Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: The Picnic Game is an easy-to-play spinner game that The game, designed for 2-4 players, includes a picnic blanket, a spinner, and 4 plates, main dishes, vegetables, desserts, fruits, and napkins with utensils. Players take turns spinning the spinner with the goal of being the first player to gather a complete place setting for the picnic.
Skills & Modifications: The Picnic Game is a great game for young learners because it is simple to play and is easy to connect to real world activities. I rarely modify the game, but any modifications are listed below in relation to the skill being practiced.
Peer Play/Taking Turns – I love playing this game with young learners because it is simple, moves quickly, and allows for practicing taking turns. It’s great for working with young siblings of different ages.
Scanning/Seek and Find – The instructions state that the game box should be used as the “picnic basket.” Once a player spins the spinner, they have to find the correct item in the picnic basket. This is great practice for young learners with autism who have mastered basic skills. For some learners, I modified it so that the field of pictures was smaller. For example, if the learner spun and landed on “Drink,” I might pull out three drinks for them to choose from, or pull out one drink and other items that are not drinks to have them practice choosing the correct item for the category.
Expressive Language/Intraverbal Skills – The materials included in this game provide lots of opportunities for tacting (labeling) nouns and adjectives. You can ask questions during gameplay based on your learner’s current level of skill with expressive language.
Categories/Class – The Picnic Game is a great way to practice labeling categories related to food. The spinner contains five categories: main dish, fruit, drink, vegetable, and dessert. For some learners, I modified the game by adding other items to each category. I printed out foods/drinks that they were familiar with, laminated them, then added them to the “picnic basket” during gameplay.
Accepting Losing Your Turn – One of the spots on the spinner shows ants and says “Lose a Piece.” For learners who struggle with losing a game, this might be a good place to start with practicing appropriate behaviors related to losing a game or losing a turn.
Extending the Lesson: One of my favorite things about this game is that EeBoo included four ideas for game extensions, including going on a real picnic and instructions for an alphabet picnic game.
Pros: When working with learners with autism, I have a deep appreciation for any game that easily connects to real world activities and skills. This is a great example of just such a game.
Cost: $16.99 You should invest in this game if: you are working with young learners with autism, you are seeking games to work on skills related to categories, or you are seeking easy games to play with groups of young learners.
ABLLS: A10, C8, C11, C39, G2, G4, G17, G27, G29, K15
VB-MAPP: Tact 5, Tact 6, LRFFC 6
**The Picnic Game was provided to me for free by the company eeBoo to write about here at the blog. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.