December 5, 2023

Structured and unstructured the game may be difficult for students with special needs. If a student is unable to independently play with toys in structured free time, structuring the activity and then fading out the supports is a great strategy.

Why is gaming important?

Play is an important skill to learn for development. The benefits of using play in the early childhood classroom have many benefits:

  • Social interaction with os
  • Focusing attention
  • Respecting boundaries
  • Veer
  • Keeping rules
  • Build trust
  • Realize what the world looks like
  • Develop life skills
  • Develop social skills
  • Increase language development
  • Increase communication
  • Caring for others
  • Physical and fine motor skills
  • Build cognitive experiences and connections.

Remember, break time is just… BREAK.

If your student is on recess, they should not be doing the work…. unless they choose it.

If the student enjoys the visual support of the game and chooses it for recess, then he can certainly do it… but if he wants to play with Mr. Potato head by stacking pieces… that’s his free time to do that. We do not structure student breaks or create rules for free play.

How to learn to play with specific toys

Many toys have a number of standards for how to play with them. If students are not developing these gaming skills by watching others, visual support is helpful. Here are some ideas for visual support for play with specific favorite toys.

How to use Play visual support

Support students with IEP goals related to play and increase student independence, language and social skills.

This resource focuses on specific language related to each play skill, making it a great resource for special education and speech therapy.

These play visuals will give you specific skills to teach and collect data as you focus on play skills and IEP goals.

Methods of use

Allow the student to choose a visual to target a specific skill for each activity.

Show the student the 4 steps to complete the structured activity in the given order.

What is included in this resource?

Each game walkthrough contains 2 levels:

Level 1: Students move the velcro pieces to the number to complete the analysis task.

Level 2: Students can cut and paste a worksheet with steps that they can review after completing the activity at their leisure.

Where can I get them?

Play Visual Supports on TPT

Play Visual Supports on SSE

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