Building Social Skills Through Game Night

By Courtney Tabor-... on Dec 13, 2016

Ready for some fun? Game nights are a fantastic way for students to build social skills, without feeling like it is work.


  • Accessible multi-player board or card games


  • This activity can be done at home or at school. To incorporate this into a student’s home life, parents or caregivers can pick a night to designate as family game night. Alternatively, instructors can organize a class period or after-school activity as a time for multiple students to meet to play games together as a group.
  • Allow for the opportunity to play several types of games, including:
    • Games that rely on luck vs. games that require some element of strategy
    • Games where individuals compete vs. games where teams compete
    • Games the student does well at vs. games that are somewhat challenging
  • Playing games is a great opportunity to practice many social skills, including but not limited to:
    • Cooperation
    • Winning/losing
    • Decision-making
    • Conversation skills
    • Understanding humor
    • Understanding how to relax
    • Rule following
    • Turn taking


  • This activity also encourages students to work on recreation/leisure skills and compensatory skills.
  • Some games that are not readily accessible can be made so through strategies like tactile labeling.
  • Games can be developed or adapted based on a student’s needs. Students can practice sensory efficiency, for example, by taking turns with another student in identifying smells, sounds, or objects by touch. 

Collage of students playing Farkle


Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.