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You don’t have to spend a lot of money on materials to get great expressive and receptive language practice.   Sometimes it may only cost you the price of a chicken nugget kids meal.

Chick Fil-a recently gave out card games with their kids chicken nugget meals and some of those games are great for skills practice.  If you happen to have already received or get 100 wacky things to do in your kid’s chicken nugget meal don’t throw it away!  If you see someone who is throwing one away stop them.  It’s that good.

The title is pretty self explanatory.  It is in fact, a deck of cards with 100 wacky things to do.  Some of the things may be too difficult but if your kiddo can’t read yet just alter the task to something they can do.  You don’t have to follow the rules exactly.  I’ll let you in on my dirty little therapy secret.  If my patient has never played the game before, can’t read, or doesn’t care about reading the rules beforehand; I almost never play games according to the rules.  I’m quite certain the makers of Sorry, Candyland, Chutes and Ladder’s and even Memory would be appalled at the way I play them, but who cares!  It’s a game!  If games are too hard they’re not fun.   In my opinion, the mark of a good game is one that is still fun even if the official rules go out the window.  Here’s an example of what I’m talking about as far as changing the rules.  If my memory serves me correctly one of the 100 wacky things to do cards asks a player to meow like a cat every time a player stands up or says a certain word.  That’s not an exact quote but you probably get where I’m going.  That would be a lot of work to remember to do that.  Especially if you’re a younger kid on the spectrum.  My solution is to read the card aloud as “meow like a cat for 10 seconds”.  That’s doable, and that’s also practicing pretend play and following directions.  It is also, in my opinion still “wacky” 🙂

You don’t have to follow the rules all the time.  You can’t teach the flexibility many parents and kids strive for if you aren’t flexible too.  So it’s good for all parties involved.  You also don’t have to tell them you’ve changed the rules.  If they ask I wouldn’t lie about it but in my experience I’ve never had a patient ask if I’ve changed the rules.  If you act confident when reading the card it’s a fairly easy sell, even to the most skeptical of buyers.  So remember, don’t throw away fast food toys and never miss a chance to get a little wacky.