Age level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School
Description: eeBoo’s Design Tiles are so unique, at first I wasn’t sure how to categorize it for the blog. Is it a game? A toy? An activity? The one thing I know for certain is that it’s fun. It includes 64 double-sided shapes and tray that allows your learner to explore and create patterns. The materials are durable and colorful, and allow for lots of opportunities to engage in visual play.
Skills & Modifications: Because Design Tiles is geared towards exploration, there aren’t too many modifications necessary. You may want to reduce the number of tiles available, or make sure that matching tiles are all turned face up. Otherwise, let your child explore on their own! (If your child with autism is not yet scanning and turning items over, they may not be ready for this activity yet.)
Symmetry – There are so many opportunities to create symmetrical designs with this activity. For learners who struggle with the sheer number of tiles that fit in the frame, you might want to consider modifying the activity by removing the frame (as pictured below.) Here, you can give the student just the four blue tiles, or all eight tiles and have them create a symmetrical design. If necessary, you can place the tiles on a piece of paper and draw a line of symmetry to guide them.
Matching – This game also provides plenty of opportunities for matching. If your learner wants to make patterns or specific designs, they must be able to scan the pieces for matching tiles. If they need help with this, you an always reduce the number of tiles within view.
Orientation – Design Tiles allows you to practice some basic orientation skills with your learner. First, you may introduce it my placing a tile in a way that clearly doesn’t follow the pattern (as pictured below) and ask your learner to fix it. But your learner can also learn a lot through exploring the materials on their own. I’ve watched several students place a tile, then pick it up and try it several different ways.
Fractions – I also love that this game allows me to introduce some basic fractions. I can introduce it casually, by making observations such as “you’ve made half the circle” or be more explicit based on my learner’s current level of skill.
Independent Play – If your learner enjoys this activity and explores the materials appropriately, this may be a great option for independent play. It’s also something you can add to an activity schedule if your learner with autism uses one to manage his/her leisure time.
Pros: Many of my students just loved this activity. The pieces are fun to manipulate. It’s a simple activity to do, but each learner introduces their own challenges and individual preferences to make it match their own skill level. Overall, Design Tiles is a great product!
Cons: The only con is also a pro: there are just so many pieces included! Careful clean up is necessary if you want to ensure you don’t lose any tiles.
Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: your learner enjoys visual play, you are seeking unique activities for independent play, or your learner likes to complete puzzles.
ABLLS: A10, A19, B5, Z4
VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 5, VP-MTS 6, VP-MTS 7
Design Tiles 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.