Games & Toys to Promote Language and Articulation: Happy Giddy Bowling Set

Games & Toys to Promote Language and Articulation: Happy Giddy Bowling Set | District Speech & Language Therapy | Speech Therapists in Washington DC

We’re nearing the end of District Speech and Language’s countdown of our favorite games and toys to promote language and articulation. With only two more picks left, stay tuned because these last few may be the most fun and engaging for your kiddo!

This week: Happy Giddy Bowling Set

We first saw the Happy Giddy Bowling Set a couple of years ago while working at an outpatient clinic. After watching another therapist work with a client, we noticed that kids just LOVE to bowl (and yes, adults too, but we’ll focus on the little ones for now…). Whether the kiddos were bowling as a reward for great work, or in between practicing correct production of sounds, or just during a language activity, we saw that they had so much fun knocking down pins and could hardly wait for their next turn!

There are plenty of bowling sets out there that you can use, but we are drawn to this set for it’s fun alien pins, which are great for ages 2-5 years. However, feel free to use any bowling set you can get your hands on for the useful exercises below!

Happy Giddy Bowling Set – Kids Can Hardly Wait for Their Next Turn

Whether at home, at school, or in the clinic here’s how you can use this fun game to promote speech and language:

1. Receptive Language/Auditory Comprehension

With this bowling set, you can work on receptive language, specifically, following directions. Here’s how to use with your client or child:

  • Following one- and two-step directions is a common goal amongst therapists when working with clients of all ages. Once the pins have been knocked down, have your child, or client, listen and then follow directions such as “get two pins” or “get three pins and stand them up over there.” While bowling, you can ask your kiddo to “knock down 1 pin,” or “knock down the pin in the front,” which will also incorporate some spatial concepts into your directions.

2. Expressive Language

If your child or client has a developmental or language delay, with weaknesses in oral expression, you can use this game for a variety of expressive language tasks. Here are some helpful examples:

  • Before getting a turn, have him/her verbally request using a one- or two- word utterance or a complete sentence, depending on age. For example, a 2-year old may be prompted to use a two-word utterance such as “my turn” or “more ball.” A 5-year old may be asked to use a complete sentence or question such as “I want to bowl please” or “May I have a turn?”
  • You can also use the bowling pins to encourage use of basic concepts, such as counting the pins they’ve knocked down and/or naming the colors on the pins.

3. Articulation

  • If your child, or client, is working on a specific sound, you can practice several trials of that sound and then allow him/her to take a turn knocking down pins. Go back and forth like this until you’ve completed all of your trials.

4. Reward

  • You can also use bowling as a reward during a different language activity. For example, have your kiddo follow directions, use a complete sentence to describe a picture scene, answer questions, or write a sentence. Then reward him/her by giving them a turn to bowl.

That’s it for now. Only two more toys and games left in our countdown! Don’t miss #9 coming up next week!

If you live in the D.C. area and have concerns about your child’s language or articulation and would like to seek additional help beyond what your school based local speech and language therapist may be able to provide, visit our speech pathology services page for more information on our assessment and speech therapy for kids of all ages.

District Speech and Language Therapy
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005


District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.