Pick of the Week: Special Savings on Hooray for Play! Activity Cards

Pretend play offers children an opportunity for perspective taking, problem solving, cooperation, social emotional skill acquisition and language development. Children learn through their experiences and what better way to engage in the largest possible array of activities than through pretend play? For a special price of $12.95 only $4.95, you can get your set of Hooray for Play! and start off the school year with endless learning opportunities through play.

Hooray for Play! is a multi-use deck of 31 beautifully hand-drawn cards that can be implemented initially by parents and educators as an instructional tool and later used by learners independently. This week, we’re offering Hooray for Play! at a special price of only $4.95. No promo code necessary. Get your set of Hooray for Play! at a discounted price while stock lasts!

Hooray for Play! breaks down the components of the 31 individual play schema cards into the three organized sections that provide a memorable framework for sociodramatic play. The Do! Section explains the various roles, Say!! outlines possible scripted statements by the involved actors and Play!!! offers suggestions for props and set-up. An additional card in the set offers suggestions for use that guides users through creative steps in reinforcing learning and play skills.

Get your deck of Hooray for Play! at only $4.95 this week and start making playtime a rewarding and educational experience for your students! Have fun!

Fun (And Learning) In The Sun!

Discrete trial teaching and a home-based ABA program, without a doubt, play an integral part in a child’s ongoing progress.  However, during the summer months here in New York City all I can think about is PLAY. The sun is shining, playgrounds are full of children and there are child friendly events for free all over the city.  I can’t help but seize these summer moments and optimize the huge array of incidental teaching opportunities they provide.  The playground is the perfect place to start to generalize all of the play skills that the child has mastered with you during the year and facilitate them with novel peers.  The headache of trying to schedule play dates during the winter months fades, there are children everywhere you turn, and kids outside ready to make new friends.

The novelty of an outdoor children’s concert playground or sprinklers can be motivating enough to get the child in the mix with other kids.  I find that having the child I am working with take a popular item on the outing can serve as a really powerful icebreaker and readily grab the attention of all the kids there.  Items to consider include; sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water balloons, a foam rocket launcher or a bug kit.  It is easy to rehearse possible scenarios the child might encounter with one of these items in hand and the rehearsal can lead to greater success and less prompting once you are at the playground.

Another programmatic shift that happens for me during the summer is to take time to help the child see the bigger picture.  Many children diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder understand the parts of things but may have difficulty conceptualizing ‘the whole’.  For example, if the child is showing an interest in airplanes take some time before heading out to expand on this interest.  I like to sit down with a child and draw out what I call a “Play Map.”  It is a flow chart of all of the things connected to an airplane, drawing arrows to show how all of the parts connect together.   This is a great way to flesh out a larger play schema and rehearse possible play scenarios other children might generate at the playground in relation to the toy airplane.  All of this preparation will ultimately lead to better outcomes at the playground and more fun had by all!