Teach Through Games: Race to the Roof

Teach Through Games: Race to the Roof

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: Race to the Roof is a fantastic game from Ravensburger that focuses on multiple language and visual perception skills. Players take turns rolling the die, then moving their pawn across the board. If you roll a six, you get to pick up and Object Card, then move your pawn to the room with the pictured object. The first one to get to the attic window wins the game!

Skills & Modifications: This game is very simple to modify to meet your learner’s unique needs. See the Snapguide below for information on how I shape gameplay to meet the learner’s current level of skill.

Check out How to Shape Gameplay for Race to the Roof by Sam Blanco on Snapguide.

Expressive Language/Intraverbal Skills – The materials included in this game provide lots of opportunities for tacting nouns, adjectives, and verbs. You can modify your questions and instructions based on your learner’s current level of skill with expressive language.

Scanning/Seek and Find – At its root, this game is all about scanning. The game does have one visual clue on each Room Card to show where objects from the Object Cards are located.


The object that correlates with an Object Card is somewhere in the space above the red circle. I usually don’t share this information with my students, though, instead prompting them through questions to find the correct room, such as “What room do you think you might find a hair dryer?”

Matching – I love that this game requires learners to match an object to a picture, especially because the object is a different size on the Room Card than it is on the Object Card. Many learners with autism and other developmental delays may struggle with finding the match in the room because there is so much visual information on each Room Card. If your learner is having a great deal of trouble with this, then they may not yet be ready for this game.

Counting – Many young learners are not yet ready to use one-to-one correspondence in the context of moving a pawn across a gameboard. If your learner does understand this concept, this game is a great way to practice it. If your learner really struggles with counting but you still want to work on other skills using this game, then modify the game as described in the Snapguide above.

Picture Comprehension/Describing Pictures – If my learner really loves the materials included in the game, I may remove just the Room Cards and ask them to describe what is happening in the picture. The illustrations on each Room Card provide a lot of detail, including opportunities to describe the pictures using both nouns and verbs.

Prepositions – For learners who have mastered receptive identification of prepositions with objects, you may find this game useful for generalizing the skill to pictures. The pictures provide possibilities for practicing “on,” “next to” or “beside,” “under,” and “behind.” However, the pictures are small and contain a lot of visual information, so you may need to generalize to less challenging pictures before trying it out with these.


For the first image you could ask questions to prompt answers using prepositions, such as “Where is the phone?” (“on top of the table”) and “Where is the girl sitting?” (“next to her grandma”) or “Where is the cat?” (“beside the trumpet”).

Extending the Lesson: While your learner is not present, take several pictures of different objects in your house using your smartphone. Then, show a picture to your learner and have them locate it in the house. If you want to make the game more challenging, take a picture of just  part of each item.

Pros: I can’t say enough about how much I love this game. It’s easy to modify, motivating for most of the kids I introduce it to, and there are so many skills you can practice with it!

Cons: The only con I can think of is that there is only one Object Card for each room, so it’s possible you may want to create some of your own cards to vary the game after you’ve played several times. That being said, I love that the rooms are arranged differently for each game, which increases the replayability of the game.

racetotheroofCost: $21.99 You should invest in this game if: you are looking for fun games to work on scanning, you are seeking engaging games for practice language skills, or you have a young learner.

ABLLS: A10, B5, G4, G7, G13, G35, K15

VB-MAPP: Tact 6, Tact 8, VP-MTS 6, Tact 12, Tact 14

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