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International Games Day

Throughout the day on Saturday, November 21st

International Games Day @ Your Library is a global event aimed at reconnecting communities through the educational and social power of games. Many libraries in the DC/MD/VA area are hosting International Games Day events. The guide below focuses on the specific games that will be facilitated at Petworth Library in Washington, D.C.


For more ideas on how to turn playing into games a fun speech-language activity, check out our Board Games printable and mobile guides in our In the Home section of our site.


EXPLORE: Expressive Grammar
ENRICH: Irregular Past Tense Verbs

ENGAGE: The ability to use irregular past tense to describe a completed action


Hoot Owl Hoot is a cooperative game in which players work together to help their owls fly back to the nest before the sun comes up.



  • While you play Hoot Owl Hoot, ask your child, "what happened?" after each person takes a turn. Help your child to use irregular past tense verbs to describe the actions that happen in the game.

    • Here are some common past tense verbs specific to Hoot Owl Hoot:

      Got (e.g. She GOT a red card), Flew (e.g. His owl FLEW over mine), Went (e.g. My piece WENT far), Took (e.g. My friend TOOK a turn), Rose (e.g. The sun ROSE a little higher)

    • If your child uses the verb in the present tense, remind them that the action is finished, so you have to change the word to put it in the past. For example, if your child says "My owl fly fast," you can say, "Your owl is already done flying. Try it like this - My owl FLEW fast."

    • At the end of the game, use one last word in the past - won! "Together, we WON the game!"


EXPLORE: Oral Comprehension
ENRICH: Active Listening Skills

ENGAGE: The ability to hear when oral information is missing from a sentence


The library will be teaching and facilitating games of "Jaques Dit" or "Simon Dice" - French and Spanish versions of "Simon Says." You can join in the international games and learn a few words in a new language, or play your own game of Simon Says in English.



  • Teach your child the rules of Simon Says or listen to the instructions given by the library. As you play the game, demonstrate active listening - body facing the speaker, eyes looking, ears listening - and help your child do the same.

    • Before each new round, ask your child if they remember the "magic phrase" - "What words do you need to listen for that tell you to follow the direction?" 

    • When "Simon" starts a sentence without "Simon says ...", do the action anyway and see if your child can catch your mistake!


BONUS: If your child has difficulty identifying when the phrase "Simon says" is missing, you can have Simon use a picture board like this one to add visual support to the game.


EXPLORE: Articulation
ENRICH: Pronunciation of Speech Sounds in Sentences

ENGAGE: The ability to produce /r/ blends


Play one of the Angry Birds games (online or table top) while you practice /r/ blends with your child.



  • An /r/ blend contains the /r/ sound either preceeded or followed by another consonant sound, such as anGRy biRD. Remind your child that when making an /r/ sound, his/her tongue should be T.U.B - Tight, raised Up, and pulled Back.

  • Challenge your child to use the phrase "angry bird" at least 10 times while playing the game. For example, "The yellow anGRy biRD is flying," or "The anGRy biRDs knocked down the tower."

  • Ask your child to try to think of at least 5 more words that contain /r/ blends in any position of the word (beginning, middle, end). Use the game to help you brainstorm - e.g. GReen biRD, GRass, CRane, diRT, TRee.

EXPLORE: Social Use of Language
ENRICH: Greetings

ENGAGE: The ability to greet and initiate conversation


One of the games the library will be facilitating is a "Global Greetings" ice breaker activity. Have your child participate in the game to practice greeting peers in a variety of ways. Afterwards, have your child carry that skill over into life outside the game to practice greeting someone new.



  • Have your child to greet someone in the library that they don't know and start a conversation:

    • Talk with your child about how a greeting is a polite way of making someone feel welcome. Discuss how after greeting someone, a good way to start a conversation is to ask the person a question. Have your child make a list of questions he/she can ask, such as "What is your favorite game to play?"

    • After he/she has practiced with you, challenge your child to use one of the new global greetings he/she learned during the ice breaker game to greet someone at the event and ask one of the questions he/she brainstormed. Remind him/her to use good eye contact while speaking to his/her new friend!


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