Balloon-Themed Games for Language & Artic Practice

Need a new way to practice basic language concepts? How about different places and manners of articulation? You can do BOTH by putting a new “spin” on the Press & Spin game Bye-Bye Balloon.

Speech-language pathologist Kim Lewis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, offers some clever ways she uses this balloon-themed game for articulation and language practice. Read on!



General Articulation

  • Print out Kim’s Popped Balloons Sheet to  use as a game board. Write 6 target words on the board and cover with balloon cards. Children “Press and Spin” to see which color balloon to pop, then reveal — and speak — the corresponding target word. It’s articulation practice disguised as FUN!

BB-Balloon- Gameboard








Sibilant Fricative /s/

  • Have fun making the /s/ sound as children imitate air escaping from a deflating balloon floating down to the ground.

Bilabials (Practice bilabials in word-initial and word-final positions.)

  • /b/ balloon, bye-bye, blow
  • /p/ pop, poke, up
  • /m/ my, make a match


Quantity Concepts

  • Use the balloon cards to illustrate the difference between all, some, and none (e.g., “You have ALL of the green balloons. I have NONE of the blue balloons”).

Temporal Concepts

  • Put the balloon cards in a line to discuss first, next, last, between, before, and after (e.g., “FIRST, you spun an orange balloon. What color did you spin AFTER purple?”).








Read Kim’s full post for further details.

And be sure to check out our Special Needs Toy Guide for families and therapists. It’s conveniently categorized by skill area (like Speech & Language, Social & Emotional, and Sensory Awareness) to help you quickly and easily find the practice materials you need.

See how Kim targets temporal concepts, and get links to other ideas for teaching time concepts in Telling Time with “Bye-Bye Balloon Press & Spin Game.”

Do you ever use a balloon theme in your language and articulation practice? Leave us a note in the Comments below, or share a story on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page.