Pop the pig is game that is great for our young learners! The concept of the game is simple, and therefore easy to learn. You roll the die to select which colored burger you’re going to feed the pig. After you choose one burger in that color, you look at the bottom to find a number. That number tells you how many times you push down on the pig’s head.
For example, if I roll the die and a red circle is displayed on top, I will pick up a red burger from the pile in front of me. Once I pick my burger, I will turn it over and see, for example, the number 3. Next I’ll feed the pig, and then place my hands on his head and push down 3x. As I do this we will all see his tummy getting bigger. The more burgers he eats, the bigger his tummy gets. The object of the game is to not be the person who pops the pig!
I love this game for many reasons! Not only is it a fun way to promote turn taking and waiting for young learners, but it can also be a fun vehicle to work on different play, social, academic, and fine motor skills.
One way to focus on social skills is to evoke questions from your learner. Some ASD children need to learn how to ask questions. For example, some learners may have learned to say one word, instead of an entire sentence to get their needs met. In these cases a learner may say “Milk” and their parents understand that that means “Can I have some milk?” However this can lead to some confusion, and possibly frustration, later on when a new listener doesn’t understand that “milk” is the speakers way of asking for that item.
Some suggestions for practicing questions with Pop the Pig include bringing in other animals into play. You may say “Oh, someone else is hungry!” to evoke the response “Who’s hungry?”. You can even hide the die or burgers in fun places so that your learn may ask “Where are the burgers?”. Something else you can do is find other small toys and instead of feeding the burgers to the pig you may say “Pig is tired of burgers, he wants to eat something different” in order to get “What does he want?”
By being creative with how you play the game, you will find many different skills to work on with your young learner. For example, matching, colors, counting, and adjectives, just to name a few!