Let’s play a game!

Although it is important that you practice and carry out all of the exercises given by your speech and language therapist, sometimes it’s nice just to have some fun with your family and friends. It is also important to use language in function, this means using language as you normally would have; so talk to others, attempt to write an email, and try and read the newspaper.  Another way to combine both therapy and daily life is the use of games.  This allows you to spend time as a family or with friends, just as you would have before your stroke, but games can also help you with your recovery.

Here is a list of games which are great for improving language skills and at the same time can be enjoyed by everyone.

Non- verbal communication practice

Charades- this is a great game which is easy for everyone as it’s so well-known and can be played with few or many. Charades is good in many ways; for the ‘actor’ it forces the generation of numerous gestures, this is a great way of encouraging the use of non-verbal communication. The use of gesture can increase word retrieval in individuals or can be used as a way of communicating when someone is unable to verbalise. For the ‘guesser’ this is a great way of someone using different pieces of information to retrieve and name words in specific categories; films, TV programmes, book etc…

Pictionary- this is another classic game which can be played at any age, so even the grandchildren can get involved. This again encourages the use of alternative ways of communicating, which can help when someone is having difficulties retrieving a word or is unable to verbalise.  Another plus, is this game isn’t too demanding on language use so can be played by someone who has quite severe aphasia.

Word description practice

Taboo- This game targets both expressive language and also the understanding of speech.  The idea of the game is the player must describe the word at the top of the card without using the words listed below.   This can very demanding for individuals with expressive language difficulties but it’s great as it encourages someone to use; synonyms, antonyms, size, location, and lots more different types of vocabulary.  This encouragement of word generation can help individuals with word finding difficulties.  For individuals with difficulties understanding speech its good practice in identifying words through language clues.

 Written word practice

Boogle- this is a fun game which practices identifying words within a grid 16 letters.

Scrabble/words with friends- a classic board game or a very popular app on smartphones.  Both have the same concept, constructing words with the letter tiles given to the player.  This is a great way to practice word generation and written word construction. Plus you can play this on your phone and interact with your friends even if they aren’t in the same room as you.

Download and takeaway the ideas to print off.
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These are just a few suggestions and there are lots of games out there which can combine practicing someone’s language skills as well as having some fun.  So head down to your nearest shop and have a look… who said therapy had to be boring!

If you’re interested in finding out more check out our free tailored 10 part inbox speech and language therapy courses. Designed by our Iris Speaks Experts to help your family on their speech and language journey. Sign up here!


Written by Rachel Dines, Adult Speech and Language Therapist