It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a therapy activity. I love playing the game Hedbanz with my school-age children with DS. For those of you who’ve never played Hedbanz, it’s like 20 questions. Each player wears a crown-like headband and draws a picture card. Each card has a simple drawing on one side from familiar categories like animals, foods, household items, etc. Without looking, the player inserts the card into the front of the headband. Reality – I do this for my kids to prevent peeking (sorry OTs!) The other players can see the card as the picture faces out.
In therapy, I start by asking the child questions about my own picture. If I’m alone with the child then I peek at my card (gasp!). This is to ensure their answers to my yes/no questions are accurate. Next, the child takes his or her turn and asks questions until their picture is guessed. With this pattern, the child gets the opportunity to:
- listen to someone asking questions (modeling the skill)
- answer yes/no questions
- ask questions
The first adaptation I’ve done with Hedbanz is to reword the questions. This simplifies the game and allows the child practice asking questions that would naturally occur in day-to-day routines. So, “Am I an animal?” becomes, “Is it an animal?”
Finally, if having all the clue cards out is too overwhelming, then I will select 2 questions. One of the questions chosen will correspond to the picture on his or her headband. The child picks from these 2 options. This allows the child to participate in the game with support. As they become more proficient with asking questions, we phase out the clue cards.
I have uploaded the clue cards for your personal use. In my practice, I print the cards in color, laminate, and cut them out. If you don’t have a color printer, check out Fedex Office online. You can upload the file and print on card stock for a nominal fee.
Be patient and go slowly. Playing games together is a wonderful way to bond with your child and work on language skills.