Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turning Yard Sale Bargains into Social Skills Practice!!!

Hello everybody!!  I thought I would take a few moments to share some of my fantastic yard sale finds and share how I have been utilizing them to build social skills with my students!! 

I love yard sale-ing and always look for things that I can incorporate therapeutically and on the cheap!!!  Some things I try to ask myself when at a yard sale are: what skills can I re-enforce, does this have a therapeutic rationale, will the kids like it and is it safe?

Recently, I have come across a few great games that I have used many times with various age groups with much success.  Many of these games are $0.50 to $3.00!  That is a great price for anything that can be used therapeutically!!!!!

My most recent find, for $1, was the Mattel game Ker Plunk!®  This game requires players to remove plastic sticks from a container filled with marbles resting on the sticks.  The object is to not let all of the marbles fall!!  For social skills practice, this game is great for thinking ahead, problem solving, using logical thinking, recognizing anticipation, taking risks and dealing with defeat!  Not bad for $1!!!  This has been a big hit, especially with the 4th grade social skills group.  It has been requested numerous times!!

Another nice find has been a Parker Brothers Clue, Jr., Case of the Missing Pet Game®.  I think that one was $0.50 ( the side of the box was ripped!!).   The object is to determine information about the missing pet by eliminating characters, locations and what pet was stolen.  This is great social skills practice for building communication, telling the truth, not blurting, problem solving, logical thinking, practicing waiting your turn and deduction/inferencing skills.  This game is nice for a larger group, 1-6 players and ages 6-10!!!  The kids have also enjoyed this game.  They love to "figure it all out"!

The last game that I want to share from a yard sale find is called Pappa's Pizza Pile-Up® from i-Play!!  I never heard of this game before but knew from reading the box that this would be an instant success!!  It is a game where you have to pile on various toppings of cheese, mushrooms, peperoni, and tomatoes ( all different weights and sizes) onto the pizza gently resting on Pappa's pointer finger without tipping it over!!!  This can be very challenging and a great way to talk about emotions such as nerve-racking, courage and perfectionism.  It is a great way to find out about risk-taking, handling defeat, responding to challenges, following directions and waiting your turn.  Great fun!  If you see this one while yard sale-ing pick it up pronto!!!!

What do you look for at Yard Sales?