Don't Say It!

by Kathryn
(Kids-Games-For-Speech-Therapy.com)

The don't say it game is great for encouraging school aged kids to get creative with their vocabulary and descriptive language.

Number of Players: 2 teams (at least 4 players) but playing cards can be used individually

Ages : 6+

Target: Increase vocabulary skills and encourage team playing.


The Don't Say It Game is a version of Taboo that can be played with younger kids. If your kids are good readers then they will be able to play from age six and upwards. Those who struggle with reading will need a little help but as this is a team game that isn't any problem.

The idea of the game is to get your team to say the word at the top of your card, without saying any of the forbidden words underneath. So for example, your target word could be “orange” but you have to describe it without saying juice, fruit, round or citrus. Of course you can’t say the word orange either!

The thing I really like about this game over Taboo for playing with kids is that you can set the level to play with a mixed group. The card holder provided in the box allows you to place the cards so that beginners are only banned from saying two words. However your more advanced players will need to get really creative as they can have up to four descriptive words that they are unable to use.

The cards themselves are also graded via a color coding system. Yellow cards get you one point, blue equals two, green is three points and you get four points for correctly guessing a red card. You can play this straight or just subtly divide out the cards among the players so that your weakest player gets the easiest cards and score everyone’s success the same.

There is a score-pad and pencil as well as a buzzer/ timer included in the pack although you may want to make sure the buzzer has run out of batteries as it is really annoying if you plan on using this game several times in the one day. It counts down as you run out of time and I find this can put kids under too much pressure so I generally play without it.

The buzzer has the added purpose of allowing the opposing team to call out a player if they use a forbidden word but you can come up with other (quieter!) ways to do this.

There is a travel version where the cards come in a handy pocket sized tin – ideal for the travelling Speechie or for parents to keep in their purse to fill downtime with a useful task!



Using the Don't Say it Game in Speech Therapy

This is one game that really needs little variation to be used as a Speech and Language Therapy task. You can just take it right out of the box and play it and know you are helping your kids get creative with their vocabulary.

Make sure you stay involved with the play and check that each player is working at the right level. The inbuilt system to vary the level of difficulty is ideal for therapy tasks but all kids want to work at the highest level, even if they are not able to so it needs some tactful adult supervision to keep everyone on task.

Determining the correct level for a child is not an exact science and you will need to go through a couple of rounds before you see it. Basically they should be able to succeed at the task and have their team name the card without being so restricted by the forbidden words that they are literally speechless!

On the other hand it should not be such an easy task for them that the other team begin to get a little testy and feel they have it too easy.

I’ve been known to use the cards one on one with a student in reverse as we play a little word association. So instead of having forbidden words, I WANT them to tell me the words on the cards as they play a guessing game. I give them one point for every associated word they can tell me and two points if that word appears on the card.

I would highly recommend this game for an add-on task at home for children who are attending therapy for language development issues or as a classroom time-filler with guaranteed educational value.

Now you know all there is to know about the game – you are ready to play. Have fun!
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Comments for Don't Say It!

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Don't say it
by: KHosier

I love your idea of using Don't Say It the reverse way - where the students have to use the words on the card. I have so many students working on this skill - I'm going to look for this over the break! Thanks ;)

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Top Talking Tips...

Sing Nursery Rhymes and Action Songs

Traditional songs and rhymes have hand actions that let your child join in and take a turn, even before they can sing the words.

This helps to work on listening, attention, imitation and turntaking, all important skills for Speech and Language development!