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No-Prep Therapy Activity: Back-to-School Barrier Game
By Abby Sakovich, M.S., CCC-SLP
Heading back to school in the fall can be a source of both anxiety and excitement for parents, students, and educators alike. The days of staying up late, sleeping in, and relaxing poolside are over. While some welcome the return of a routine, others take a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. Barrier games are a great way to informally assess receptive and expressive language, practice carryover articulation or fluency skills, or target social language skills such as perspective taking. Use the following scenes to target a variety of speech and language skills or gather baseline data!
Number of Players
  • 2 or more
Materials Included
  • Back-to-School Barrier Game – Level 1
    • Designed for younger players or players with delayed language skills.
  • Back-to-School Barrier Game – Level 2
    • Designed for older players or players with average language skills.
Materials Needed
  • Back-to-School Barrier Game page (one copy for each player or team)
  • Two sets of colored pencils or crayons
  • Colored markers or chips (optional)
  • Laminate game pages and use dry erase markers during game play (optional)
Directions
  • Provide each player with a copy of the game found on the next page.
  • Place a barrier between the players so they cannot see the opponent’s game page.
  • Choose the player to be the “Direction Giver” and a player to be the “Direction Follower.” The players will remain in these roles the entire round.
  • Determine how many instructions Player One will give for that round. Player One begins by giving one instruction to Player Two, while also completing the task on their side of the barrier.
    • Example: “Color the clock blue,” or “place a red chip on the teacher’s desk.”
  • Remove the barrier and compare if the scenes look the same or similar. Identify any miscommunications that may have taken place and brainstorm ideas on how to prevent them in the future.
Tips for Game Play
  • It may be helpful to review any vocabulary or concepts pictured before playing.
  • For groups of players larger than two, divide into two teams and determine who will give directions or follow directions and in which order.
 
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