Taboo Game

by Kathryn

The Taboo Game is a classic party game but did you know it is also a favourite Speech Therapy Game? Get expert info on using this game to develop your kids vocabulary.

Number of Players 2 teams (at least 4 players)

Ages 12+

Target Increase vocabulary skills and encourage team playing.

The Taboo Game has been around for years, you are sure to have played it at a party at some point. There are several special editions on the market and since Taboo is for teenagers or adults, there is now the popular “Don’t Say It” Game for younger kids.

You need to be creative in getting your team to name the Guess Word at the top of your card. You can’t use some of the most obvious words to describe it as they are “Taboo” so you need to think creatively to come up with a way of getting your team to say the word.

Of course you are playing against the clock and so time is of the essence. It’s not always easy to think on your feet but it does develop your vocabulary and descriptive language as you search the corners of your mind to come up with a synonym for the words that are forbidden.

So for example, if your Guess Word is sundial and you can’t say time, measure, shadow, ancient or wall then you might say “In days gone by they used this to know when to do something” “They had no electricity or batteries so they needed to use rays to make it work”.

The standard version box contains a timer, a card holder, 1000 playing cards, pencils and a score card.

Using the Taboo Game in Speech Therapy

Firstly, this game is designed for teens to adults so if you have a younger child buy the Don’t Say it Game instead. This way you will avoid the frustration of them being unable to complete the task and the box getting stuck in the back of the cupboard.

However for teens with subtle language difficulties, especially in the area of word finding, this makes great brain training!

There really isn’t any need to make adaptations or modifications. You might want to play it one on one with your teenager rather than in a team situation to take out the competitive element but other than that it plays right out of the box.

I have been known to go through the cards and pre-select those that I know will be within the everyday experiences of my students to make the task slightly easier but other than that, just play and have fun!

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!