Starfish Therapies

October 2, 2012

Using the Penguin Shuffle to Teach Turn Taking

Filed under: Developmental Milestones — Starfish Therapies @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

So, Penguin Shuffle is a board game by Milton Bradley from 1995 that is no longer in production.  Our therapist loved it so much she bought it off of ebay and wants to start a campaign to get Milton Bradley to begin making it again (feel free to let us know if you want to join her campaign).  What she loves about it is that it is set up for practicing taking turns.  First one person tries to get their penguin down the shoot onto the carousel and then the other takes their turn.  Depending on the child you may need to provide cues such as verbally saying whose turn it is, or pointing, or shaking the penguin slightly as a reminder that its not the child’s turn.  Ideally you start to wean down off of the cues until they recognize when it is their turn.  Usually you will see two things happen, a child will try to keep going, without waiting for the other person to have a turn, or they will sit there and not realize its their turn.  Its especially hard for the child to wait with this game if their penguin doesn’t make it in the slot and slides off the iceberg because their tendency is to want to try again immediately.  You can even keep track of how many times you need to cue the child during the course of a game and see if it decreases or they types of cues decrease as they get more practice with it.  Of course you then want to see if you can generalize it out to other activities but this is a great game for setting the building blocks of taking turns.

In addition to taking turns, it also can help a child to work on object manipulation to get the penguin standing on his feet in the chute and it can work on visual motor for timing the best time to let your penguin begin his shuffle down the shoot in the hopes of landing on the iceberg carousel.

I know I said this game isn’t available by the manufacturer any longer but has anyone used this game, or a game similar to it that you can also inherently work on taking turns?


1 Comment »

  1. I love this game, too! I am an SLP and it is perfect for students with autism. They are enthralled with it, and it becomes something that can motivate. I use it with all kinds of students from autism to preschoolers with emerging language to regular ed. kids just to give them a laugh. I will join your campaign to get it back on the market! Judi Worgess

    Comment by Judi Worgess — February 14, 2014 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

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