There is something special about using chalk with kids in the classroom and during therapy sessions. Chalk helps to actively engage children into the process and eases their fear of something being difficult. Utilizing chalk for speech and language games allows you to practice skill building for goals in a fun and inviting way. The best thing about chalk is that it’s very inexpensive, and you can easily make up new games for the specific needs of each child you work with.
Hunt for the clues
If the weather cooperates, you can set up a chalk scavenger hunt outside ahead of sessions. Head outside with your students and allow them to walk around until they find a message written for them. Write several tasks for them to do during the scavenger hunt. Messages could focus on a wide variety of hidden objects. Perhaps the clue will work on looking for items with a specific color, a start sound, or maybe rhyming pairs. Set up each clue in a chalk box and provide a space for everyone to come back with them once found. If your space does not work well for a scavenger hunt, bring in a small plastic kiddie pool. This could be filled up with items that are being sought out within the clues.
Hop to the sound
Hopping to sounds that are being worked on with fun articulation games is a must. Before you have students start this simple activity, draw groups of circles with chalk ahead of time. Within the circles, write a letter or sound that the kids are working on. Examples could be |p| or perhaps they are focusing on |fl| which are perfect for the circles. Take a moment to explain the game to all of the kids. Say a word and have the kids hop to the nearest circle with that sound that is heard. Once they are in the circle, have them repeat the word that you stated. As a challenge, allow them to tell you another word that uses that sound and put it into a sentence. Keep the kids hopping from sound to sound and twist things up as needed. For a bonus, older children may enjoy giving a word that rhymes with the one originally said.
ABC chalk train
Kids working on sounds and building their vocabulary will enjoy the alphabet train game. Make a train of alphabet squares along a path. Start on the A square. Say “A is for _____” and then move to the next square “B is for _____” and continue. When you get stuck, the next person begins and plays until they are stuck. To make it more of a challenge for older children, have them hop from A to whatever letter they are up to repeating the vocabulary that they have already said. To mix it up a bit, make a bin with 26 cards (for the 26 letters of the alphabet) in it. Have kids randomly select one. Next they will hop to the corresponding letter of the alphabet and say a word for that letter. This keeps it a little fresher and different for each individual.
Send home a bag with instructions on chalk play with a piece of chalk for each child to continue practicing games at home. Be sure to include directions for multilingual learners to be able to participate and continue the fun.
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