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April 13, 2015 2 min read

Using Pop Up Pirate for Speech Therapy is so simple that even the littlest kids can join in. It works well as a motivator and for any repetitive drill work.

Pop Up Pirate for Speech Therapy

Number of Players: 1 – 4

Ages: 3+. It is a useful game when you have a mixed age group as the winner is determined by chance so you don’t need to worry about the different skill levels involved.

Target: Great for teaching turn-taking skills, developing attention and for use as a reinforcer or motivator for articulation and speech drills.

How the game is played: The gameplay is simple. You push the pirate down into the spring-loaded barrel and the kids take turns to push the plastic swords into the slots in the sides of the barrel until the pirate “pops” out.

Pop Up Pirate for Speech TherapyThe mechanism is set so you never know how many turns it will take before he jumps right out so the element of surprise and anticipation is always there.

I find that most kids think that they have won when the pirate pops up rather than this being something to avoid so you might want to switch around the rules of the game from the start so you don’t get arguments with older kids who know how it really works!

Using Pop Up Pirate for Speech Therapy

Taking Turns

This needs little explanation! Pop Up Pirate for Speech TherapySome children need help to take turns as a precursor to developing conversational turn-taking and for others, it is helpful to get them to increase their attention and ability to wait through game playing. Either way, Pop up Pirate is a fun way to do this as each turn is short meaning they don’t have to wait too long until it’s their turn again.

I personally wouldn’t play this with any more than 4 kids and it really works best with two.

Articulation and Speech Drills

Print off a set of pictures for the speech sound you are working on and cut them up to make game cards. Pop Up Pirate for Speech TherapyEach time your child makes a successful attempt at their target sound they get to push a sword into the barrel. The more they get right, the quicker he will pop up.

Almost every Speech and Language Therapist I know has used this game as a reinforcer or motivator at some point. It really is a classic game and well worth keeping in your resources cupboard.

Now you know all there is to know about the game – you are ready to play. Have some fun using Pop Up Pirate for Speech Therapy!

Come up with your own ways to play? I’d love to hear them. Head over to the Facebook page to share your ideas with me and other SLPs.

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