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Meg's Go To List of CORE Vocabulary Activities- because "core" Isn't the Activity!

Posted by Meg From AdaptEd on

Meg's Go To List of CORE Vocabulary Activities- because "core" Isn't the Activity!

So you know we're pretty much obsessed with core vocabulary over here.

Because it helps non-verbal and emerging communicators, communicate!

But... something we've noticed, is that people like to make "core" the activity.

Core vocabulary isn't meant to be the activity.

It's the vocabulary words you're focusing on.

You still have to come up with your own activities.

So... Meg has finally delivered on her promise.

And TODAY, she is sharing with you her go-to activity list!

These are the activities that she has personally used during speech therapy to work on core vocabulary.

Some of these activities involve specific games or materials, but others were created “on the fly”.

Affiliate links to specific games and materials that are ready to go are included below.

AdaptEd 4 Special Ed is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

For Elementary students:

Pulling toy animals out of a bag

Pop the Pig game

Magnetic fishing

Battery-operated train track

Target practice with a magnetic board and magnets

Small gift giving (Think dollar store here. For holidays or the end of the year.)

Core vocabulary books (AdaptEd creates these!)

“Put in” activities with manipulatives

Elefun game

Pop the Minion game

Scripted play activities (like doctor play, baby doll play, etc. AdaptEd has a seriously cool product featuring play scripts: “Scripted Play Companions!”)

Core vocabulary fairytale books (AdaptEd creates these!)

Marble tracks and mazes

Anything remote-controlled

Musical Chairs 

For Middle/High School students:

Asking questions cards (AdaptEd creates these!)

Core vocabulary bingo

Musical Chairs 

Making music videos (choose a song with a repetetive refrain that is largely core!)

Small gift giving (think dollar store)

Core vocabulary books (AdaptEd creates these!)

Visual recipes and cooking (AdaptEd creates these!)

Sentences with simple verbs

Age-appropriate scripted play (such as shopping or restaurant ordering play; comes included in AdaptEd’s “Scripted Play Companions”)

So there it is... Meg's “short” list of activities.

Because to write them all down would take all night.

But the idea is that you can use ANY activity you want.

Just choose the core vocabulary words/icons that you are going to pair with the activity.

Remember- your core vocabulary icons are NOT your activity.

They are the means to communicate during your already planned activity.

Plus, there are a lot of core vocabulary resources out there.

Peruse them and get a feel for what you like. Or make your own!

In case you want a starting place for exploration, we are linking some of our favorite core vocabulary activities from our own shop below.

Now get to lesson planning!

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