Visual perception is often a skill that OT’s assess and work on with children and adults. There is also a high correlation between visual perception and mathematic abilities, skills students need to achieve in school (The Free Library. N.p., 22 Sept. 2004. Web. 26 Jan. 2013). Here is one app that works on basic spatial awareness involving spatial orientation and rotation as well as a few manipulative “hands on” games that would reinforce those skills primarily geared to children. See additional links to resources for adults at end of this post.
Tunnel Trouble app (.99) available for iPad and Android devices is a fun, progressive game requiring spatial reasoning. Created by Busythings, this app provides 25 progressive challenges of a creature navigating to a destination safely.
Tapping on the pieces that need to be rotated allow passage of the creature to his destination. An unlimited number of rotations can be made.
Upper level challenges provide an additional level of difficulty, presenting a monster that will interfere with the journey unless captured using spatial reasoning strategies.
Twenty five levels of progressive difficulty are available however any user can go back to any level to repeat a level. Tunnel Trouble does not enlist users. If needing to track progress of different users, annotating individual users or taking a screen shot of the users last level would be necessary.
Options within the app are limited. Music and sound effects can be turned off in the settings and the app progress can be reset to start again.
Tunnel Trouble is a fun app providing graded spatial reasoning tasks in a fun and animated game format. Busythings.com also has several other visual perceptual apps as Block A Doodle Do, Line Up , Shape Up and Tanagranimals.
It reminds me of an educational matching game called Squiggles (by Creative Toys) that is a bit harder that I have used on occasion with students who have more advanced spatial reasoning skills. Probably not quite as fun as Tunnel Trouble, but Squiggles matching game is a hands on activity that students could physically manipulate the pieces to assemble the continues track. Certainly both electronic and manipulative activities help develop visual perceptual skills but electronic apps may lack the manipulative skill development children need.
Here are just a few available manipulative (3-D) games that also might be considered to work on spatial reasoning skills with a hands on approach:
ThinkFun Bug Trails for ages 6-9 year olds. Match and link bug colors.
ThinkFun Serpentiles – recommended for 8-9 year olds. Match and link trails.
Many fun choices of games and activities available pending the need of your student. For those students who have significant motor challenges where manipulative tasks are difficult, touch screen interaction may allow them access to tasks otherwise not available to them.
Looking for visual spatial awareness apps for adults? Consider these resources:
Family Vision Care.org has an Apps for Visual Skills PDF list revised November 2012.
What visual spatial awareness apps or manipulative activities are your favorites for developing visual spatial awareness? Please share!
“Are Visual Perception Skills Related to Mathematic Abilities in Second to Sixth Graders?” Web log post. The Free Library. N.p., 22 Sept. 2004. Web. 26 Jan. 2013. <http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Are+visual+perceptual+skills+related+to+mathematics+ability+in+second…-a0125948684>.