I love finding easy to implement ideas for my families at home. Whether you’re teaching completely virtual, a hybrid, or coaching families, utilizing activities that most households have materials for is so important! I never want families to feel like they need to go out and purchase a bunch of different supplies or toys when it’s time for a session. I also see a difference in the engagement level when children are able to take ownership in setting up a task rather than just being told to complete it. Here are three simple activities that you can extend and differentiate for your families!
Scrap Paper Language Sensory Bin
Do you have some leftover holiday wrapping or tissue paper? Honestly, I have been waiting to do this with my families since I finished wrapping my holiday gifts. Normally the leftover small scraps of wrapping paper would be frustrating but this year I kept thinking, “I have a task for that!” The materials you need are a basket or bag of some type (even a grocery store bag will do), paper scraps, and objects that target your child/client’s language goals. For example, maybe they are working on animals or the sounds they make, kitchen items like their cup, spoon or fork, or maybe you want to use some of their preferred objects. Have your child help you rip up the pieces of paper and add in the objects. Model how to take one out and label it (in whatever way the child is working on ie: via device, verbal, sound approximation, imitation). If you are using puzzle pieces they can label and then match using visual discrimination skills to the puzzle.
Penguin Fine Motor Task
It’s wintertime and to me that means vocabulary lessons around snow and winter animals! The template of this fun penguin activity is by Made for Me Literacy however, I wanted to adapt to families with limited printing capabilities. Materials needed can range from white and black paper, markers/crayons/Kwik Paint stix, and glue. Simply draw a rough outline of a penguin and model how to fill in the body with either ripped black paper or by coloring. You can make the snow around the penguin by using the white KwikStix, or crayon depending on what skill you are targeting. I also love the fine motor skill of ripping the paper into smaller pieces. I have found that this can be quite tedious to children ages three and under so be prepared for having some premade or having larger chunks to cover more area. You can also extend this activity by having your child request certain colors, “more”, putting the pieces “on” the penguin and so on!
Shape Matching Game
I recently saw this game online and was so excited by the response from my kiddos! It’s so easy to do with families because the parent really only needs a piece of a paper, a pen/marker, and any items the child is using already within the home! Simply trace a few of the objects onto the paper and model how to match them to the outlines while labeling. You can do this by categories (ie: foods, household items, or school supplies) or by specific objects the child is working on. You can also involve the child in tracing the objects if that is an appropriate task. Check out my video below to see the three ideas in action! Happy virtual learning!