“The blog (she is working on a blog devoted to practical word-finding tips) isn’t operational yet, but I can’t wait to share some word finding ideas with your loyal audience, Sherry! For preschoolers, I love Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town. PlayOnWords led me to this excellent game a couple of years ago. It can be adapted for a number of speech or language goals, but my favorite is for word finding. When the kids spin a “goldbug,” I have them name the article for which they are searching (kites, balloons, buckets), then count aloud “1 kite, 2 kites, 3 kites,” etc. For early elementary, I like to use Linguisystems’ Rocky’s Mountain or Plunk’s Pond. I modify the rules to optimize vocab output. I have even used the game boards with riddles eliciting their classroom vocabulary. Thank you for bringing attention to the need for more practical ideas to promote word finding skills.”
Here’s another game I have found to be fun and beneficial for building vocabulary, Peaceable Kingdom’s Say the Word, that came out this year. In this Repeat-After-Me Silly Story Memory Game, players cooperate to tell a group story, using word cards they are dealt. The designated Story Master chooses a character card (we chose “My Fairy Godmother,” “Quintuplets,” and “The Zombie”), deals 3 word cards to each player (ranges from wiggle, donkey, or bumpy to bunny slippers, tarantula or afro) and gives each player a Clue Token. Players take turns repeating the story thus far and adding one of their word cards next to the previous ones to extend the story with a related sentence. The ideas is to add on to the story, repeating the previous parts and see if you can reach 10-12 cards. I modify the game for younger kids ( the game is designed for 10 and up) with shorter memories but kids need to associate ideas to add on to the story in some logical (yet often zany) way! It’s fun to look at different possibilities as players share optional word card that they are holding.