There are a few important life skills that children can learn through play. If you have kids on the spectrum, you can turn fun games into teaching strategies that will help them with socialization, interaction, and communication. Here are five activities you can do with your young ones to keep them entertained and educated while you’re at home.
Play Pretend Entrepreneur
Get your kids’ minds active and engaged by asking them to come up with an original idea for a small business. They can use free online tools to help you design an eye-catching logo, create infographics detailing their company’s activities, and make flow charts explaining the ins and outs of their processes. Pretending you’re in business is great for your children to learn the basics of entrepreneurship, leadership, managerial skills, and finance. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll decide to pursue their business idea together! Imagine how excited your child would be to learn that their idea had value in the real world.
Create a Comic Strip
Have your children think up a storyline and turn it into a comic strip or mini graphic novel. Start by engaging them in a brainstorming session so they can come up with a setting for their story, the characters involved in the plot, and the events that will be unfolding. You can find some comic strip templates online, but you can also easily create your own with a few pieces of paper, a ruler, and pencils.
Character development and storytelling will help your child hone their socialization and communication skills as they develop their own scenarios and resolve conflicts between their imaginary characters.
Write and Play Silly Songs
This entertaining activity is also great to introduce new words into your child’s vocabulary as you both try to come up with funny rhymes, gestures, and dances for your silly song. If your child is passionate about a subject, let that be the theme of your new opus, whether it be cars, trains, computers, or dinosaurs. You don’t have to be a musical prodigy to come up with a catchy tune, and you will create wonderful memories as you and your child work together to craft the most perfect - or funniest - ode to their favorite topic of interest.
Solve Puzzles and Mysteries
Develop your child’s problem-solving skills by having them solve jigsaw puzzles and arrange blocks following a certain pattern. If your child has a hard time interpreting facial expressions and other nonverbal language cues, you can play imitation games where your little one will mimic you, which can also help him or her master daily tasks and routines.
You can also play charades to help them build on their nonverbal communication skills. Or play a fun round of Pictionary and have them interpret what they see, which will help with their social and emotional skills.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Slime is a sensory activity that the whole family can partake in. Just like you would experiment with a new dinner recipe, you and your kids can mix an assortment of ingredients and make slimes of different colors and textures. Modeling clay is also very popular among kids of all ages. Modeling compounds allow your children to unleash their creativity as they come up with fanciful sculptures, and these playful doughs will keep them entertained for hours.
If you live in a walk-friendly neighborhood (a Walk Score over 70 is ideal), you can also throw on some galoshes and go for a walk in the rain. Lots of things change during a storm! As you explore your neighborhood, encourage your kids to touch things like tree trunks, worms, mud, and fences to see how they are different in the rain.
Get Creative and Have Fun!
Rainy days don’t have to be dreary for children stuck at home. There are many activities that will keep them engaged and even teach them some new skills, and you probably already have most of the materials you need at hand. Whether you’re writing a play, researching business ideas, or taking a walk in the rain, you can enjoy some creative fun together!
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