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!

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Games to Support Skills for Children with Disabilities

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.  

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A Fishing Game for Math Skills

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. 

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The Santa "Counting On" Board Game

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. 

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A Social Skills Game for Making Requests

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?"

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Learning Centers to Support Skills

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.