AAC, Smartphones & Video Chats: Games We Can Play

Colorful, blurred screenshot of a Zoom meeting.

After what feels like a year of social isolation, we all need some new ways of interacting and engaging.  Families of AAC users might be craving some new activities that will inspire language – and fun!

Most of us have smartphones, but typical smartphone games leave us buried in our screens. However, there are games that inspire talking and thinking. At least the app store is one place we can visit without worry.

These games can be done individually, or in teams. Playing as a team gives you the chance to model words and navigation on the AAC device.  How much modeling you do will depend on the language skills of the user and newness of the AAC system.  Remember: When in doubt, model some more!

Akinator app icon

Akinator  – iOS and Android

Akinator can read your mind and tell you what character you are thinking of, just by asking a few questions. Think of a real or fictional character and Akinator will try to guess who it is.

Will you dare challenge the genie? And what about other themes like movies or animals?

The AAC user can choose the character and answer the genie’s questions. While largely receptive, this game gives you the chance to think about and evaluate the features of your favorite characters.  And it’s loads of fun!

Logo Game app icon

The Logo Game  – iOS and Android

Guess the names of thousands of popular logos from all over the world. Guess the logo and spell/find the answer. This game may be a hit for some AAC users who really like logos for their favorite stores and restaurants.  

Use Core Vocabulary to guess the Logo: Do we “eat”, “drink” or “buy” something there? If you can’t name the business, use AAC to describe what you “do”, “get”, “make”, “see” or “hear”. 

The communication partner can ask Wh questions: Where is that store? What do they sell? When do we go there?

Heads Up! app icon

Heads Up!  – iOS and Android

From naming celebrities, to singing, to silly accents — guess the word on the card that’s on your head from your friends’ clues before the timer runs out. Play one of the many categories, or create a category all your own.  Draw a new card simply by tilting your phone.

Use this game to ask questions.  AAC users can find core words on their device to give you a clue.  Don’t like the timer? Pull up a character and take a screenshot.  No need to hurry.

charades app icon

Charades!  – iOS and Android

Very similar to Head Up! Play with several people.  Hold the character card up to the AAC user’s head and they can ask questions about WHO they might be.  

94% app icon

94%  – iOS and Android

This game is similar to Family Feud. You are guessing the most common answers to a particular question. For example, if I say “Something you eat with your hands”, what do you think of? Hamburgers, or corn on the cob? The object of the game is simple: find 94% of the given answers. Think outside the box and work together to find the answers on your AAC device.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp app icon

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

This is the companion to the Nintendo game that has been super popular of late.  You talk to animals, trade goods, and set up a camp.  Let the AAC learner direct the action and answer the questions.  

Kahoot app icon


Create your own quizzes in seconds and play them anywhere, anytime.  Kahoot! unleashes the magic of learning. Download the app and  input a code to participate in a given game. 

Use Kahoot as a fun way to demonstrate learning for schoolwork. Create a family quiz night and see how much you know about each other. Work on WH questions. The AAC user can design the questions and run the show.  

If you don’t care about scores, the person who created the quiz can share their screen over a Zoom meeting and everyone can respond with their AAC.  

video chat screen with a woman on camera.

High Tech and Light Tech Combined

Speaking of Zoom meetings, there are other ways to play games when getting together over a Zoom call. If you have a weekly family meeting,or meet up of AAC users,  you can set a challenge for each Zoom gathering.

Edited: 05/05/20

Background image of Newcomb Hollow Beach on Cape Cod and woman looking wistful

We came up with a new Idea at our AAC Meetup today.  Our assignment is to bring the most creative virtual background we can find to our next session. Will it be a scene from a favorite movie, or a picture from the Mars Rover? I can’t wait to see what we all come up with!

Scavenger Hunt

 Give a clue as to what to bring to the next meeting. “I am thinking of something that you use to make a hot drink”. Compare all the answers at your next get together. 

Name, Place, Animal, Thing

Choose a letter of the alphabet and each team has to find a name, place, animal, and thing beginning with that letter. The first to finish wins.

Would You Rather?

This might take a little preparation, but stands to be loads of fun.  Come up with impossible questions: Would you rather swim in a pool full of peanut butter, or be covered head to toe in feathers? Would you rather do ten hours of homework, or have a test every day? The AAC user can combine Core and Fringe words to make their own questions.  

What games are you playing these days? What works over Zoom, what doesn’t? How can we break up the monotony of sheltering in place and get everyone talking? Let me know what answers you have come.

Want to chat with other AAC users online? Join us for an AAC Meet Up! Click on the link to find out more and register:

AAC Meet Ups


Connect with Tech logo

Are you someone in Pennsylvania who has a disability and needs a way to stay in touch? Have an iPad, or other tablet, to donate? Check out Connect with Tech:

Connect with Tech


Kathryn Helland

Kathryn is a certified speech-language pathologist and works with children and adults with complex communication needs. She has been with the TechOWL team since 2015 and is currently working on her doctorate. She would like to examine how to best support AAC users in higher education.

0 comments on “AAC, Smartphones & Video Chats: Games We Can Play

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.