I updated Crocodile Dentist with a new communication board. It was a popular game with my early language learners and I managed to wear out two crocodiles since the original posting in 2013. This was a great game for speech therapy reinforcement and to encourage communication. Apparently some of you are still using it.
Readers have requested the communication board I made to go along with the game but unfortunately I don’t have it any longer. It was left behind with the game when I moved on to other schools. I no longer have access to the program Boardmaker to print the digital copy. However, there is a free program called Picto-Selector that I have been using to make communication boards. This program may be a good option for some of you. Click on the colored print to find the site to download it. I made the board below using it. If you want to download this board click on the board below.
Meanwhile, here are the game adaptations I posted about in 2013.
Crocodile Dentist is a plastic crocodile that has a spring loaded mouth. The mouth closes when a certain tooth is pushed down. Kids enjoy the suspense of seeing who is going to get bit. I give the kids an option of using using a tongue depressor because some take this quite seriously. The trigger tooth changes location each time the mouth is opened.
Some of you may already use this game for reinforcement. I thought you might like to know how you can expand its use a little further. I use it to expand a student’s verbal output to 2 to 3 word phrases using a communication board and to follow directions using prepositions.
I colored the teeth alternating colors using permanent markers. I used pink, green, and orange because I already had a die that had those colors. If you don’t have a die you can make a spinner or use colors for a die you have.
For my students with limited verbal abilities, I use the communication board along with the die in a plastic jar. I have the students shake the die to get the color of tooth they need to push down. I then model phrases using the communication board while playing the game. The game creates a lot of opportunities for repetition of phrases such as “I have ….” or “push down green tooth”. I also reinforce saying “your turn” and “my turn.” After repetition the students start to say the appropriate phrase when you point to the correct icons as a prompt. Finally, they may prompt themselves by pointing to the icons and verbalizing. This is a good way to break up an imitative pattern that often happens when training non-verbal children and uses a natural context for turn taking.
The colors are used in the direction cards also. Click on the free download icon for the cards. Cards were made using the concept vocabulary: next to, beside, between, right, left, colors, not, side, front, either/or. Children take turns drawing the cards and following the directions for the tooth to be pushed down. We play a variation by giving each child three poker chips. They feed the crocodile a chip if he bites. The person who feeds all three chips is the winner.
I provided a word program down load because I thought people may need to adjust the color words for their needs. If you have any difficulties with this, leave me a comment. Print out the cards and have the students pull them out of a bag and then follow the directions while playing the game.
A reminder that Teachers Pay Teachers is having a February sale. If you have been putting off purchasing, now is a chance to get a discount. Don’t forget to use the code.