Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: Bugs Building is a fantastic twist on Jenga that is perfect for young learners. In this simple game, players take turns rolling the die, then removing a corresponding bug from the tower and placing it on top. The goal is to remove the bugs without toppling the tower.
Skills & Modifications: This is a game that I usually don’t modify. The one modification you can make is to remove the die to focus just on the peer play and motor skills. A second modification I have made with one student is to use the die to select the bugs and build the tower, then playing the game without the die.
Matching/Color Recognition – When played as designed, each player must be able to match the color on the face of the die to the color of the bugs in the tower. You may need to provide some gestural prompts, or have your learner vocally name the color on the die before having them pull the bug from the tower.
Motor Skills – I love this game for working on motor skills. Learners must be able to isolate a digit and only push or pull one bug from the tower. They also must be able to use a pincer grasp to pull the bug out completely. Many of my learners with autism struggle with using appropriate pressure or force with activities, and this is a great game for practicing those skills.
Accepting Losing A Game – If your learner is highly motivated by this game, it can be a great option for teaching how to accept losing a game. Some of my learners get frustrated when they cause the tower to topple, but enjoy the materials enough that they learn the skills necessary to respond appropriately to losing a game.
Peer Play/Taking Turns – I like this game for peer play and taking turns because turns are relatively quick and the game is active. Many of my students are able to maintain attention between turns.
Pros: The game is fun and simple. Also, many of my learners with autism enjoy activities where a tower topples or items fall down, so this can be a highly motivating game to encourage peer play.
Cons: No cons for this game.
Cost: $10.00 You should invest in this game if: you are seeking entertaining games for working on fine motor skills with young learners, looking for fun games for family night, or need games that can be played with children of varied ages/skills.
ABLLS: A10, G13, K15, Z9
VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 2, VP-MTS 7, Tact 11