Getting EVERYONE involved in AAC -- an inclusive treasure hunt

Mar 8, 2017

Using an augmentative communication app like CoughDrop means that you speak a little bit differently than most other people in the world. That's just the way it is.

But different doesn't mean less important, less interested, or even less able.

When it comes to AAC, there are MANY ways to integrate a speech device into everyday activities.

And once in a while, it might be a good idea to let AAC itself shine. In an environment where every learner is valued a little push toward understanding and acceptance can go a long way.

So we've crafted a St. Patrick's Day activity that can involve EVERY member of a family, class, or group in some fun. But it also allows AAC to take center stage.

The idea here is to get every person in the group working together, no matter how they speak. By allowing the app to communicate the instructions and clues to the group we hope to exemplify that communication through AAC is a powerful (and fully functional) way to share a message and help a person's voice to be heard.

But the activity is also meant to get students, friends, and family hands-on with AAC. We hope everyone surrounding an AAC user will better understand how an AAC app works and see that maybe it isn't really that different after all.

Note: CoughDrop is a cross-platform AAC app so it can be accessed on nearly any device. PLEASE do not require an AAC user to let others use THEIR speech device for this, or any, activity. You can easily reach the St. Patrick's Day Search board from any iPad, Android tablet, Kindle, Chromebook, laptop, or smartphone.

St. Patrick's Day Treasure Hunt

This activity will help all children get acquainted with the idea of AAC and will give them the chance to work together as a team to hunt down a treasure (you'll have to provide your own treasure...sorry about that).

  1. Find the St. Patrick's Day Search board through this link.

  2. Print a copy of the main board by opening the drop down menu under "more" at the top of the page and hitting "print board." (Choose "print just this board" rather than the whole board set.)

  3. Cut out the needed button pictures to place as clues for the treasure hunt.

  4. Place the clues as follows:
    a) library or bookshelf (place "pinch" picture here)
    b) bathroom (place "rainbow" picture here)
    c) drinking fountain or sink (place "clover" picture here)
    d) kitchen or cupboard (place "snake" picture here)
    e) television or screen (place "magic" picture here)
    f) mirror (place "gold" picture here)
    g) teacher desk or home office (place "treasure" here)

  5. Use an iPad, tablet, Kindle, smartphone, or another wireless device to allow children to begin the treasure hunt.

  6. Press "start" to access the voice instructions and the first clue for the treasure hunt.

  7. Once children have traveled to the place designated by the clue they will find the picture you placed. If they press the button containing that picture, they will receive a new clue letting them know where to go next.

  8. When you complete the final clue, share the treasure!!

Additional Suggestions:

  • Work to model core vocabulary as you complete this activity. You might include phrases like:
Let's read the instructions. Come on, let's go! Off we go! Where do we go now? There it is! It is right there. Can we make it there? Good job! We did it! Where is it? Can you read it? Get it off of there so we can go. That is far away. [more helps on modeling core vocabulary here](
  • Take a few minutes after the activity to allow children to use AAC to tell you what they thought of the treasure hunt. Use a board like this one to choose descriptive words they can share. CoughDrop Core Okay Board (Be sure you hit the blue "speak mode" button at the top of the page to get the app talking.)

Good luck, and have fun!

Melissa DeMoux

Former CoughDrop Director of Marketing and Support -- worked with AAC communicators & teams