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TACKLING TECH: Interactive PDF Board Games!

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

No Tele-SLP using a virtual platform wants to play board games virtually when losing game-pieces and places is inevitable and when having to alternate between an app for a spinner and the game board. Tackling Tech: Interactive PDF Board Games. Each of these issues results in lost therapy time, which would cause a Tele-SLP to move away from using game boards as a positive reinforcer.

Apparently, the key to game board playing in teletherapy is buried in the Adobe Reader app under the FREE "Comment" tools. Who would've thought to look there? Keep reading, but only if you're ready to have your world turned upside down!

Child Playing Computer Game

STEP 1: Open a PDF Gameboard in Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader is a FREE app available for download HERE, but it's probably already on your computer. Already on your computer? Open up a PDF game board using Adobe. If you don't already have something, you can find a couple of FREEBIES in my TpT store.

STEP 2: Add Shapes as Game Pieces

Here's where it gets a little tricky, but follow these steps. If you'd rather see a video than read instructions, check out the video below...

For iMAC or PC:

  1. Click on the "Comment" Tab (Also available under View>Tools>Comment>Open)

  2. Select the Shape Tool on the Comment toolbar

  3. Select a shape (I like the Oval or Cloud) and draw it on your game board

  4. Change color by selecting the white circle on the toolbar (default is no color)

  5. Change border color and line thickness by selecting the lines on the toolbar > then settings icon

  6. Repeat until you have the desired number of game pieces

*Disclaimer: I do not have a PC computer, however, I have it on good authority that these directions will work for using Adobe on a PC as well.

STEP 3: Play a Game

Now you're wondering where the dice or spinner is. Bad news. I've yet to discover how to insert animate dice or spinners into a PDF. However, here's a couple of options:

I typically use the spinner on because it's quickly customizable. Once you've rolled the dice or given the spinner a spin, select your arrow tool and move the pieces the desired number of spaces to begin playing.

You have two options when using spinners/dice in separate applications:

  1. Use a split-screen view so that students can see both the game board and the spinner.

  2. Flip between screen-sharing only the game board or spinner at one time.

  3. Screen-share only the game board and spin yourself, telling the students what they received.

PRO TIP: Open up multiple PDF NO PRINT materials with your game board to flip between stimuli and reinforcer.

If you have your NO PRINT language or articulation materials pulled up in Adobe as well as your game board and flip back and forth between your game board and materials quickly for efficient, effective, and entertaining speech therapy! This is a great option for MIXED group therapy or your typical single skills group. See the video below for this tip in action!

Now you're ready to elicit speech & language targets with intensity and interest.

-Angela C. Hancock, MSP, CCC-SLP

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