Family game nights are a great way to bring everyone together for a little fun competition. They are also be a good way to boost language skills too! In addition to spending quality time with your family, playing games together can help with improving turn taking skills, attention, and cooperation. One great game to play with kids is Zingo.
What is Zingo?
Zingo is for kids four years and older. If you are willing to provide some extra help and attention, it can be played with children as young as two (with some modifications of course). This game takes a new spin on classic Bingo, and you can play with up to six people. Each player receives a board with 9 pictures and words on it. Then you take turns sliding the “Zinger” to dispense picture cards. The first person to fill their board is the winner.
Zingo boards are two sided. The green side has fewer images in common so it is less competitive. The red side has more images in common so it is more competitive. You can modify game time by just trying to get three images in a row, or by matching the four corners. If you are playing a friendly game, you can pass the Zinger back and forth. The person whose turn it is gets those tiles or share them with someone in need.
You can also play that the first person to call out the tile they need gets it if you decide not to take turns being the dealer. If you want to add an exciting twist, you can play speed Zingo. The adult or dealer slides the Zinger and children race to grab the tiles they need without taking turns. Detailed instructions and tips on how to encourage more advanced thinking skills can be found here.
The Right Zingo for You
There are four different versions of Zingo to choose from. Original Zingo is a basic picture matching game. This is the best version for young children. Zingo 1, 2, 3 focuses on counting and addition. With Zingo Word Builder, you work to find missing letters to make words, and in Zingo Sight Words, you try to find matching sight words.
How to Encourage Language During Play
Use all of the Zingo games in different ways to build up your child’s expressive and receptive language skills. You can talk about the pictures, numbers, or words you find and what they mean. Take it to the next level. Find objects around the house that match the pictures or words on the tiles or make sentences using the target words. If you are playing number Zingo, you can count out your child’s favorite snack to go with the number they get. You can also use the boards to play “I spy” and work on describing and identifying the pictures. For example, “I spy something in the sky, it’s very hot, and it’s yellow.” If your child guesses “sun,” they get that tile.
There are so many different ways you can play this game to incorporate different skills. That is why it is always a go to game kid in speech therapy at MOSAIC. For more activities to do with your kids, check out our School’s Out Summer Activities and Infant Play Activities, and remember, if you have any questions about your child’s development, you can always call MOSAIC and speak to one of our skilled therapists.