30 Apr Toy Tuesday: Hedbanz
This month Toy Tuesday comes from Emily, who shares her favourite ways to use Hedbanz with speech and language therapy targets.
Hedbanz is great fun for school-aged children and perfect for speech and language sessions as there’s very little preparation required and the game can be easily adapted depending on the age of the child, their needs and what is being targeted through therapy! The game can be played with 2-6 players. Everyone has a headband on their head and a picture card that they have not seen. The person must ask questions for the rest of the group to answer in order to work out what picture is on their head. Here are just a few of the ways this game can be used in speech and language sessions:
Asking and answering questions: The child will need to ask all sorts of questions to be able to guess what’s on their picture card. They will learn to use a range of carrier phrases, such as ‘Do I have…’, ‘Am I…’, to ask closed questions (yes/no responses) or the Hedbanz game can be adapted to target use and understanding of a range of ‘wh-‘ question stems (who/what/where/when) to ask open questions.
Turn Taking: Hedbanz can be played as a group or one-to-one. Either way, the child is required to take turns in asking and answering questions. This is great for developing conversational turn taking skills, which will hopefully carryover into the child’s everyday interactions.
Descriptions and vocabulary: The child will need to think of various ways to describe items when asking and answering questions, for example thinking about how it may look, feel, sound, taste, what it does, and so on. A visual prompt sheet can be used to support the child to think about these different things when generating their questions. The game could also be adapted to a simpler level where the pictures are presented and the therapist and child work together to think of as many ways to describe the item as they can, or to compare two or more picture cards. This is great for introducing or reinforcing vocabulary, for example adjectives such as size/colour to describe what an item looks like or action words for thinking about what it does.
Categories: The pictures included in Hedbanz are generally based on a few categories, for example animals, food, household items, so the game can be adapted and used as a category sorting task. Once the child has worked out which broad category the pictures belong to, they can start to think of more narrow categories within that group, i.e. not just animals but farm animals, and not just food but perhaps fruit. Even when the game is played in its traditional headband format, the child will be categorising information throughout (i.e. once they know their picture is an animal, they can start to think of further ways to categorise and guess the item such as asking if it’s a farm/zoo/sea creature/pet type of animal).
Memory: The child will need to remember what has been said in order to build up an idea in their mind of what the item on their head could be. To support this, a range of memory strategies can be encouraged, such as rehearsal, visualisation or grouping the information.
Other speech and language targets: The headbands provided in this game can be used with other picture cards that the therapist has created to target many other areas of speech and language, for example pictures of words that have a specific sound the child is working on, or action pictures for the child to create subject-verb-object sentences about what is happening. The possibilities are endless for incorporating this motivating and engaging activity into speech and language therapy!