Tuesday, 1 May 2007

I can...play board games!

Kids love playing games with their family and friends.  Try adapting a popular game so that kids who use Augmentative Communication can increase their participation. We have chosen Don’t Spill the Beans® by Hasbro to provide you with some ideas on how you might adapt a game.  Think about the games you have in your class to see if students can take a more active role when playing.

Vocabulary Ideas:  To hear what kids really say when they play board games, invite a group of peers to play the game and make a list of what you hear.

Here are some ideas for general game vocabulary:
My turn
Move my piece please
No cheating!
Your turn
Roll the dice
This is fun!
I win
No fair
Whose turn?
Roll again
What number did you roll?
Pick a card
Do you want to play?
Can we play again?
Can I go first?
I quit
Hey, I was supposed to go!

Specific vocabulary for Don’t Spill the Beans® by Hasbro
Don’t spill the beans!
You spilled the beans!
Be careful
Try another one
He’s tipping
Can you put a bean on for me?
Put it to the right/left
You have more beans
Put it in the middle
This is easy
This is getting harder
I think it’s gonna spill
Watch out
You spilled them
It’s not my fault
Oh no!
It’s getting close!
I’ll get the beans out

  • Try making the communication display in the form of the board game or game character.
  • If there are specific characters on the board game, try colour photocopying the board and cut out the characters to use as symbols.
  • Make individual Picture Communication Symbols (PCS).  Kids can either point or look at the symbol they want.
  • Make or buy oversized dice – easier to throw and to see
  • Use a wooden playing card holder or Playdoh® rolled out to hold the cards 
Light Tech Ideas 
Sequential Message Device: You can record a variety of phrases that allow a student to comment or ask questions about the game. For example:
  • Who’s winning?
  • Is someone cheating?
  • Is it my turn yet?
  • This is fun!
Simple voice output devices: Create communication overlays based on vocabulary needed for the game. Use intonation to make the messages more meaningful.

High Tech Ideas
  • Most high tech devices will allow both recorded speech as well as synthesized voices. Try using recorded speech to make messages more expressive e.g. “I win!”, “No fair”, “Is it my turn yet?”
  • Try using scanned images of the characters in the game.
Resources for playing games: