Pop the Pig is a great game to add to your collection. I use this game all year in therapy but I pulled it out this week to use with many of my groups to go with my Farm Theme. The game is super easy to play and works on turn taking, color identification, and number 1-4 identification. The pig eats different color burgers and you have to pump the pig up until he pops. Whoever makes the pig pop loses. I often don’t even talk about winning and losing with some of my groups depending on their skill level and we just play until the pig pops.
The students take turns rolling the dice. Then the student turns over the color burger to match the dice. If the student rolls a purple burger on the dice, he/she turns over a purple burger and has to pump the pig the number of times it says on the bottom of that burger. For students who are still working on color identification you can model the color word for them and then have them find the corresponding burger to match. Same concept with the number identification. Sometimes I have to tell the student the number because they are still learning those concepts.
If the student rolls the multi-color burger, he/she gets to choose any color they want. If the student roll the X on the dice then he/she does not get to turn over a burger. So we can work on the concepts “no burger”.
The only compliant I have about this game is it can be a little hard to pump the pig for some of my younger students. I have my students put both hands on his head and push hard. We practice counting the number of pumps and stopping at the correct time. This can be challenging for my students. For example, if my student turns over 3. I hold up three fingers and reinforce the concepts three. Then we count “1, 2, 3….stop no more no less”. Sometimes my students want to keep pumping it so we make sure we know when to stop.
Again this game is great for turn taking. Sometimes I even have to move the pig in front of the student whose turn it is to demonstrate the concept of turn taking and how it moves from one person to another. The kids love it when the pig finally Pops!
On a side note, this is also a good game to use in therapy when targeting other skills. I have my students complete a certain number of grammar/language cards or artic cards and then take a round of the game. It is simple and interactive which works well for therapy sessions. For those session we depending talk about winning and losing and how to act when we win/lose a game using appropriate social skills
Another one of my favorites is Barnyard Bingo by Fisher Price. This game can be paired with any of the farm books and used as a follow up activity. For my groups I would read one of the farm books again and then the students and I played Barnyard Bingo. I really like using this game in therapy because it targets many different skills such as matching, farm vocabulary terms, color concepts, counting 1-3, simple verbs (open/close) and turn taking with peers. If you haven’t used this game before it’s another one to add to your collection!
The students each get a different color board. Each board has 3 different farm animals on it and the student needs to match both the correct color coin and animal picture to his/her board. Before we start the game I go around and identify what color coin each student needs and we point to each animal on his/her board and say the animal name. So for the green board I point to each animal as I say “pig, cow, sheep”.
I go first and say “my turn” as I point to myself. I say “open” or “open door” as I open the barn door. I take out the coin and ask “does it match?” or “is it the same?” If the coin doesn’t match I say “not the same” and “in barn” as I put the coin back in the top of the barn. Then I ask “whose turn?” I have the student say “my turn” or touch the “my turn” card if the student is nonverbal. I have the student also say “open” or touch the open symbol on the core board before the student opens the barn door. If the coin matches the student places the coin on his/her board but if the coin doesn’t match the student puts the coin back in the barn. I again have the student say “in”, “in barn” or touch the “in” symbol on the core board before he/she drops the coin back in the barn.
The game continues this way until all the students have his/her coins on their board. You can also include lots of “wh” question during the game such as “what did you get?”, “what does the cow say?”, “what color is the pig?”, or “where does the chicken live?”
If Barnyard Bingo is too difficult for some of you students try this Fisher Price Piggy Bank activity –Fisher Price Laugh & Learn: Learning Piggy Bank. This is another good resource for your collection. This activity is great for color concepts, counting, following direction, simple verbs (open/close), simple prepositions (in/out), and turn taking with peers. You can vary the activity depending on your students’ abilities. For some students I keep it really simple and just focus on one or two concepts during the activity. For example, I might work on the student signing or saying “more” before I give him/her another coin to put in the piggy bank. I may work on the concept “in” and have the student say “in” as he/she drops the coin in the piggy bank.
You can have the students work on passing the pig to one another to help understand the concept of turn-taking. To work on following direction, you can hold up 2 coins and give the student a direction such as “take green” or “green in pig”. I keep my language really simple during the activity but I provide verbal models throughout the activity such as “open” as I open the door, “out” as I pull out the coins”, “in” as I put a coin in the piggy bank, or “my turn” as I take a turn in the activity. Even though this is a simple activity there is so much language use can model during the lesson.
One more farm related game is Uno Moo. This game also targets many different skills such as matching, farm vocabulary terms, color concepts, counting 1-5, simple verbs, and turn taking with peers. You can adapt the game depending on your students’ level. It’s nice because all the game pieces store right inside the barn.
For the groups I played Uno Moo with I changed some of the rules to make it easier because of my students’ skill level. I had each of the student pick 5 different pieces and put them behind their hay stacks. Then we just matched either the correct color or animal to the animal piece on the barn ledge. The students would match the piece and push the other animal into the barn. I did use the farmer as the wild card but I just didn’t use the skunk piece to have the students pick more pieces.
The focus for me was matching either the correct color or animal and putting the piece “on” the barn ledge and pushing the animal “in” the barn. The student who gets all their animals back into the barn wins. Just another fun way to keep working on those farm vocabulary terms and prepositional concepts.
Here again are the Farm Adapted Books I have been using with this Farm theme unit. The series includes 3 books – Farmer, Farmer What Do You Hear?, Farmer, Farmer Who’s in the Tractor?, and “Farmer, Farmer What Do You See?”. You can find them on TPT with the following link – Farm Adapted Books
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