So how do I use the Crocodile Dentist game in speech therapy?
Articulation, Grammar, and Vocabulary:
After completing a targeted task such as saying an articulation sound in a sentence, stating how 3 words go together, or identifying the correct form of a verb, a player pushes down on a tooth. I always play with the kids to provide an appropriate model for the skills I am targeting. If the crocodile snaps on your turn, you have to take all the cards. For an extra twist, I use the wild cards provided in some decks to either skip a turn or switch cards with another player. The player with the least cards at the end of the game is the winner.
Social Skills / Pragmatics:
Since the concept of this game is very simple and the rules are easy to follow, it is a great way to practice turn taking. Each turn is quick, so it is very encouraging for even the most impatient players. Children with language disabilities and/or autism, often have difficulty understanding the difference between "my turn" and "your turn.". If your child has echolalia and often repeats what you say, it is important to avoid using auditory cues on this one. Instead use visual cues such as pictures to help your child understand this concept.
My students loved this game so much, I thought I would buy one of the other versions available and I purchased the shark. Unlike the gator, the shark actually hurts when the mouth closes shut. It also is unnecessarily loud and much scarier than the croc. If you decide to purchase one, stick with the crocodile version.
-Elisa Cartagena, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist
As the lead therapist and owner of Teach Beyond Speech Therapy Services, LLC., I provide academically relevant speech therapy for children from preschool through adolescence. I have over 15 years of experience in the education field that includes classroom teaching, ESE education, and speech and language therapy services. Teach Beyond Speech Therapy services clients in the Greater Fort Lauderdale Area of Broward County. We are willing to travel and provide in home therapy services for the cities of Davie, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise, Weston, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Miramar and Hollywood.
Keywords: adapted speech games, therapy ideas, crocodile dentist, vocabulary, grammar, syntax, practice