If you’re looking for some board games for adults with intellectual disabilities, here are 10 great options to try on your next shift. Playing board games is a great way to pass the time on your next caregiving shift. Boardgames can help promote therapy goals you might be working on such as fine motor tasks, exercise goals, and learning goals too.
Things to Consider When Looking for a Board Games for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities:
There are many things to consider when trying to find an appropriate game for someone with a disability. Obviously if the person has significant physical disabilities, Twister might not be the best option if it’s going to make them more frustrated than it is happy. If the person you care for can’t play the game how it’s “supposed” to be played, think outside the box to consider what ways the game can be adapted so they can enjoy it too.
If you’re working with someone with physical disabilities who has gross motor/physical therapy/exercise goals during your shift, how can you adapt a game to make it meet those goals at the same time? Can you put the game up at a tall surface where they have to work on standing while they play? Can you put pieces around the room so that they have to hunt down the pieces before they play? Getting creative with the games, and thinking about them as more than just games can help your client have fun and work on goals at the same time!
If this person you’re working with is more cognitively impaired, look for games that don’t require a ton of math, counting, or reading. Games that are more visual and hands on might be a better fit if you’re looking for something to be “fun” rather than targeting some specific goal.
Twister is a great option for many different reasons. It can provide so many great learning opportunities for left vs right and colors. It’s also great for balancing and body awareness too. Since the overall concept of Twister is pretty straight forward, there aren’t a lot of rules that can make the game frustrating, and chances are it will be a fun activity that will get everyone laughing.
This game is great for working on fine motor skills! Everyone loves picking up the pieces and sliding them down the slots in the board. This is a great option because if the person can play it the “right” way that’s awesome, but if they also just want to have fun picking up the pieces and dropping them down the shoots, that works too!
Jenga is a fun option because the client can enjoy stacking and putting the pieces together, and playing the game/knocking it down. It’s a game that doesn’t need to be taken too seriously and works on great fine motor and coordination skills at the same time!
Trouble is a fun game that can help with working on counting while mixing in some fine motor skills as well. The nice thing about Trouble is that the dice inside the popper has the numbers written on it instead of the traditional dots, which may make the game more accessible to those who have a hard time counting all the dots on each of their turns.
Memory card games are a fun option for everyone. Because they come in so many different themes you can find a set that likely correlates with one of your client’s interests. If they like Disney, super heroes, or dinosaurs, there is likely something that will make them excited and motivated to play!
Candy Land is great because you rely on colors rather than counting to progress during each of your moves. It’s a great visual game for those who struggle with math and counting.
Some great card games you can play are Crazy 8s, Old Maid, or Go Fish. It might be best to invest in the card decks that are specific for these games. It can help make the games more visual and engaging for those who prefer to play that way. It can be much easier to say, “Do you have a red fish?”, than “Do you have any 8s?” for those who might struggle more with their numbers and processing all the information and small shapes on a traditional deck of cards.
Everyone loves playing Hungry Hungry Hippos right? Its perfect for fine motor skills, it’s fun and engaging, and it’s a game you can play 10 times in a row and still have fun doing it.
Don’t Break The Ice has to be as equally enjoyable as Hungry Hungry Hippos… You get to hit things! This game is great for working on fine motor skills, and especially hand strength when you have to get all the pieces back into the frame when you complete a round. This would be a great game option to put up high for someone to stand and play while you’re working on standing goals. They can have a break and sit when you’re putting it back together, and can stand again when it’s time to knock the pieces out.
Kerpunk is essentially a long plastic tube that you thread thin sticks through. once all the sticks are through, you pour a bunch of marbles down the tube so that they’re resting on the sticks. Players take turns pulling out the sticks and whoever ends the game with the least amount of marbles in their personal section wins! It’s another great game you can play several times in a row while keeping it fun and enjoyable.
These are some of our favorite picks for board games during a caregiving shift. If you have ones you love, let us know in the comments below!