What can you teach with 72 plastic tiles?
As I’ve shared in past posts, it turns out a creative brain can tweak these tiles to teach just about anything – from genetics to family member names!
This latest post, shared by Tammy G. of the Fumbling Thru Autism blog, shares some fantastic ideas (and a great how-to description for all you crafty folks!) for modifying the classic Zingo! game to expand game play and support learning!
In my last post, I wrote about how to make easy turn-taking games easier. Now Beth and I play turn-taking games for hours every day. It is so wonderful to work on interaction and language development and have fun at the same time.
When given a choice of games, Beth always chooses Zingo. There is something uniquely fun about sliding that dispenser to eject the game pieces, matching the pictures, and then throwing up our hands and yelling (well, quietly yelling) “Zingo!” when we are done filling our cards. During the game Beth readily talks. I ask, “What did you get?” and she almost always answers.
Farm & Vehicles Zingo!
Lately I don’t even need to ask, she is commenting on her pieces without prompting. I also expand her language based on the game pieces. “What does the dog say?”, “Where does the bird fly?”, and “Where do you put a hat?” are just a few examples of ways we expand language during play. After running out of ideas to expand Beth’s language using the Zingo game pieces, I realized it was time to expand Zingo itself.
Below are two ways I have expanded Zingo by making custom made Zingo game pieces. I wanted to keep our original Zingo game intact so that we could still play the game, so I bought a second Zingo game (Zingo 1-2-3 numbers version, which we will use later when she is counting) to attach pictures to the game pieces.
Clip Art on Zingo Game Pieces
I bought JPEG clip art files from an artist on Etsy. Using Power Point, I sized the clip art appropriately and added text under each picture, then I printed out game boards and smaller images for the Zingo game pieces. Next, I cut out and covered the game boards with clear Con-tact paper and cut out the smaller images and attached them to the Zingo game pieces (I used clear Con-tact paper to attach the paper to the game pieces, but Scotch tape should also work).
Here are two sets of games I made with links to the JPEG files and my Power Point Templates:
Summer & Brown Bear, Brown Bear Story
Below you can find Power Point Templates to create your own boards and Zingo game pieces:
Another method is to buy stickers and put them on the Zingo game pieces, which is a great option for adding your child’s favorite characters to the Zingo game.
Here is a game set using Dora and Pooh stickers
If you want to reuse your tiles, be aware that some self-adhesive stickers adhere strongly, so it will be a lot of work to remove the stickers. Also, it was difficult to find stickers that were the right size to cover the whole original image on the Zingo game pieces. Therefore, for most stickers sets, I cut out each sticker to the appropriate size and stuck it on white paper, then attached the mounted sticker to a Zingo game piece with clear Con-tact paper (alternatively you could use Scotch tape).
Another option is to print the images on self-adhesive computer labels and attach them to the Zingo game pieces, but they might be difficult to remove at a later time.
Want to DIY?! Tammy has generously shared JPEG files for the 4 game boards and game pieces with instructions in this post, get crafting!