Board and card games are often a family favourite. They’re a great way to learn and practice skills like turn-taking, memory, planning, problem-solving, and, let’s be honest, conflict resolution. Here are some ideas for modifications for board games and card games to make sure everyone gets a turn.
If your child has trouble shaking and releasing (letting go) dice, pop them in a cup with a handle they can hold onto. Your child can then shake and roll the dice on their turn. Sometimes a thin cylinder container (e.g. Berocca container) works well too
If your child is practicing their switching skills, consider purchasing a switch-activated spinner to use as a dice – it is fun for the whole family
Attach a thick pipe cleaner loop to the top of your child’s game piece to make it easier to grasp
Count out loud as you move the game piece, and your child can call out to tell you to stop
Put soft velcro on key features of the game board to give a little extra tactile feedback e.g. on the snakes in Snakes & Ladders
See below for an Aided Language Display for a board game.
Use a card holder. Place your child’s card in the holder; > If they can reach and grasp the card, spread the cards a little to help them target accurately to the one they want > If reaching/grasping is really tricky or not a goal of the game, your child’s teammate can scan through their cards for them to select the one they want. Point at their first card, the child can indicate yes or no. Continue until the child has chosen the card they want to play.
If your child uses eye gaze, use a Perspex board so they can look at the card they want
Use a voice output device for frequently used phrases like ‘Go Fish’. A step-by-step button is a good option for this
If your child is practicing using two hands together, have them shuffle the cards or even mix them up on the table then gather them back together. This is a great way to practice bilateral hand skills within a functional task
Consider laminating the cards so they’re easy to wipe and maintain.
If you would like more information on any of these suggestions and for more ideas on modifying board games or card games, please speak with your child’s therapist or email email@example.com