Clothespin Bowling

A Tip for Tuesday!!

Clothespin Bowling is an interesting way to use different cards in speech therapy. The items you need to play this game are simple: 10 clothespins, therapy cards, and a small ball (or write on dice like I used in the pictures). After clipping the pictures on the clothespins, I stood them up on the table in a bowling pyramid shape. Just like in bowling, the object is to knock over the most pins in two rolls. After each roll, the students would use their targets at the level they were working on (word. phrase, or sentence) for each picture they knocked over. We kept score to see who had knocked down the most pins to get a winner.


The students love playing Clothespin Bowling while working on their speech/language goals. This game can be easily adapted to different goals by changing the cards. I have used this game to focus on not only articulation but “wh” questions, categories, social skills, inferences, grammar, and just about anything that you have a card deck for.

Here is one more adaptation for this game: I use a write on dice when playing the game with my articulation students. On the dice I write different instructions such as say the word 3x, say the word 5x, use the word in a sentence, describe the word, and act it out. What ever side of the dice is facing up at the end of the roll is what the student has to do for each word that he/she knocked over. It is just another added twist to the game.


I hope you can use the Clothespin Bowling game in your therapy session to target a variety of speech and language goals. I would love to hear how this game worked in your therapy room. Please leave a comment and share your experience.

2 thoughts on “Clothespin Bowling

  1. Leanne Ryan

    Hi this looks like a great game! Can you please give an example about an idea in specific, say when the goal is articulation, or “wh” questions.

    • Thanks for the question! I put picture cards in the clothespin that contain the child’s artic target. For WH questions, you can use the same cards and have the student make up questions using a Wh word. For example if the picture is a rabbit for a student working on initial /r/ then a student working on WH questions could ask a “where” question like “where do rabbits live?”. A student working on describing could give an adjective for rabbit.
      Hope this helps get your creative juices flowing!

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