Like most of my fellow SLP’s, I try to use games in creative ways that target therapy goals. I have so many students in both my school setting and private practice that struggle with emotional regulation issues, so that’s been a huge focus of my therapy lately. A challenge is to make abstract concepts tangible and visible to my students. I’ve been working with the school counselors on calming/coping strategies and wanted to reinforce what we’ve learned.
I dug Operation out of my closet and unfortunately most of the pieces were missing and the board was damaged. So off to Amazon to order a new model!
My plan was to correspond the pieces (basing on the old game) to an emotional regulation strategy. The new pieces are unnamed and a bit ambiguous, so I just stuck to the old labels (ie., Brain Freeze, Adam’s Apple, etc). I also used some play money to modify the game a it more.
One each students turn, I read a calming/coping strategy and had the child guess which game piece goes with the strategy. For example, tell a joke corresponds to Funny Bone and have a drink of water corresponds to Water on the Knee. If they guess, the child removes the piece and earns $50. You can grab the list of strategies I came up with for each piece here.