Tactile Twister-The Hot Spot!

Contributed by: Amanda Kipple, M.A. Orientation and Mobility Instructor

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Goal: When I thought about modifying the classic game of Twister my main goal was to give all of my students a way to play a very visual game despite what their visual impairment is (and who doesn’t love a good round of Twister?!).  By using a variety of textures I initially thought it would be good exposure to feeling and describing different textures, in addition to left/right awareness and color identification as they are the premise of the game.  As I was sitting on the floor covered in blue fur and green astro turf from cutting out circles (there’s your warning that this is a messy project!), it dawned on me that this game can also be a great way to support the following concepts for students who are blind and have low vision:

-Spatial concepts

-Crossing midline

-Social interactions

-Body mechanics

-and more!

Appropriate for ages: In my opinion, all of them!  The game can easily be modified by adjusting the amount of instruction given.  For example, only using 2 colors, just hands or feet, only right or left, or even if it is just providing a surface for exploring the different colors and textures.  We recently played at a social gathering for our students and families and there were preschoolers to high schoolers with a wide range of vision and physical abilities all playing together.  It really gave our VI students an opportunity to partake in an activity that most of their peers who are sighted have experienced and it was pretty spectacular to witness!  The students also got a kick out of being the spinner and seeing their teachers play.

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 Materials needed:

-Classic Twister board game and spinner (I noticed there were several versions of the game now, but I chose to stick with the original)

-I bought 1/2 yard of the following materials and have more than half left…I think 1/4 yard is more than substantial: (Really any variation of these colors and different textures works-depends what your fabric store has to offer)

-Blue faux fur

-Yellow bumpy fleece-type fabric

-Red felt

-Astro turf (unavailable at the fabric store so I had to buy a big roll from Home     Depot)

-Permanent Fabric Glue (I used Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive)

-Scissors

-Protractor

-Thick, dark marker (sharpee worked well)

-1 piece of think construction or card stock

-Braille label sheet

-Brailler

*If playing outside you may also want a thick blanket to put under the mat when playing*

 How to construct:

 Use protractor to create a 7-3/8” diameter circle on thick paper to create a stencil

-Trace and cut 6 circles of each of the 4 materials

-Apply glue to the back of the fabric circles and glue it directly on top of the game board circles

-Create braille labels for the spinner:

-4x each color: Green, Blue, Left, Right

-Left Hand

-Right Hand

-Left Foot

-Right Foot

-5x “Twister” (for game box)

-Using small scraps of each material, cut 4 small rectangles of each approx. 1” x 1/4”

-Glue rectangles above matching colors on spinner far enough away so the spinner does not contact them will cover some of the graphics on the spinner (see photo above)

-Play Twister and have a blast!  I used the following descriptions initially but found students enjoyed coming up with their own:

-Grassy Green

-Furry Blue

-Bumpy Yellow

-Smooth Red

*If you are looking for a less-labor intensive process I also thought about getting puff paint in each color and creating patterns such as stripes, zig-zags, bumpy/polka dots, etc. or creating large shapes.

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