Using POP THE PIG To Grow

This post is going to focus on how you can use common games to help develop your child’s communication skills. Today’s blog is focused on the game Pop the Pig! This is a game that most people know how to play that is fun and can involve many players. Have a look at how Pop the Pig can support your child’s communication skills:


  • Increase vocabulary by naming the burger chosen (e.g. “I choose purple, I got 4”)
  • Vocabulary includes numbers 1 to 4, colours, ‘any colour’, ‘turn it over’, ‘press its head’, ‘is it going to pop?’

Expressive language

  • Encourage your child to explain the rules to you – your child will use long sentences with conjunctions (e.g. and, then, after), and conditional words (e.g. if)
  • Answering questions – ask your child who’s turn is next or what colour did they get
  • Counting when pressing the pig’s head

Understanding language

  • Your child will need to learn the rules of the game: break parts of the game to manageable steps
  • You may want to write down some rules
  • Remind the players how to win

Social skills

  • You can model appropriate play skills – e.g. winning/losing statements, turn taking
  • You can also model inappropriate play skills and allow your child to see what this looks like and to correct your behaviour – e.g. cheating, big reactions to losing
  • Remembering rules and following them – remind your child about certain rules and to follow them while playing
  • If your child demonstrates inappropriate play skills, talk through the possible consequences of these behaviours (e.g. if you scream after losing, others won’t want to play with you again)
  • Use emotional regulation strategies if emotions become heightened to help calm your child before talking through the possible consequences of these behaviours
  • Discuss strategies your child can use to calm down when playing games

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