Like many of the games I find effective in therapy, marble run or marble race is another game with plenty of pieces, colours and shapes. These games are great as you can work on a number of different language concepts, teach turn taking or give each piece as an ongoing reward.
Here are some of the reasons why I think this toy is great as a therapy tool for children working on communication goals:
- The range of colours and shapes makes this game great for working on descriptives such as ‘long’ and ‘short’, ‘round’ and ‘straight’, ‘solid’ and ‘hollow’. The range of colours is also great for teaching children names of colours, as well as for categorising into colour groups.
- The large number of pieces allows the game to be used as a reward by handing the pieces out one by one for correct communication attempts. Some examples of this include getting a piece for each correct production of a target word or sound during drilled articulation practice or correctly matching present and past tense words with each other.
- The game can be played as a joint building activity with young children and there is no strict turn taking procedure necessary. This aspect along with the colourful and moving elements of the game makes it engaging for younger children. However, there is also an opportunity to add a turn taking element for older children as well as a race component at the end of the game, which still makes it appealing for primary school aged children as well.
- There are so many different options for how to build different towers and runs, the only limit is the child’s creativity which means that you can build the run as large or as small as you like. This allows for the clinician or parent to control how long the game is played. The game can go from 2 minutes to 2 hours depending on how much time is needed and once you are out of time, just start putting the marbles down and the game can end once the marbles fall to the bottom. The range of different structures that can be built also means this game can be played many times without getting bored from repeated use.
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This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have speech pathology related questions, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.