Visual Spatial Awareness Apps and Games

Visual spatial awareness3

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.

Tunnel Trouble pic1

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.

Tunnel trouble pic2

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.

Tunnel Trouble pic3

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 settings pic4Quick animated instructions are provided to the user to understand how the app works.

Tunnel trouble pic5 instructions

Tunnel Trouble is a fun app providing graded spatial reasoning tasks in a fun and animated game format. also has several other visual perceptual apps as Block A Doodle DoLine 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.

Tunnel Trouble pi6

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.

Bug Trails game

ThinkFun Serpentiles – recommended for 8-9 year olds. Match and link trails.

Spatial awareness game SerpentilesMany 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:

Tactus Therapy Apps such as Visual Attention TherAppy and Space Retrieval TherAppy provide both children and adults assessment and visual training.

Family Vision has an Apps for Visual Skills PDF list revised November 2012.

Apps such as Flow Free (available iOS or Android), Flow Free with Bridges or Word Search apps (for iOS or Android) provide visual perceptual challenges with ability to customize levels.

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. <…-a0125948684&gt;.

About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Education, Elementary School, Game, Visual Perception and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s