Speech and Language Therapy - South Devon and Online


Playing games is an integral part of speech and language therapy.

One of my favourite games that can be bought direct from Orchard toys and from most toy shops is Tummy Ache. The aim for each player is to win a full tray of food and get rid of the mouldy food. The worms and insects appeal to children who love to show their disgust.

When you play this game, listen to the language that naturally occurs.I encourage children to use linking words such as 'if, but, instead, however' when using Tummy Ache.

Listed below are a few examples that the adult can model while playing the game. When a therapist uses the word 'model' we mean that the sentence is said for the child so that they have opportunity to hear it being used. In the game Tummy Ache, there are lots of chances for the adult to model the sentence using linking words.

Use of the word 'if’. If I turn over a dessert I will win. If I turn over a fork I will have all of my dinner.
Use of the word 'instead’. I don't want this Tummy Ache card, I want some yummy food instead. Instead of the beans I will have the peas. Instead of the milkshake I will have the juice.
Use of the words 'but’ or ’however’. I wanted the knife card but I got the drinks card. You wanted the ice-cream, however, I got it first!

When I am helping a child to use a linking word, I might give them a sentence to complete such as; 'You wanted a drink but...'. Gradually, the adult can begin to pause before saying 'but', therefore encouraging the child to use the linking word themselves. The repetitive nature of the Tummy Ache game creates many opportunities to link ideas in the same way.

The target word can also be written down and pointed to as the adult demonstrates the sentence and used to prompt the child when they are completing their own sentence.

Using a game makes therapy fun as even older children appreciate a game format to make their learning enjoyable.

There are many other grammatical targets that can be addressed using this game and in further Blogs no doubt Tummy Ache will crop up again.