As a speech language therapist, I use commercial board games all the time–sometimes to teach language concepts and sometimes as a reinforcer to take a turn after articulation practice. Since I have a relationship with fantastic companies who are coming out with new games all the time that are fun and educational, I like to share them with parents, therapists and teachers. Here are two new games introduced by Gamewright that are loads of fun and winning awards for their creativity:

“Orders Up” is all about the race to get your guest check filled with food cards while eating at the Ring-a-Ding Diner. Everyone gets two cards to fill with matching food selections, so roll the die and see if you get a match. Kids love to roll the image of the bell so they can race to hit it and take a turn. You do have an opportunity to discuss language concepts as you talk about categories of food–desserts, main courses and drinks. Even the concept of a wild card, “Special of the Day,” that can be used for any match, is abstract for some kids with language disabilities. I was playing this with a child on the autism spectrum and he didn’t want to use that card (the most cherished card in the deck) because it was outside of his concrete realm of understanding. You could use the bell to expand play after the game and create a little pretend diner with your food cards. Get some play money and you are set to go. (Age 6 and up)

“Take the Cake” is a great starter game for preschoolers who will love to decorate their colorful cupcakes. Simple but inviting, this game reinforces shapes, colors, and numbers. Roll the dice and see how many times you should shake the sprinkle¬†shaker filled with colorful shapes to decorate your cupcakes. Place the sprinkles on your cupcake cards when there is a match. When all the sprinkles are covered on a card, you get to keep that cupcake. Yum! Expand on the game by making and decorating your own cupcakes, adding sprinkles or using tubes of frosting to decorate with shapes or objects. Take pictures of your sequence of making the cupcakes, put the pictures in order, and narrate a caption to Mom or Dad under the pictures. Using words like first, next, and last builds language skills. (Age 4 and up)

The opinions expressed in this review are solely those of the author. These games were provided for review by Gamewright.