Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: Spuzzle is a unique game that gets players racing to complete five puzzles first. It contains 4 sets of 5 puzzles which players are able to put together by matching the puzzle pieces to cards pulled on each turn. It’s simple to learn how to play and lots of fun for kids who love puzzles and visual activities.
Skills & Modifications: Your learner must be able to understand taking turns and complete simple 3-5 piece puzzles. Otherwise, there are minimal modifications needed to make this game accessible to players with autism and other developmental delays.
One common modification I make is to remove the Spuzzle cards and the Monkey cards so that learners are just using the puzzle completion cards. I then introduce the Spuzzle cards. When a Spuzzle card is pulled, all players yell “Spuzzle” and get to choose one piece to add to any puzzle. After learners are attending well to all players turns and following the actions required when the Spuzzle card is showed, I introduce the Monkey cards. When a player pulls a Monkey card, they get to choose one puzzle piece to remove from any players incomplete puzzle. For learners who struggle with flexibility, this can be a challenging action to accept.
Finally, for some learners I reduce the number of puzzles for each player and remove the cards that match the puzzles you removed (for example, if you removed the kangaroo puzzles, then remove all the kangaroo cards.)
Scanning/Matching – Upon pulling a card, the player must scan their puzzle pieces and match one to the picture on the card. Learners must have mastered basic scanning skills in order to be able to play this game, but this is a great activity for practicing higher-order scanning skills.
Puzzle completion – This simple game provides an entertaining way to complete puzzles. It’s great for practicing puzzle completion for learners who are just attaining the skill, but also wonderful for young learners who are highly motivated by puzzles in the first place.
Accepting Losing Your Turn/Flexibility – If a player draws a Monkey card on their turn, they have to remove one piece of his choice from another player’s puzzle. For learners who struggle with being flexible when things don’t go their own way, this is a great way to practice the skill of accepting losing a piece of the puzzle.
Peer Play/Turn-Taking – I love this game for peer play! Although everyone is working on their own puzzles, the pictures are identical, offering lots of opportunities for peers to help one another out by pointing out a piece they can use. For kids who love puzzles, this is a great opportunity to interact with peers.
Pros: This game is incredibly unique and addressess a skill set that many learners with autism and other developmental issues are strong in. Spuzzle also has a contract with Disney, so you can get a variety of themed versions to fit the interests of your learner. Finally, there are also instructions for a solo game if you are seeking independent leisure activities for your learner.
Cons: The game takes a long time to set up, so for learners who struggle with wait time, I suggest setting it up while the learner is engaged in a different task. Also, there are a lot of pieces and the game becomes unplayable if you lose pieces, so be careful during clean up to grab every single puzzle piece!
ABLLS: A10, B5, B15, G12, K15
VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 5