Being an in-home therapist means that my schedule for sessions need to be planned, because I have to pack all my materials with me. One thing that I always pack, is a game to play. Games are a great natural way to teach skills in a fun context. I believe that any game can be adapted and played with anyone. Here are some simple was for adapting classic games.
One of my favorite games is Candy Land Castle Game. Candy Land Castle Game is a classic game, shapes come out of the castle and you match them on a gingerbread man. The game is great for working on matching and taking turns, but you can also adapt it. The individual could label the shapes, tell 3 things that are that shape or color in the classroom or count how many shapes are on everyone’s board.
Another classic game is Gone Fishin’. The purpose of the game is to collect the colored fish with a fishing rod. This game is great for fine motor skills. What makes this game difficult is using the fishing rod to get the fish. One way I adapt this game is putting the fishing rod away, and having the individual grab the fish.
One of my favorite card games is Memory. I love the game Memory because you can buy different categories or even make your own cards. If you are working on teaching sight words, animals, foods, vehicles or shapes, all topics can be taught through memory. Memory can be played in multiple ways, but if you are teaching classic memory, I have a game visual in my teachers pay teachers store to teach the skill. Another way to adapt the game is putting one match facing down and the other match in-front of the individual facing up. This then makes it a matching game for the individual.
My last game suggestion is Connect 4. Connect 4 involves putting red and yellow pieces into the game piece to make 4 in a row. This game can be adapted very easily in multiple ways. One way is cutting pictures or words out and taping them onto the game pieces or writing on the pieces with dry erase markers. The individual would have to say the word or picture before putting the piece in. Another way is just practicing taking turns and doing the fine motor of putting the pieces in, and not worrying about making 4 in a row. Also, on my teacher’s pay teachers store I have a visual for playing the game Connect 4.
Adding a game to your classroom schedule, in-home therapy schedule or just adding it to your night time routine can help an individual learn a variety of skills. When playing a game, think about how you can adapt the game for the individual, it may not be following the directions and that is OK.