1. Scattergories

Scattergories is a fav. You can make it easier (use your own categories and not the ridiculously hard ones they give you) or harder (by using those ridiculously hard ones). I put a major social skills twist on this game by putting kids in small groups or partners. Kids have to work together to create the list of items. I like to pair up students strategically and put one student who is more of a helper with a student who needs a little help. It’s a great chance to get some peer modeling going! 

2. Pictionary

Pictionary is another great game that hits up all of these amazing skills. It targets:

  • rule following {remember – no talking allowed; you need to only draw}
  • cognitive skills {imagination, imagination, imagination}
  • vocabulary building {you can work on drawing all types of items}
  • social skills {turn taking, appropriate voice volume, keeping score}

 

Tips for playing charades with your students:

  1. Provide the item to draw. Differentiate for students who need easier items and students who can handle more challenging prompts.
  2. Review the ‘no talking’ rule before each turn.
  3. Model how to draw different items and prompts.
  4. Model appropriate guessing of the answer ie. calling out and no screaming.
  5. Keep it fun and seasonal! We love playing Halloween Themed Pictionary or Movie Themed Pictionary!

3. Charades

Charades can be tricky for your students to grasp the concept of but once you get rolling it will be a blast! Charades targets:

  • rule following {remember – no talking allowed}
  • cognitive skills {imagination, imagination, imagination}
  • vocabulary building {think about all of the parts of items you need to consider}
  • social skills {turn taking, appropriate voice volume}

Tips for playing charades with your students:

  1. Provide the action/item for them. Think of things that are easy to act out and that they are familiar with.
  2. Review the ‘no talking’ rule before each turn.
  3. Model a bunch of actions/items first and let the students guess what you are acting out.
  4. Model appropriate guessing of the actions ie. no screaming, pushing people to tell your answer, etc.
  5. Errorless learning – show your students how to act out their action.

4. Uno

Uno is so fun! There is so much rule following and you really need to pay attention to other people in the group. It’s perfect to target social skills such as turn taking and group attention. I love when my kids call each other out on not following the rules. You better believe if someone gives that “skip” card or “draw 2” that everyone is going to make sure that card is followed. I also love when they get strategic and try to beat each other. There is some social skills on a whole other level! This game – Fruit Flies – from Simply Fun is super similar to Uno that you should definitely check out! 

5. Bingo

Of course this list couldn’t be complete with bingo! BINGO IS MY FAVORITE. You can so easily differentiate this game to make it easier or harder and you can sneak in basically any academic or seasonal topic. Check out all of the bingos I have and grab this Angry Birds one for free! I love putting students in charge so they run this game all on their own. Turn taking, commenting, appropriate body language, and question answering are all targeting with bingo games!