Happy New Year! We at Tasks Galore hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and that 2018 will be the best year yet for our families and friends.
Are your children not playing with their new holiday toys? Maybe they will be more interested if these are organized in a way that makes how to play with them more understandable. Here are 3 examples of how we have modified some store-bought toys for our students.
You will notice with these 3 examples that all the pieces are self-contained on a tray or on a box. This strategy enables the students to focus on the toy and not be frustrated by pieces falling, etc.
This toy Fisher-Price xylophone becomes more interesting if we use familiar characters on the sticks and organize the materials with a clear beginning and a clear ending. The student chooses one of the sticks and makes music with it by striking the colored keys. When finished with the first stick, he places it in the spaceship and proceeds in the same fashion with the remaining characters.
This ramp is easier for our students to use with the pictured adaptations. It aids many children if we place the ramp on a tray with edges to contain the car when it rolls down the ramp and if we set up the activity with a “start” box and a “finish” container for the cars. The child takes one car from the left, rolls it down the ramp and then places it in the container on the right. Pushing the car through the slit in the lid adds both interest and fine motor work.
Car toys can be fun if the pieces are organized and the point of the activity is clear. Below cars are Velcroed onto the box top. The student removes each, rolls it down the ramp, and into the opening. The car disappears into the box giving the student a clear understanding that it is finished. Once all cars are in the box the activity is over. Knowing when an activity will be over can greatly reduce behaviors due to misunderstanding, differing expectations or confusion. Some students need to begin playing with toys with this type of structure before being expected to play with a toy garage, for instance, that has so many variables.
Tasks Galore: Let’sPlay explores why and how we structure and teach play to our students. This wonderful resource including hundreds of play ideas may be found at www.tasksgalore.com or www.amazon.com . *Make sure when you order from Amazon that Tasks Galore is the seller to get the best deal and to get the product you are looking for.