Communication and Interaction.
This page collates all the games and resources I have made/found to enhance the communication opportunities for all students but especially designed for AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication) users. This may be PECS (Picture exchange communication system) or Context specific boards for those students who have more speech. All are free but some will require software to edit.
Speech and Language therapy.
I am not a speech and language therapist but work in a specialist school where communications our primary focus. Most of these activities have been given the nod by our SALT and have passed the (essential) student test. I can heartily recommend Sarah Alderman’s blog for speech and language expertise and ideas.
I have a some thoughts on age appropriateness. A lot of these games and toys were designed for younger children than I work with. You can have this debate in your centre/school but I personally think engagement trumps the perception that these are too childish. I need tough toys that the students are drawn to. I need motivating sounds, colours and textures. I work hard to create a classroom that is clearly a secondary classroom, but I want the drawers to be full of motivating, fun tasks that I do not have to be too precious over. If my students like spinner or noisy shape tub then thats what I am going to use to grab their attention and make sure they want to engage with the planned learning and interactions (So there).
90% of these resources have been made using Widgit Software – either In-Print 3 or Widgit online (Free Trial Here). To edit any of these files you will need to invest in this.
To quickly and simply capture images for your resources you will need screen capture software – if you have a Mac the buttons Command+Shift+4 will allow you to draw a box around the image or more usually the part of an image you want this then saves to your desktop for use.
Alternatively Faststone screen capture is a free little program I use at work. The benefits of this is the smaller file size and ability to capture multiple images quickly i.e from google image search (filtered by license of course).
Gator Goal Game
I like this as it’s fully age appropriate and encourages gross motor skills and movement as well as communication and commenting opportunities. You can buy it here. Download a Zip of all Gator Goal Game Free Printable resources here.
First up is the Pop Up Game ( I stole this idea from a portage session then saw it for £5 in Sainsburys the link above is amazon.)
Using this board (download here – Pop Up Game attributes CSCB) your guys can request the number and colour of the figures they want. These then go into the matching hole, you can use the “oh no” comment if it gets put in the wrong one or if it falls on the floor when they bounce it out etc.
The Wobbly Chef
This seems to be discontinued I found mine for £2 in a charity shop so you may be lucky.
This unsteady chap has proven a hit with my class and is great for both communication and fine motor skills. I have to admit I have adapted with some blu-tac on the base as he is a little too wobbly on a hard school desk. Anyway the idea is you role the dice and try to balance the item on one of the plates. Download the PDF Wobbly chef AAC board. If you want to edit it you can use this file and open with In Print 3.- Wobbly Chef AAC resources. This includes medium and small PECS symbol grids for the game.
This strip I didn’t save for some reason so if you want to extend the discussion you can save and print the image.
The Yes/No Game
No additional resources needed for this. This was just a quick way to get extend the vocabulary of some of my guys. A game they could play with minimal staff support. A bit of a classic. All they have to do is ask questions – the other player then has to answer without saying yes or no.
So I printed the boards double sided and laminated (of course). 1 Side is possible questions if needed. The other is possible answers. You can of course then fade this out. We play with a buzzer to make it a bit more fun but a bell or even an app would do.
The Penguin Game.
Probably the most popular due to the water play element to it. This simple pile the penguins on the ice game (Buy Here) allows for PECS attributes (4) and stage 1/2/3. (Download the Small/Medium PECS penguin float game Grids Here)
Download the Penguin AAC board for free. It is well worth it!
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