Indoor play activities:
If you are running out of ideas to keep your children entertained and engaged, below are some great ideas for incorporating gross motor play activities, heavy work activities, and pretend play activities.
Click here for gross motor activities for indoor fun
Click here for simple indoor gross motor activities
Click here for calming heavy work activities
Click here for proprioception heavy work sensory play ideas
Click here for dramatic play ideas
Masks and Gloves:
A great way to help your children become more comfortable wearing masks and gloves is to put them on their favorite dolls and stuffed animals. Try engaging them in pretend play to practice wearing masks and gloves to places you may be going to such as to a doctor's appointment or to a store.
Click here to read a social story about wearing masks and gloves. You can read it together with your children online or you can print it out.
Watch this video below for simple ways to make an obstacle course using all items from the dollar store!
Dragon breathing fire craft / deep breathing tool:
What you'll need:
Paper cup (if already green you are a step ahead!)
Green streamers or tissue paper
Red streamers or tissue paper
White construction paper
Black crayon or marker
How to make your dragon breathing fire craft:
An adult should use the scissors to poke a quarter-sized hole in the bottom of the cup.
Cut red streamers that are about 6-8 inches long. Tape the streamers on the inside of the cup, all the way around the rim.
Use the glue stick to cover a small area of the cup at a time. Rip green tissue paper or streamers and tape the pieces to the cup. Cover the whole cup with green paper, gluing down any flaps.
On white construction paper cut out the shape of the eyes and color in the middle with a black marker or crayon.
Draw a black circle on each eye piece.
Fold the bottom of the eye as shown and tape each eye to the top of the cup.
Once dry, tuck the red streamers loosely into the cup. Blow in the hole in the back of the cup and the streamers should blow out like fire!
POTTY TRAINING TIPS:
Is your child showing signs that they may be ready for potty training? Examples include indicating that their diaper is wet or soiled, keeping their diaper dry for longer periods of time, being able to pull their pants up and down, and displaying discomfort when their diaper is wet or soiled.
You can start by having your child sit on the potty or toilet a few times a day. Help them feel comfortable by reading a story or singing a song together so they may be willing to sit for a little while. Provide lots of praise when they are successful! You can also provide small rewards such as a sticker, stamp, washable tattoo, a small piece of candy, or anything that is motivating to your child. Keeping a sticker chart in the bathroom can be very motivating as well. Once your child begins having success they may be ready to start wearing underwear during the day. Most children will need reminders and/or scheduled times to use the toilet. In the beginning you may need to bring them to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. Accidents will happen and that's okay. Try not to show frustration in front of your child and encourage them to go on the toilet next time.
Never force your child to sit on the toilet as you don't want to associate any negativity with potty training. If they do not want to sit on the potty or toilet or if they are showing frustration, they may not be ready just yet. You can work on increasing your child's comfort level with potty training by reading books and/or watching videos about potty training and you can try again in 2-4 weeks.
Train potty training chart Click here
Animal reward chart Click here
To make personalized reward charts Click here
Below are a few different visuals that can be printed to teach your child about feelings. They can be used in a variety of ways depending on your child's level. You can use the feelings cards as flash cards or as a matching game (you may need to print two copies). You can also present a field of 2-6 cards and ask your child to point to or name different feelings. Another fun way to work on learning about feelings is to use these cards to play the game memory.
Simple feeling faces Click here
Monster and emoji feelings cards Click here
Kids feeling faces Click here
Lego feeling faces Click here
Feelings Bingo is another fun way to learn about feelings Click here for Emoji Bingo!
Click here for feelings coloring sheets
Sensory / Calming ideas:
Here are some links with ideas for how to use paint inside of Ziploc bags to make mess free and fun ways for your child to engage in a sensory and calming activity! It can be taped to a table or window to help make this a quiet independent activity for your child. You can also use these sensory bags as a learning opportunity to teach or reinforce concepts that you are working on with your child such as colors, letters, numbers, feelings, etc.
1. Make a rainbow in a bag Click here
2. Make sensory bags Click here
3. Window paint in a bag Click here
4. Lava lamp sensory bag Click here
5. DIY sensory bags Click here
6. Water bead sensory window Click here
Are you struggling to establish a routine that works for you and your children? Visual schedules are very effective in helping children understand expectations and to help motivate them to complete a less preferred activity when it is followed by a preferred activity. We have found visual schedules to be very helpful to many of our students and to use with classrooms as a whole. Here are a couple of different sets of icons that you can use to print out and make a visual schedule at home. Please email me if you would like some assistance in figuring out how to implement a visual schedule at home.
Click here for at home brain breaks and calming activities
Below is the feelings chart that we use in Little Stars. Use this to help your child learn to label their feelings. If your child is unable to verbalize how they feel they may be able to point to how they feel. If you have a printer you can print this out and hang it on your fridge.
DEEP BREATHING CHOICES:
Below are the visuals that we use for deep breathing choices during Little Stars. Ask your child to teach you how to take a star, drain, balloon, and pretzel breath. The second visual explains how to do each one, in case they forgot!