes in Speech Therapy
My students LOVE memes- and who doesn’t?!
This activity worked best in a group. While working on grammar and sentence structure in a therapy session, we would take quick “brain breaks” by creating memes with the card game. I drew a card that had text on it- usually, a funny situation that was relevant to my students.
By the way, the SLP version of this might be “My face when I see 6 new referrals on my desk.”
My students would sort through their 7 picture cards and find the best “fit” to match the text “meme” card that I had provided. In other words, they tried their best to pair the picture with the words, and create the ultimate meme!
I (naturally) got to be the judge of the Meme Makers contest each round.
But, we picked things up a notch.
We looked at the winning card- then each student had to create a sentence about the picture using the targeted part of speech or sentence part that was the focus of that day’s session.
You could pair these ideas with Meme the Game– Disney Edition for Families and Kids 8 and Up (Spin Master Games).
Note: I DID go through these cards and take out all of the awkward “first date” text lines. Up to you, of course.
Playing Battleship in Speech Therapy
Strategy or luck?
Let your students decide, but while they make their best guesses, have them practice their speech and language goals!
You will need to purchase a naval war game, such as Battleship (Hasbro), to try out this idea in speech!
In this game, two opponents arrange their ships on their own boards. The placement is hidden from the view of the other player.
Then, they will try to guess WHERE the other player has their ships on the board by guessing a letter and a number. If the coordinate is correct, and they get a HIT, they will mark their own tracking grid with a RED peg. If they MISS, they would mark it on their tracking grid with a WHITE peg.
And so, to keep things ultra-simple, I pair tasks by “HIT” or “MISS” (aka “red peg” or “white peg”).
Maybe your student has multiple language objectives to work on in one session.
Perhaps you have a list of nouns under the “red peg” options. If your student “hits” their target, they get to describe an object that falls on that list. If they “miss”, they would need to answer a question, or select a target, from the “miss” list.
Playing Uno in Speech Therapy
This classic card game is easy- and fun- to use in speech therapy!
What you need to do is pair a color or card task with a speech and language target.
Let’s pretend like you’re working on vocalic r.
Get a dry erase board and designate a target word for each color or task. For example:
- RED = art
- GREEN = arm
- BLUE = arch
- YELLOW = barn
- WILD = star
- REVERSE = car
- SKIP = jar
- DRAW= tar
Your student will say his target articulation word before taking a turn based on the card that is face-up on the pile.
The Uno card game is available here: Uno (Mattel Games).
Speech and Language Idea for Jenga
Grab a stacking blocks game to try with your speech and language students, such as Jenga (Hasbro Gaming).
There are 54 stacking blocks in one Jenga set, so the simplest idea would be numbering the blocks.
Those numbers can easily be paired with ANY speech and language objective.
Just match the number to a target word, etc.
Grab a stacking block game like this one: Jenga (Hasbro Gaming).
Playing Spot It in Speech Therapy
Have you played an “I spotted the matching picture” game before? If not, check out Spot It (Blue Orange Games).
My students each received a card. On the count of three, we flipped the cards over. The first person to find the matching picture on both cards was the winner!
This game is perfect for simple drill-play in speech therapy. It’s quick and easy!
If you are looking for a few additional ways to use this game, however, here are some ideas you could try:
- Describe the matching pictures- state the category, object function, or appearance
- Provide a definition for the matching pictures
- Use the match picture word in a sentence
- Find two pictures on either card that “go together”, and explain the reason
- Find a picture that has a targeted articulation sound in it
Playing Guess Who? in Speech Therapy
Guess Who? (Hasbro Gaming) is a classic game and crowd-favorite.
By the way- this resource can assist your student with asking questions.
You can easily pair ANY speech and language objective under two areas: “YES” or “NO”.
Write the word YES on one index card. Underneath that pile, pair whatever articulation or language task cards you are wanting to work on with your student.
Then, write the word NO on another index card. Do the same thing- put more articulation or language task cards under this pile.
If your student asks you a question while playing a guessing game and the answer is YES, then they would pick a target from the correct pile.
So as an example- you want your student to work on describing objects.
“Does your player have glasses?” your student might ask.
“No,” you respond.
Based on your answer, your student now must select an object to describe under the “NO” section. To make your life even easier, I made you a printable companion sheet. Your student could cross off each box as they play! FUN, right?!
Fun games to use in speech and language therapy
I hope this blog post provided you with some new ways to play your favorite games in speech therapy! After doing some shopping and buying the games you need, be sure to grab your FREE game companion printables.
**Please note that The Pedi Speechie is in no way affiliated with any popular games suggested in this post, which are trademarked***