Barrier games are a fun and interactive way to practice speech, receptive and expressive communication skills, and social skills. They require a minimum of two players. Each player must have the same set of materials in front of them, and a barrier in-between them so they cannot see one another. You can play a variety of barrier games at home with your child by setting up a file folder or binder as a barrier.
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How Do You Play Barrier Games?
Two or more players sit around a table with a barrier set up so they cannot see each others materials. Every player will have the exact same materials in front of them. Each player takes turn giving a specific direction on how to arrange the materials in front of them. This is done per the child’s ability level, so depending on the child’s individual skill, instructions may be simple or complex. Absolutely no visual cues are given. At the end of the game, the goal is for everyone’s materials to be set up the same way.
What Skills Can Be Targeted
There are literally so many skills you can work on with your child by playing barrier games together. You can manipulate the game to work on your own specific skills. Some of the things you can practice are:
- Listening skills (receptive language understanding)
- Following directions
- Turn taking
- Understanding propositions (in, out, under, over, next to, etc.)
- Expressive use of adjectives such as size, colour, shape, etc.
- Expressive use of nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc.
- Ability to follow multi-step directives, and to give multi-step directives
- Ability to ask questions/clarification of directions
Free Winter Scenery Barrier Game
I created this fun Winter/Christmas themed game to share with my readers. Simply click on the thumbnail to download the PDF which contains the scenery and props. You will need to print off a copy of this document for every player so each person has the same materials. Cut out the props and set up your barrier. Take turns describing where you want each prop to be placed on the scene until you have used them all.
What You Will Need:
- Clear sheet protectors to protect the scenery
- Re-usable adhesive putty
- A barrier (you can use a book, binder, file folder, etc)
More Barrier Game Ideas
You can use so many different objects to make up your own barrier games.
- Use a Mr. Potato Head and describe to your child which body parts to place and where.
- Use Lego to describe and build – great for teaching color, size, distance, and propositions
- Use these blank faces from dabbles and babbles and give directives on what to draw
- Make designs with geometric shapes
- Print coloring pages and take turns directing each other which colors to use and where.
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