Aim of the game:
Learning to follow words and instructions is an important language skill and key for school readiness. The amount of information a child can follow in an instruction is also important to help us understand how well their skills are developing. This fun Let’s Pack game involves your child following instructions to pack the right items into a suitcase.
What you will need:
Some holiday themed items to pack such as clothes, hair and tooth brushes, toys, sunglasses etc.
Tip! If you don’t want your child emptying out the contents of their wardrobe then you can use dolls clothes instead.
How to play:
- Introduce the game to your child by telling them you’re going to pretend we’re going on holiday and we’ve got to pack our case.
- Tell your child that they will need to listen very carefully to make sure they pack the right things into the suitcase.
- Lay out the items on the floor. Try not to have too many as this may make it overwhelming so start off with about 6 items. You can increase this later on if you wish.
- Start off by asking your child to pack two items into the suitcase (e.g. “Let’s pack the sunglasses and sun hat“). This is a two part instruction which means your child needs to make two correct choices in order to follow the instruction correctly. When you deliver the instruction try not to break it down or give clues by pointing or looking at the items as this will simplify the instruction.
- If your child struggles to follow both parts of the instruction, repeat it again for them. If they still struggle, then you can help them out by showing them then items to put in the suitcase.
- Check your child has got the items right in the suitcase and praise them for ‘good listening’
- Repeat a couple of times so they get the hang of following a two part instruction.
- Now move onto three part instructions – this time your child has to make three choices to follow the instruction correctly. See if your child can pack three items without breaking the instruction down or giving any clues (e.g. “Let’s pack the shorts, suncream and teddy“).
- Check they’ve followed the instruction correctly and give praise (e.g. “well done, you packed all three things”).
- If your child has only followed part of the instruction correctly, let them know it was nearly right and then repeat the whole instruction again (e.g. “Well, you packed two out of the three things right but listen again….[repeat instruction]”
- Give praise once your child completes the task or praise their efforts for trying if they need your help to do so (e.g. “good try”).
Most preschool age children should be able to follow 3 part instructions. If your child struggles with this, that’s ok this is a new skill for them. Spend some time a couple of days a week practising this skill or take a look at one of our therapy plan options in our Therapy Centre.
How to extend:
- Have more than one suitcase so your child needs to decide who to pack for. You could have one or you could get one for a teddy, doll or robot toy. This increases the complexity slightly and you may need to give a bit of thought to the parts in the instruction. Below are some examples where the underlined words represent parts of the instruction:
2 part instructions: ‘pack the sunglasses in teddy’s suitcase’ or ‘pack the shorts in your suitcase’
3 part instructions: ‘pack the suncream and hairbrush in teddy’s suitcase’ or ‘pack the t-shirt and dress in your suitcase’
- If your child can follow do three part instructions consistently then you can try four part instructions. Below are some examples.
4 part instructions: ‘pack the trousers, sunglasses and toothbrush in my suitcase’ (if you have a choice of suitcases) or ‘pack the sunglasses, toothpaste, jumper and teddy‘ (if you don’t have a choice of suitcases).
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