Board games are an excellent way to bring families and friends together for fun and excitement. They can also be an amazing way to build valuable skills and promote childhood development.
For example, children with autism can benefit from sensory-friendly games to develop pattern recognition, socialization, and turn-taking. Here is a selection of the best board games for children with autism to learn and have fun.
According to abacentersfl.com, playing board games helps children and teens with ASD get into the habit of focusing on a goal. While developed for toddlers, Hello Sunshine is commonly used for children with autism-related speech or language challenges.
This interactive hide-and-seek game gets kids moving, helps with processing instructions, and promotes communication skills. The game is adaptable, making it more or less challenging depending on the player’s needs. Players take turns drawing cards with instructions about where to hide the sun plush toy. Then, the seeker must find the sun with help from the card.
Candy Land is a classic board game with brightly colored art and pieces. It’s intuitive and easy to follow for children of all ages. Players take turns selecting cards from a deck and moving their pawns along a colorful game board illustrated with various types of sweets. The first player to get to the end of the path and reach the “Candy Castle” is the winner.
Candy Land is beneficial for its simplicity and bold visual cues. It also has a clear start and end point, contributing to predictability. As many children with autism struggle when faced with unpredictable situations or change, this can be comforting.
Qwirkle is another fantastic game for building pattern recognition, strategic planning, and thinking.
In this game, players take turns setting tiles on the game board to form lines of tiles that share a common attribute, either color or shape (but not both). Players score points based on the number of tiles in each line, and the player with the best score at the end of the game wins.
Qwirkle reinforces positive behaviors such as sharing, taking turns, and teamwork, helping children with autism learn and internalize these skills.
What Did You Say?
What Did You Say is considered an excellent game for children with autism, as it focuses on non-verbal communication.
The game’s premise is to learn how to identify someone’s body language in different scenarios using photos of real children. The game also boasts a classic board game format with spaces that send people back toward the start, give them a free turn, etc.
Tsuro is a tile-laying game where players take turns placing tiles on a board to create a path for their stone marker. The idea is to be the last player with a marker on the board while avoiding having your marker fall off the edge of the board.
The gameplay is simple and easy to understand, with strong visual elements to keep children engaged while teaching them how to pay attention to detail. Social interaction and taking turns are valuable components of this game and bolster strategic thinking.
It’s important to remember that what works for one child with autism may not work for another. Try different games and see which ones are best for your child.