A game to support language!


Today, I’d like to tell you about a very fun game that is appropriate for children aged 2 and up and has the potential to help children with the acquisition of a variety of skills, including language: the fishing game.

This game is available in many toy stores and even on the internet. Inside the box, there are four wooden walls, two magnetic fishing rods, and ten wooden sea creatures with magnets in their centers.

Let’s take a look at how to play:

The four wooden walls will form an aquarium where we can place the fish. Then, children can then take turns fishing with the magnetic fishing rod.

The initial goal of the game is to catch as many pieces as possible; there is a number or score on the back of each wooden piece, and the scores can be added up at the end of the game; whoever has the highest score wins.

The fishing game can be adapted to the child’s age and provides us with many ideas to support the acquisition of many skills, both cognitive and linguistic.

But, as parents, how can we use this game to help our children’s language development?

That’s how:

By stimulating turn-taking skills

Some children have difficulty waiting. Through this game, children can practise waiting by learning how to take turns. In fact, after catching a fish, the child will have to wait for us to take our turn before being able to play again.

Learning to take turns is essential for conversation, which is nothing more than a game where people take turns talking and listening.

By stimulating new word memorization

Based on your child’s age and what they are able to understand and produce, we can teach a variety of new concepts.

For example, for a young child or a child who has little language, we could introduce the concepts of “my turn” and “your turn”, or each player could say “I fish” when it’s their turn.

With an older child, we could introduce the names of various sea creatures, for example, by saying, “I fished a jellyfish, and what did you fish?”

Once the child has learned the names, you could introduce adjectives or details of the individual pieces, for example, “Look, I fished a treasure. The treasure is full of gold coins and it is very difficult to find! And what have you fished? ”

By stimulating listening and understanding:

This game can also be used to support the comprehension of short and long sentences.

For example, we could forget the rules of the game and use our imaginations: maybe we could put the sea creatures to sleep – in this case, we could take turns telling the other player which fish to put in the aquarium for a good night’s sleep:

We could say: “The fish are sleepy. You can put the goldfish and octopus to sleep in the aquarium.  Which ones do you want me to put in?”

Or we could introduce prepositions by saying, “Put the starfish next to the jellyfish and the octopus under the whale”.

Like that, we will practise both understanding and expression.

These are a few ideas for how you can use this game to support your child’s language development.

There are numerous other ways to help with this, depending on your child’s age, language proficiency, and the skill you wish to work on.

If you want to learn more about how to use each game to support your child’s language development, join my parent training.

You can book your session for free by clicking the button below.