Using TRAPPED PENGUIN To Grow (part 2)

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 Trapped Penguin! This is a game that is fun for all players, both winning and losing! Have a look at how Trapped Penguin can support your child’s communication skills:


  • Increase vocabulary by naming the colours of the ice-cubes, and the parts of the game (ice-cube, ice-pick, penguin, spinner)

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 the ice cubes when setting up/packing away

Understanding language

  • Your child will need to learn the rules of the game: break parts of the game to manageable steps (e.g. First, spin the spinner. Then, using your ice-pick tap out the ice-cubes. Remember, don’t knock over the penguin!)
  • You may want to write down/draw the rules of the game to support verbal communication.
  • Remind the players how to win

Social skills

  • You can model appropriate play skills – e.g. winning/losing statements, turn taking, following the rules
  • 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
  • Talk through emotional regulation strategies to combat emotional outbursts during the game.
  • There are only 2 ice-picks. If there are more than 2 players, model appropriate sharing/turn-taking behaviours and requests (E.g. ‘Can I please have the ice-pick?’)

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