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Barrier games are a fun way to listen while playing a matching game. The game can vary from very simple to complex depending on the listening skill level of the individuals playing the game.

How to play a picnic barrier game:

Each player has a set of matching items (food), a game board (plate) and one barrier wall that is placed between the individuals.

One player, the caller, says what to place where on the game board while the other player, the listener, listens carefully to place the objects in the named location.

Once all the objects have been placed by the listening player, the barrier is lifted to see if the two players sides are a match. Alternate roles from caller to listener.

Plates with colored-in sections and a variety of food.

Example: Players have plates with colored-in sections and a variety of food. With the barrier between the players to hide their plates, the caller would say “put the banana on the blue”. The listener would then find the banana and place it on the blue section of the plate. The caller would continue with other items. When complete, the barrier is lifted, and the plates are compared to see if they match.

Supplies needed:

  • Plates (paper plates or plates drawn on paper)
  • Sets of 2 food items (pretend, real or pictures such as flashcards, printouts or cut from store fliers)
  • Barrier (cardboard, large book, opened binder)

Who can do it?

Early to advanced listeners. Two or more players.

Why do it?

To improve listening skills. This can be played from easy to challenging listening levels meaning it can be played over and over again as the child’s listening skills become more advanced.

One key element “Find the apple.”

Two key elements “Place the apple on the red.”

Three key elements “Put the banana and orange on the blue.”

Four elements “Put the grapes on the yellow and an apple on the green.”

What else can we do?

This barrier game is with food and color plates but you could also use letters, numbers, shapes, speech sounds, locations, etc. Be creative with what you have at home.

Plates with letters, numbers, shapes, speech sounds, locations.