by Kathryn

The Hedbanz for Kids Game is great fun for school aged kids and is ideal for learning to ask and answer questions in Speech Therapy.

Number of Players: 2 - 6

Ages: 7+

Target: Teaches basic vocabulary and the cards can be used for simple categorization of food, animals and furniture. Great for teaching kids to ask and answer questions, to get creative with their questioning and also teaches simple gaming strategy.

The Hedbanz for Kids Game is another classic game to use in Speech Therapy for fun times while you learn. I'm sure you have played it before but just in case, here is how it goes...

Each player clips one of the plastic headbands onto their head, with a slot facing front to place the playing card in. Each player takes 3 counters with the object of the game to be the first to get rid of all of your counters.

Each player is dealt a playing card face down – no peeking! The cards are pictures of everyday items such as a cow, a ladder or a bowl of rice. They then place the card into the slot on their headband so everyone else can see it. I usually find kids need help with this part, especially when the strong urge to cheat is there!

Turn over the egg timer and they have a minute to play. In this time they must ask as many questions as they can to try and guess “What am I?” There are help cards for those who need a little inspiration and these include suggestions such as “Am I a pet?” “What would you eat me with?” and “How tall am I?”

Once they are sure of their guess, the player can ask “Am I a ...?” and if they are correct, they get rid of a counter and take another card. Those quick off the mark could guess several cards inside the minute they have to play.

Once the timer has run out, play passes to the next student and continues until the winner is decided when the first person gets rid of all three counters.

The original Hedbanz game comes in a red box in the USA and a blue box for the UK version. There is also a Hedbanz for adults that uses the written word instead of pictures.

Using Hedbanz for Kids in Speech Therapy

Asking Questions

I have yet to find a game that is as motivating as this one for teaching kids to ask questions. Guess Who is a great game for younger children but it tends to get a little repetitive and lacks the range of question practice that is possible with Hedbanz.

As you will see from a quick glance at the “help” or prompt cards, kids need to ask all types of questions in order to be able to guess the card so they will learn to use “who, what, why, where, when and how” questions as well as other question forms such as “Did I...?” , “Have I...?” etc.

The age guide given on the box is 7+ and for the full version of the game played with typically developing kids I would say this is spot on. This means for kids who have delays or are just developing their questioning skills, we need to make adaptations.

Simple ways to support kids as they learn to play include lengthening each turn by flipping the timer over again, getting rid of the timer altogether or giving simple clues to get them started on the right track.

Vocabulary Development and Simple Categories

The playing cards in my set of Hedbanz for Kids Game are nicely illustrated and contain pictures of familiar everyday items and so I sometimes use them as a simple vocabulary teaching or category sorting task.

It is easy to use them to sort into their intended 3 categories of food, animals and household items but you can also drill down further into each category and have your students pick out the zoo animals separate from the farm animals. You can have them find you “food that grows on trees” or “items we keep in the garage”.

The illustrations provided with this game give endless possibilities for learning fun, even for those who are not able to keep up with the fast pace of the regular game yet so it is a purchase that is will keep the kids amused for years to come.

Now you know all there is to know about the game – you are ready to play. Have fun!
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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!