Board games can provide opportunities for literacy, numeracy, communication, and social skills instruction. In order for students with special needs to access these games, we have to adapt the materials.
When Amanda told me that she bought 2 Don’t Wake Daddy game boards, I was excited to see how they could be adapted for our students. Unfortunately, the theme song from the 90’s TV commercial was stuck in my head the entire time.
Continue reading to see how we adapted Don’t Wake Daddy. This posts contains a free PowerPoint download and ideas for communication opportunities while playing the game.
The first board was adapted with 3-D materials. I glued pipe-cleaners in between each space on the game to visually and tactilely separate them.
Foam hole-punches were added for students to work on rational counting in addition to number identification.
The clock was adapted using a plastic bottle top, hot glue, and cardboard. The Pixon symbol for push was placed on top of the button, creating a great opportunity to teach a core word (but not the only one you can use in this activity).
The adaptations below were made to help students keep track of how many times they have to hit the clock next to Daddy. This can be done in pairs (one student keeps track of how many times their partner hits the clock). The clock can get stuck if hit too quickly so this also helps the student slow down.
The second board was adapted for students with vision impairments. Everything outside of the game board is covered in black felt. This board has pipe-cleaner outlining the spaces and Wikki Stix dividing them. The purpose of covering the board in black was to minimize the visual information students have to process while playing.
Another adaptation for students with visual impairments are high contrast number cards. I placed hard velcro dots over the dots on the back of each card for tactile input.
I also made a book of visual direction\choice cards for the teacher or therapist to show to students throughout the game. Here are a few examples:
I also made adaptations in PowerPoint. Spinners can be made by animating a pie chart . This allows for students with fine motor difficulties to spin using direct select on a touch screen surface or using a switch interface. You could also use any switch adapted spinner such as this one from Enabling Devices. The benefit of creating a spinner in PowerPoint is the ability to add sound. Click the image below to download the PowerPoint.
Once the student spins, they may land on a square with a picture of something that might wake Daddy. The Pixon symbol for hear-listen is hyperlinked to a page with all of the potential noises that could wake Daddy.
I copied and pasted the Pixon symbols for each item from Boardmaker into PowerPoint and used SoundBible to find corresponding sounds. Find out how to use SoundBible here.
Once the audio is inserted into PowerPoint, drag it off to the side of the slide.
While the speaker icon is selected, go to the animations tab and select Trigger. This will allow you to select the picture you want to trigger that sound (e.g. selecting the picture of the picture frame triggers the sound of breaking glass). Once each of the pictures triggers a sound, your Animation Pane should look something like this:
Select the chart below to learn a few ways you (the communication partner) can set the stage for communication opportunities throughout the game.
We enjoyed adapting this game and am happy to say that it was recently adopted by a class of 8-12 year old students.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas to begin adapting board games for the children you work with!