As I make out my gift-giving lists for family and friends, I am reminded that there’s no better time to think about buying family games. Did you know there are many games on the market that not only create quality family time, but also work on language skills.

One of the areas I enjoy working on with my students is word retrieval, also referred to as word recall.
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is the ability to recall specific words on demand in a timely manner.
We all have some form of word recall difficulties. Have you ever walked upstairs or to another part of your house and forgotten what you were there to get? You try to remember the first sound (phonemic cueing) of the item you were retrieving. Maybe you tried to picture it in your head (visualizing) or recalled what you were doing when you realized you needed this item. You could have tried to think of what the item goes with (association) or the category of the object (categorization).

When children are diagnosed with word retrieval difficulties it is much more debilitating. It creates difficulties when talking with their friends. They are more hesitant to enter into classroom discussions. Writing is almost always affected, because if they can’t recall the words they need to use in their paragraph they will choose a less-specific word or write as little as possible.

Here are just some of the many games I like to use to increase word retrieval and have fun at the same time:
Outburst or Outburst Jr.
Players: 2 players or 2 teams or players
Ages: 7 years and older
This games has two-sided cards with a topic at the top of the card and a list of 10 items associated with the category or item at the top. Players try to name as many 20121129-134041.jpgitems on demand in the given time.
Last Word
Players: 2 – 8, team play also
Ages: 8 years and older
Players names items in categories in a given amount of time and the player to provide the last word before the buzzer sounds gets to move a space ahead on the board.

Scattegories Categories
Players: 2 or more
Ages: 8 and older
Players name items in one category by letter or sound. I give players credit no matter what answer they give. If the word matches the letter, they get 2 points. If they name a word, but it doesn’t start with the target sound, they get 1 point.

Showing your kids they can be successful in word retrieval and have fun at the same time is a priceless gift.

More games to come….