Winter Games to Help Build Speech & Language Skills

Although “winter” has not really hit us here in California yet (WE NEED RAIN!!) I read about my friends on the east coast buckling down for winter storms and snow days. (I may be a little jealous!)

Winter generally means more time inside and, if you live in some areas, it means school closures. Sometimes, finding things to do during snow days for your children with special needs can be a bit challenging.

Last month, I shared 10 “Wintery” Games to Build Speech and Language and Listing Skills over at The Friendship Circle. Here is a little preview!

10 wintery games

“Free” Games

1. Frosty Says

You know this age-old game, right? Someone is “Simon” and he tells everyone what to do by saying “Simon says….” However if he tells you what to do without saying “Simon says” prior to the directions but you do it anyway…you’re out! In this version though, you can play “Frosty” says (or another winter/holiday character that fits your family’s beliefs and traditions). This game is all about having to listen and follow directions. But for kids who might already struggle with this skill, there are a few recommendations I have to make this game fun and motivating for your child. Check out those recommendations out on playing with words 365.

2. Red Light/Green Light

Another classic!  This is a great game to work on following directions. Here are some tips for using this game to work on your child’s listening skills:

  • Once your child gets the hang of the concepts of green-means-go and red-means-stop, add in another color “light” to the mix! They did this in a class my nephew took…I think it was Purple Light means you jump like a bunny! How fun is that!? just some ideas off the top of my head: Yellow Light for crawling, Orange light for turning around, Blue light for clapping…you get the idea.
  • A tip to help him understand the directions at first: Make signs with the colors you will use in the game with pictures of the motor movements on them. So if you did purple-is-hop-like-a-bunny you can make a round purple “light” and put a picture of a bunny on it as a visual reminder. Then slowly take the signs away and have your child play JUST by listening.

For the rest of my game recommendations, head over to the Friendship Circle blog now!

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.  
About Katie

Katie is a licensed, credentialed and certified pediatric speech-language pathologist and mom to three (5, 3 and 9 months). Her passion about educating, inspiring and empowering parents of children with all abilities led her to start her blog Playing With Words 365 where she shares information about speech and language development, therapy ideas and tips, intervention strategies and a little about her family life too. Katie has been working in the field of speech pathology for 9 years and is certified in The Hanen Centre’s It Takes Two to Talk ® and Target Word ® programs and holds a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In addition to blogging and being a mommy, Katie works part time in her small private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. What a fun way to develop kids’ language skills. My kids’ and I always play Simon says and they enjoy it but I haven’t tried the Red Light/Green Light one. Thanks for giving me an idea.
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  2. My children love the game red rover. Because it allows them to run around and keep warm as well as them learning to play as team.

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