Calling Games

Calling and Greeting Game on an Ikea Swing

In this game, the parents are modeling how to call while their son enjoys the show!

Photo by Ron Lach from

Children will often imitate the gesture of cupping the hand by the mouth!

Children also learn the melody of calling and sing it even when they cannot yet say words!

Calling Comes with a Hand Gesture

Calling Games include the element of calling out loud for someone or something. It can be visually distinctive when the hand is cupped by the face. The distinctive melody of calling and the magic of being able to call to someone who is out of sight and have that person appear makes calling a great communication skill to target. For safety and emotional reasons, it is often important that a child with limited language understand and respond when called and is able to call for a parent when that parent is needed. Below are some calling game ideas:

Calling Beany Baby Animals or Dad: You can make a calling game of calling beany baby animal, or a family member. Have the toy animals or person you are calling wait to be called on the other side of a door and then, when called, open the door and say HI !

Calling Puzzle Animals: The structure and the sensory fun of the game is enhanced by clicking the wooden pieces on the table.

1) Clear beginning: Call an animal with a sing-song calling melody

2) Click the correct animal on it's journey to the puzzle

3) Clear ending to the game is when the puzzle is completed.

Tips for Calling Games:

  1. Use the exact same words (e.g. call the cow a "Cow" every time, not "Here cow" then "Bossy Cow") and the exact same calling melody when calling the puzzle animals.

  2. When you first play this game, let your child put the last puzzle piece in after you have done all the other pieces. If your child does not do it, don't say anything, just put the puzzle in and do the game again another day. Gradually, ask your child to put more pieces in, perhaps the last two pieces with you doing all the calling, then more and more as your child seems interested and willing to participate

  3. You can use this same calling pattern to call anything or anyone. After your child learns this melody, calling will be a familiar verbal pattern. Use the calling melody to call people.

Assistive Tech Tip: You may easily be able to use talking buttons when playing calling games by programming the button/s to call, whoever you plan to call. With double sided tape, put a picture of whoever you are calling on the button I have even trained a dog to come when called by a child using a talking button.