Originally published March 2018.
Here is a fun orientation game for younger O&M students! Preschool and/or kindergarten students should know the routes around his/her school. This game can be modified for a local business (such as Walmart), a mall or for simple sidewalk routes in the community. The student does need to be a safe, independent traveler for off-campus routes and should be familiar with the routes in order to travel routes independently.
The goal of the game – besides being fun – is to review familiar routes in random order. This game also encourages students to quickly plan their route and to walk fast. Be sure to encourage the student to walk quickly or he/she will not have time to open all the eggs!
For students who are braille readers, braille various destinations or clues to destinations. (Example: Office, water fountain, gym, kindergarten class, etc.) Cut each brailled destination into a thin strip; be sure to snip off the top right hand corner of each piece so that the student can easily orient the paper. (I recommend printing the destination above the braille, so you – the O&M – can easily read the destination if the student is an emerging reader.) Place one brailled clue and a piece of candy (such as an M&M or individually wrapped candy piece) inside each plastic Easter Egg. (If possible, use the Easter eggs that have the plastic piece that connects the two halves together – this type of egg is easier for a blind child to put the egg back together.) Place all the eggs in an Easter basket.
The student will choose one egg at a time. Shake the egg; if the egg rattles, then the student has not opened that egg. Read the destination or clue, determine the best route and travel to that route. The student is encouraged to take shortcuts and can determine which drinking fountain or other destination is closest to his/her current location. Once the student arrives successfully at the destination, he/she can have the candy. (Individually wrapped candy can be taken home, if desired.) Eggs that do not rattle have already been opened.
If the student is not a braille reader, place a small tactile symbol inside each egg. If the student uses tactile door markers, use that symbol.
Create QR codes and have the student use an iPhone or iOS device to read the QR codes. See the Community QR Code Scavenger Hunt post for details on how to create and use QR codes.
This game came be adapted for an indoor business location or sidewalk travel. Example: Routes within a business, such as Walmart, could include various departments such as the Pet Department, Health and Beauty, Shoes, and Lawn and Garden. Sidewalk travel could include the northwest corner of Main and Maple streets, name of a store along the route, or a familiar landmark, such as a bus stop. QR codes are ideal for community locations!
Teacher Hint: If the student does not have color vision, you can place the final destination (back to student’s home classroom or front door of the business) in a different colored egg, so that you can “encourage” the student to choose that egg last.
By Diane Brauner
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