I wanted to share a fun activity/game I like to play with my students. It’s called Mini Muffin Match Up and it’s by Learning Resources. This activity is great to target so many different skills. Not only can you work on color and number concepts but also turn taking, following directions, requesting, and using AAC systems all while having fun! There are lots of different ways I adapt this activity to meet the needs and goals of my students. Here are a few ways I have used this activity with my younger students. This is definitely a must have activity for me!
How to Use It
At the beginning or for my lower functioning students I use this activity to simply sort by color. You can modify the number of colors you use while sorting. At first you can place two different colors in the muffin tin and have the student work on sorting by 2 colors. You can continue to add in different colors so the student can work on sorting by 3, 4, 5, or eventually all 6 different colors. I model those different color words while we work on sorting. You can also model “in” every time the student places the muffin in the tin.
This activity can also be used to target receptive language skills and have the student work on following simple 1-2 step directions. Place the colors in the muffin tin and then provide a direction. At first I might hold up 2 muffins and tell the student which color to select. For example, “take red” or “find yellow”. Then the student can select the correct color and place it in the muffin tin. Again, you can continue to add a larger visual field of muffins and provide a direction to the student. Use the color dice if your student needs the added visual support with the color word.
Make it Harder
To make it more challenging you can add in number concepts such as “take 2 blue” or “take 3 red”. You can have your student select 2 different colors. For example, “take a blue and a red muffin”. You can modify the directions depending on what skills you want to target with your student. I also use this game to work on turn taking. If I have 2-3 students in a group I have the students request “my turn” each time either verbally or using an AAC system. Then the student can roll the color dice if you are working on colors. The student gets to find that color muffin and place it in the tin. Now the other student gets to roll the big dice, select the correct muffin color, and place it in the muffin tin.
If you are working on number concepts or answering “how many?” have the student roll the number dice and then count out that many muffins. You can have them select whatever color muffin they want but just make sure they count out the correct number of muffins to place in the tin. This is often a hard concept for my students because they don’t stop at the number they are supposed to select. They like to just keep taking all the muffins. I have the student count the muffins out on the table first and then place them into the muffin tin.
I have some students who I have roll both the number and color dice. Now the student has to select the correct number of those specific color muffins. This makes it a little more challenging. I also really like to use this activity with students using PECS books or beginning to use different AAC devices. You can incorporate the AAC device with any of the previously mentioned ways to use this activity. For example, the student can roll the dice and then have to exchange the correct color PECS symbol to receive that color muffin.
My students also request different colors or numbers of muffins on their AAC device. They can just find the color such as “red” or work on expanding their utterances on the device such as “2 red” or “red muffin” or “I want red”. I love getting activities that have multiple ways to adapt them and use to target so many different language concepts.