Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
My nonverbal son Matthew turns eleven at the end of June and enjoys doing sorting and matching activities. These games are utilized when the Child Development Specialist (CDS) comes over for the twice a week floor time sessions.
While interacting with the CDS Matthew is also working on two-way communication, flexibility of routine, co-regulation, joint and shared attention, circles of communication, following basic requests, turn taking and expanded play. At times Matthew initiates play, allows for playful obstruction and has experimented with various textures like moon sand, floam and playdoh.
At first Matthew was quite rigid in only wanting to play the same activities each session and in the same order. This always started with the Color & Shape Bingo where he would perseverate on the actual boards, shaking them and then pressing his fingers on the boards for another type of sensation. Matthew can easily match the cards onto the object of each board.
Now Matthew has expanded on his stimming by also shaking the table and feeling the table pad through his fingertip. He does this when activities are challenging plus protests by stomping his feet or pushing in his chair to signal he is done.
Another hit are pocket flash cards that are also by Trent Enterprises. We have three decks that consist of counting 0-25, numbers go fish and home picture words. It is too stimulating with all the cards from the deck positioned on the table, so the CDS only places a few rows for Matthew to then pick up a card and find the matching card. He also likes to take out the cards and place them back into the box they are stored in.
One of the more difficult activities is the Magnets on the move book on numbers. There are eight pages with 20 magnets in these books by Phidal. I like how the magnets stay in place on their pages with the book closed. We have Thomas'Magnetic Play Book that has a plastic section in the front to house all the magnets.
The numbers magnetic book is harder for Matthew to comprehend due to the magnets being similar in size and color. The first page of the book has 1 die, 1 boat, 2 bees, 2 boots, 3 ducks and 3 carrots. This is the easiest page of the book since cookies, nuts, buttons and marbles are closely resembled in form.
Matthew does prefer the Thomas book since there are only six pages with nine magnets and they can be placed on the pictures of the tracks. Thomas' Magnetic Play Book is a fun book to play with while the Magnets on the Move: Numbers book is more of an educational and learning tool and can be quite frustrating at times, but repetition is the key to success!
We have the Sesame Street 123 Number Jumble that is difficult for Matthew to finish. This requires turn taking using a spinner board with plastic arrow where each player has to collect all six-character puzzle shapes and assemble them into a picture puzzle frame. He is able to start this with some prompting from CDS. Matthew gets to choose the activities at the beginning of each session with this game never being selected.
The new preferred activity Matthew enjoys playing with is a Dorling Kindersley game, Number Play that has nine different games and activities. This includes counting cards, number and picture playing cards. An example of the boards for this game is as follows:
5 + 5 =?
The next line has the following
five plus five equals ?
Matthew has to find the corresponding cards to place on top of this board. The back of the board has two rows for the top part of the board. two plus two equals ? with the two being represented by cars and then the numbers at the bottom. This is a good way to teach a child the numbers and correct words for them and teach simple addition at the same time while matching.
There is a memory game, counting cards and subtraction boards. A card has two shoes on one side with the question, "how many shoes are there?" On the other side is the number two as the answer.
All these activities are in the age range of four to seven and can be played with two or more people. They are good for group settings and individual sessions or play. These items are found at amazon and target.
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