Age level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary
Description: According the instructions, “A crazy inventor has built dozens of robots, and he needs your help finding the perfect heads. Shake the Robot Randomizer to reveal a robot’s features, and then scan the robot heads on the board until you find the match.” This simple game is pretty challenging (even for adults) because there are dozens of robots to scan through.
Skills & Modifications: Many skills can be practiced with this fun, fast-paced game. Most of the modifications I use are visual modifications, which are pictured below.
- Body Parts Identification (for face, nose, mouth, and eyes) – For learners who have mastered both colors and body part identification, this is a great game for practicing quick application of these skills.
- Color Recognition – The gameboard for Robot Face Race is visually interesting, and for some learners, highly motivating. You can introduce the gameboard and practice colors by asking “Can you find a robot with a yellow head?” or prompting “Tell me about this robot.” You may want to use the same modifications pictured in the “Scanning/Seek & Find” section below if your learner struggles with scanning.
- Scanning/Seek & Find – This game requires each player to scan a wide range of information. There are 100 robots pictured on the board. For learners who are not yet ready to scan that much information you may want to visually block portions of the board. Below is are two samples of what that might look like. I frequently use this modification in conjunction with the modification listed for “Managing Information.”
- Managing Information – Each round, a player shakes the “Robot Randomizer” (pictured at right) to display the colors (face, eyes, nose, and mouth) of the robot you’re looking for. Some learners may struggle to remember all four pieces of information. For these learners, I introduce one feature at a time. For example, one player will shake the Robot Randomizer, then announce the ONE thing we are looking for, such as “Find a robot with a yellow nose.” Once my learner has mastered that, we move on to searching by two features, such as “Find a robot with a yellow nose and purple eyes.” When we play like this, I change the rules slightly so that the first person to find the robot places a robot token on the board. The first player to place all five of his/her tokens wins the game.
- Quick Responding/Playing with Speed – This game is all about speed. For learners who are strong with visual perception skills, I highly recommend this game for teaching them to play games with speed. Each round is fast, and each round is clearly defined.
- Accepting Losing A Game – For some learners, this is a good choice for teaching skills for handling losing a game because each round is very fast. If the learner doesn’t win the round, another one is starting immediately.
- Peer Play – I like this game for peer play because everyone plays simultaneously. Some of my learners with autism engage in stereotypy when it’s another player’s turn, but this game doesn’t allow for that because all players are constantly engaged.
Pros: The game is very easy to modify to meet your learner’s unique needs.
Cons: The box does state that the game is for ages 4 and up. I don’t have any preschool or kindergarten students who are capable of playing this game with peers, nor do I think it’s an appropriate game for 4- and 5-year-old neurotypical learners. This game really is perfect for second, third, and fourth graders.
Ideas for extending the lesson: Learners who enjoy this game may enjoy looking at Where’s Waldo books during independent time or with peers. I also love these Can You Find It? books put out by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These seek and find activities also work well as activities included in an Activity Schedule to promote more appropriate use of unstructured time for learners with autism and other developmental delays.
A second idea for extending the lesson is to have the learner shake the Robot Randomizer, then draw a robot that has the features shown (such as a robot with a green head, blue mouth, yellow nose, and purple eyes.) If you wanted to make it more challenging, you could include a die in the activity to determine how many of each feature the robot would have (such as three eyes.)
Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: you are seeking games siblings can enjoy together, you are looking for fun ways to practice visual perception skills with your learners, or you are seeking games that can be played for a short duration.
ABLLS: A10, C38, C47, G5, G13, K15
VB-MAPP: Tact 13, Listener Responding 11