My love for adapted books runs deep.  They can be so much more engaging than a regular board book.  I love using them for kiddos who do not seem to be as interested in flipping through pages or picking out books just yet.  There is something magical about removing the adapted pieces and matching them to the pages.  These books work on a variety of skills from basic print skills using structured boxes, vocabulary extension, labeling both expressively and receptively, sentence formation and the list goes on!  Deep in quarantine, I have become even more creative with increasing the use of the materials I already own.  Here are four ways to extend those already amazing  adapted books!

Extension Activity #1: Adapted pieces in sand

Time to break out that kinetic sand from the toy rotation! Or maybe you do not have sand, or extra beans at this time. You can use a box of old ribbon or material scraps or an old purse. Something to put those pieces in!  As you read each page, have your child or student reach into the sand to find the correct matching piece.  If your student needs less choices, simply put a few pieces in a time to make the matching field smaller. You can even make it errorless and only put one picture in the sand at the time.  It’s amazing how magical just moving the pieces to a different location can be!

Extension Activity #2: Non-identical matching objects in sand

Make those adapted pieces come to life with matching objects!  Of course, you might not always have an object to exactly match however, you never know! You can mix up the pieces and objects here if you want if you’re missing a piece.  This not only will help increase interest and engagement, it also works on a super important discrimination skill of objects to pictures!

Extension Activity #3: Animal Sounds in a cup!

Encourage language imitation by using an empty cup to make animal sounds in.  It’s way more fun to a child to hear their voice or an adult’s voice echo!  Make the sounds silly and loud then say, “your turn!” and hand them the cup to try and make the sounds!

Extension Activity #4: “I see” animals!

The next time you get an empty paper towel tube, save it for an extension activity of “I see”.  As you read through the adapted book you can hold the tube up to your eye like a telescope and say, “I see a…. COW!” Sometimes establishing attention and sustaining engagement is half the battle but switching up the routines with a simple paper towel tube can be powerful!  See the video below for all four extension activities!  You can find the whole list of adapted book series here!

Happy Extending!

Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed
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