Teach Through Games: Blink

Teach Through Games: Blink

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: Billing itself as “the world’s fastest game,” Blink is designed to have players quickly match cards by shape, count, or color. The first one to play all of his/her cards wins the game. My students love the game, it’s very easy to modify, and I have been able to use the materials to practice a wide range of skills. This may just be one of the best uses of $10 I’ve seen all year!

Skills & Modifications: Many of the students I work with are not able to play the game as designed. However, the materials are useful for teaching a variety of skills listed below. If I’m playing a modified version of the game, my goal is to quickly shape skills so the learner can play it as designed and enjoy the game with siblings or peers.

– Scanning – All players must scan the cards on the playing surface, the cards in his/her hand, as well as processing all information related to shape, count, and color. For learners who struggle with scanning, I may change the game so there is only one discard deck on the playing surface instead of two as described in the rules. I may also change it so that each player only receives 3-5 cards to start, with those cards spread on the floor. The goal is to quickly increase the expectations as the learner masters each step. A final modification I make for some learners who are not yet ready to play this game with speed or with peers is to create a visual prompt. This prompt is a simple piece of paper that lists “Shape, Count, Color.” I then prompt them through scanning all cards for matches by shape, then by count, etc. Again, the goal is to quickly fade the prompts, I try to use gestural prompts whenever possible, and remove the visual prompt quickly.

blink– Matching – This game is designed to make matching very fun. I use the same modifications described above for scanning to help my learners who may be struggling.

– Alike and Different – These cards can also be used to teach expressive descriptions of alike and different. I may hold up two cards and ask the learner to compare them. The learner can respond with a statement such as “They are both blue, but that one has two stars and this one has four triangles.”

– Playing with Speed – If your learner has mastered matching by shape, count, and color, and they are motivated by this game; then this is a great way to teach playing with speed. Many learners with autism struggle with games that require a quick pace and/or racing, so any game that combines previously mastered skills and a high level of interest is a good choice for practicing playing with speed.

– Seriation – For some learners, I use the cards as materials for practicing seriation. I am always looking for tools that I can use for practice and generalization of this skill.

Peer Play – This game is relatively easy to modify so that learners can enjoy it with peers. I may modify it by changing the rules so students are only matching cards based on one quality (such as matching only by color.) I can also modify it so that the player who is fastest has more cards than the player who places cards slowly.

Pros: Not only is this game easy to modify, but the materials can be used for teaching many other skills. This is a great purchase for a teacher!

Cons: The game is designed for just two players, so it may not be useful for you if you are seeking games for larger groups. However, it can be modified for larger groups by changing it to a turn-taking game in which players must draw a card if they are unable to make a match, and keeping the rule that the first player to play all of his/her cards wins.

Cost: $9.99 You should invest in this game if: you have young learners who are working on mastering and/or generalizing matching skills, you are a teacher who is seeking resources that can be used to teach multiple skills, or you are a parent searching for games the whole family can enjoy.

ABLLS: A10, B7, B25, R3

VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 5, Math 12

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