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CHOKING HAZARD - small parts Not for children 3 years or under
by Marjorie Mitlin, LICSW
4-16 players (in teams). For some young people, small talk is a big deal. Whether they're shy, self-conscious, or experiencing the social and communication difficulties associated with Asperger's Syndrome, these kids are stumped when it comes to conversing comfortably with another person.
Mumble Jumble gives children and teens a chance to "practice" conversation in a safe, structured, and often hilarious way. Working in teams, players attempt to create logical conversations from sets of unordered sentences (dialogue strips). The first team to come up with a sensible dialogue must then discuss it, explaining the mood of the conversation and what feelings are being expressed. Next, they must consider the nonverbal aspects of their conversation by acting it out—with appropriate emotional inflection, tone of voice, body language, eye contact, and facial expression. Detailed rules and a pad of scrambled conversations to use as follow-up homework are included.
Fast-paced and fun, this game is a great way to teach reciprocal conversation. Players relax and lose their self-consciousness because they're playing in teams—and practicing with somebody else's words, not their own.