If you’ve spent any amount of time in any of the SLP Facebook groups, you’ve probably seen people asking about the game Cariboo.
“How do I use it?”
“Where did you find it?”
“Do you use the original cards with the game?”
“What’s all the fuss about?”
First off, it’s basically therapy gold, so consider yourself lucky if you’ve managed to find one! Secondly, I’m here to break down alllll the different ways you can use the game.
I personally don’t use the original cards that come with the game, and instead, make my own that fit into the square grids. I have cards for themed vocabulary, phonology, object functions, and apraxia. You can also make your own, or find some on Lessonpix if you have a subscription to that site.
For this post, I’ll be talking about how I use the vocabulary cards in my therapy sessions.
The first and most obvious skill to target is vocabulary. You can target expressive vocabulary by having them choose a picture and name it before they get to open the box.
Another way to do this is to print 2 sets of the cards, using one as the draw pile to choose a box. With this method, on a student’s turn, they pull a card from the draw pile, name it, and match it to the same picture on the box.
Target receptive vocabulary by naming a picture on the game. Your student has to find that picture on the board, and then they open the box.
More vocabulary… but a little more advanced
Have your students find a picture based on a clue/description. You can target adjectives, object functions, and more with this method!
For one example, let’s take the farm animal set.
Give clues like,
- “Find an animal with a curly tail.”
- “Find an animal that ‘neighs’”
- “Find an animal that could be a pet”
Let’s look at another set: the school-themed set.
Give clues like,
- “Find something that’s white with black dots”
- “Find something you write with”
- “Find something sticky”
- “Find something you cut with”
Honestly, this method is probably the way I use it most! Ask WH questions either about the pictures, or ask a WH question where the picture is the answer.
Take these Fall-themed cards.
You could ask questions like…
- “What do you wear over your clothes when it’s cold?” (jacket)
- “What do you wear on your feet when it’s cold?” (boots)
- “What do you use to clean up leaves?” (rake)
- “What do squirrels eat?” (acorns)
- They choose a pumpkin. You ask, “What do you do with a pumpkin?” or “Where can you find a pumpkin?”
- They choose the boots. You ask, “Where do boots go?”
- They choose the acorn. You ask, “Who eats acorns?”
- They choose an apple. You could ask any of the following types of questions: “What can you make out of apples?” “Where do apples grow?” “Where can you buy apples?” “What do you do with an apple?” etc…
I find this is a great target to work on when you’re using a set of themed cards that don’t lend themselves to WH questions (like dinosaurs!)
“Find a dinosaur in the top row”
“Find a dinosaur in the [middle/bottom] row”
“Open a box that’s UNDER the Stegasaurus”
“Open a box that’s NEXT TO the volcano”
“Open a box that’s above the polka dotted egg”
You can use this spatial concepts method for any set of cards– open a box [next to/beside/under/below/above] a given picture!
Use carrier phrases like, “I found ___” or “I opened the ___” for expanding utterances or for fluency therapy!
So- now that you’ve seen all these examples, are you ready to start using Cariboo in your therapy sessions? As you can tell, there’s a LOT of different ways to incorporate this game to hit your targeted language skills! I love that you can mix and match targeted skills, too.
When you’re a school SLP, you’re working with mixed groups all the time so it’s important to have materials that are adaptable to meet the needs of your caseload! If you’re looking to save some time while gathering your themed materials for the year, this bundled resource of Cariboo cards will have you covered for the entire year!
AND PS– If you wanna know how I store all my cards (and score some free labels while you’re at it), check out this post right here.