Age level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary
Description: Community is a fantastic cooperative game from eeBoo that gets kids thinking about what makes a community. It’s simple to set up, and the materials are beautiful.
Skills & Modifications: The instructions state that each player will choose a location and describe why it is important for the community. For some learners who are not yet able to participate in that level of conversation, I’ll have them state the location and describe what it is, what you might do there, or a time they went to a similar location. Another modification you can make is to put fewer locations in play, or, if you want to make the game more challenging, put more locations in play.
Matching – Community requires the use of higher-order matching skills to place roads correctly. In order to play this game, your learner must be able to complete basic matching tasks (such as matching pictures to pictures or objects to objects.)
Orientation – Each player must be able to look at their road tiles and orient them correctly to match road tiles previously placed on the gameboard.
Peer Play/Taking Turns – This is a fantastic option for peer play because all players are working together to achieve the goal of building the community. Players can share ideas and point out plays others may have missed.
Independent Play – Community includes instructions for two variations of playing independently. However, if your learner is highly motivated by the game, I’d suggest you use it for promoting social skills and language skills rather than independent play.
Accepting Mistakes/Errors – Players are bound to incorrectly place a road at some point during the game. If your learner struggles with accepting mistakes, this may be a great game for practicing skills related to appropriate behavior when a mistake is made. Because this is a cooperative game, the learner can immediately correct a mistake, ask for advice, or try other solutions immediately.
Geography/Map Skills – The game aligns well with social studies curriculums related to community. For kindergarteners and first graders especially, the game provides multiple opportunities for talking about locations in relation to one another and using geography terms to discuss the community. For one learner, I printed a compass rose and placed it next to the gameboard so we could discuss the game using the terms north, south, east, and west.
Pros: The materials included in this game are some of the highest quality materials I’ve ever seen for a children’s game. The gameboard and the backs of all tiles are made of non-slip material, which cuts down on frustration learners may feel if pieces keep sliding around on the board. For learners with autism, this game can also be great to play to talk about an upcoming visit to a location in the community, such as a trip to a museum or the post office.
Cons: No cons. I absolutely love this game!
Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: you are seeking fun ways to discuss community with learners with autism, you are seeking games that can be played by the whole family or siblings of different ages, or you teach kindergarten or first grade social studies.
Community was provided to me for free by the company eeBoo to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.