Games Students with Disabilities Play

Like many teachers, I find that games can be a great way to provide students with disabilities lots of practice in academic skills while having fun.  I also find that games are activities that do not require adult mediation - your students will keep each other accountable.  For skills that your students may still be mastering, you can probably find a typical peer in a later grade who would be more than happy to play the game with your students.  So, games provide a double benefit:

  • Practice in the skill while having fun. 
  • Practice in interacting appropriately with peers - social skills, in other words.

This is my little "One Stop Shop" for all the games I have created, and will continue to grow as I add new games!

A board game to practice operations, addition and subtraction. Websterlearning

First, of course, are games to support skills.  This gives you suggestions for games you can create, as well as the resources that are already available for you.   More »

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Games to Support Social Skill Goals

Kids learn from each other. Safe Kids Kansas

Then, of course, there are also lots of social benefits for children with disabilities.  It creates a fun atmosphere to learn new skills.  It gives them lots of opportunities to flex their game playing muscles and spend time in a positive way with their peers.  You may also want to pair games with your social skills curriculum.

A Fishing Game for Math
Fishing with a magnet. Websterlearning

 The good old fishing with magnets game is just as much fun now as ever (even though it is not electronic.)  Have children fish for math facts, and let them keep the fish that they can answer.  Then the child who has caught and kept the most fish wins.  For children with emerging skills, just naming the number on the fish might be enough.  More »

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A Simple Christmas Board Game

A Christmas Board Game
Santa's Counting Adventure. Websterlearning

Introducing turn taking while at the same time helping students understand numbers.  This simple board game can be adapted for any time of the year, by finding a them that goes with figurines or action figures you can find at the dollar store.  Add a die and you students will gain experience counting and moving across the board.

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Games for the Magic Back Pack

The back pack is adorned with bright toys, glitter and ribbon. Websterlearning

The magic back pack was a tool I created for my primary autism classroom.  There were tongue depressors with students names for turn taking.  Prizes for games were inside (Okay, candy--but only for those who won bingo or other special games.

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Halloween Rumble - a Math Operations Game for Emerging Mathematicians

A board game to practice operations, addition and subtraction. Websterlearning

This game uses dice and cards:  the students roll the dice to chose a space, and then pick a card to add or subtract the number on the card.  They get to stay on the new space if they get it right.  Make ten frames available for them to do the math.  Lots of practice will hopefully help your students gain some fluency in math skills.

A board game for Christmas that supports "counting on" as an addition strategy. Websterlearning

 Counting On is an addition strategy that should help your students gain some fluency in addition.  It is one of several strategies that the Common Core State Standards wants emerging mathematicians to master.  In this game, the students move their pieces by throwing dice, and then spin the spinner to a one or a two:  when they count on the number in the space where they landed, they get to stay.  More »

a cube for playing a social skills game. Websterlearning

This game helps students with limited communication to practice making verbal requests.   It would be a great game to play with students with communications challenges.  You can differentiate the way that students play:  for students that have little communication skills, they can hand a picture of the item when named from the cube.   For students with better skills, they may need to ask for the item in a complete sentence; "May I please have a piece of pizza?" More »

A measuring center in a shoe box. Websterlearning

Games have a place in learning centers, for sure!  I always made a game a learning center, either for math or reading.  This center is in a shoe box, a great way to store and distribute your learning centers and learning activities. More »