With school out and your child at home with more time on their hands, you may be wondering what activities you can do with your special needs child that can keep them busy, engaged, and learning.
There is a tendency for people to think that the activities they do with their children must be something specifically educational, and that playing games and having fun must be out of the question. However, play is very important for the child’s development. It is one of the important way that children learn and develop.
Rather than considering if an activity will be educational, consider whether the child may find it interesting, and what they can learn while doing it. It doesn’t have to be math related, or reading related. Here are some suggestions:
Keeping a schedule
It will help the child tremendously if there is a schedule they can reliably follow every day. This schedule will allow the child to understand and anticipate upcoming daily plans and activities. Think of this daily schedule as an extension of the child’s e-learning or other related remote lessons. This will also help you in figuring out what you need to do ahead of time so you aren’t left at a loss for what to do. You can assign particular days for a major or extended activity that will keep your child engaged. You should even consider having your child plan this with you so they have a greater sense of ownership over these activities. Creating these schedules can be an activity unto itself.
Letting your child engage in arts and craft can be very beneficial for them. Making things can be fun, jogs their creativity, and can help them hone their fine motor skills and developing their other senses. Consider creating a visual arts book filled with paintings and drawings of different shapes, objects and colours; or even having parts of it be a texture book with different materials for your child to touch and feel. This can be stretched into a multi-week activity that your child will have and give them a sense of meaningful accomplishment. It will also be something you can keep for posterity
Story time and role playing
Don’t be shy about reading to your child even if they are older and can do it themselves. Children of all ages can and often do enjoy a good story, whether you read from classic children’s stories or you make your own stories up with your child. Making up new stories with your child may get them involved with the stories. If you let your child role play in these stories you and your child create together, they will not just have fun, but they will learn to focus and it will keep them engaged. Keeping a log of your story telling is also a good idea so you can continue at another time or day. It should be something you can extend over many sessions.
These activities may seem time intensive at first, but if you engage and enjoy yourself, chances are great that your child will as well. It’s also important to let your child have some of their own time to just explore and play by themselves.Even if it seems like they are not doing much, they are learning how to be independent and self-sufficient. Not all their time needs to be filled with activity.
College of Allied Educators offers our Diploma in Learning Disorders Management & Child Psychology programme to help you understand your child or the child in your care to more effectively help in their learning and development.
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Diploma in Learning Disorders Management & Child Psychology is a Skillsfuture course (claimable) designed specifically to train potential teachers, parents and caregivers to identify, detect and support children with special needs, such as Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyspraxia, and Dyslexia.
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