President’s day is on Monday and it is likely that there may be some gaps in your child’s home program or perhaps they are home without therapy because school is closed. Either way we all know that structure and the maintenance of routine play a big role in a child’s success. Your best bet is to not leave anything to chance. Create a picture schedule of the planned activities for the day substituting any gaps with activities that your child has had success with independently or activities you can facilitate. Depending on your child’s abilities and his or her individual interests this schedule may include some new activities mapped out by using pictures of each step involved. I’ve really enjoyed simple cooking activities with my students lately. The simple act of making lemonade together provides so many opportunities to expand language, turn-taking, following directions and sequencing. The best part is that when you are done you have delicious lemonade to drink. Whenever I include kitchen activities I like to draw up a pictorial recipe before hand that the child can follow along with. It is also important to keep in mind that not everything has to be explicitly therapeutic or educational. You can have structure without it necessarily including direct instruction. In fact I think that holidays are the best time to mix in some more varied activities. Try printing out images of your child’s favorite storybook character and paste them into a journal while writing your own story to go along with the pictures. Parents and caregivers sometimes shy away from incorporating novel activities into a schedule but with some preparation and guidance it can be an enjoyable “day off” for all.
What does at day off look like in your household? Maybe you can share a fun activity you’ve recently tried?