Friday, April 10, 2015

Things We Love: Snow!

It may be Spring, but we have a fun way to play in the “snow” at home! Thank you to one of our amazing therapists, Megan, for contributing this post to our ongoing “Things We Love” series. Let us know how this turns out!

Activity: Snow! This fun activity is super easy to make with 2 common household ingredients. Just combine 3 cups of baking soda & ½ a cup of hair conditioner!
Description: “Snow” takes less than 5 minutes to make and can be used to target numerous goals – especially when you add other items such as plastic animals, play-doh cutters/shapers, and craft supplies like popsicle sticks and pom poms! The possibilities are endless.  
Good for: Kids motivated by sensory play, pretend play, make-believe, expressive language goals, receptive language goals


Expressive Language

First Word Learners: Snow is usually stored in a plastic container or plastic bag. First words learners can request “open” as well as request “snow.” You can mold the snow into shapes and items to have first words learners request things such as “ball.” You can also incorporate different actions with the snow that a first words learner may use – “drop,” “smash,” and “push” or “press.” Get creative!

Two Word Requests: For shorter requests, kiddos can request what they’d like built – “small tower” “high wall” “big ball” “small snowman.” Many variations of this can be targeted with multiple cues including shapes, colors, size, and more!

Long Requests: You can target various three or more word requests such as “make a ball” or “give me snow.” You can also create opportunities to request items, and answer “wh”-questions (such as “what do I put in the snow?” or “where should I put the bear?”). When building something such as a snow house or snowman, kiddos can request parts of the house such as roof or door, or parts of a snowman such as arms and eyes. Kiddos can also request how they’d like something built – “make it high” or “make it low.”

Pretend Play

Aside from building a snowman, you can make-believe you’re cooking with snow and create any food item you can dream of! You can also pretend you’re playing in the snow, of course, and make snow angels, snow men, or snow forts! When incorporating other items, you can pretend to have a zoo with animals, a carwash with cars, or even create a house layout with a family.

Receptive Goals

One step: Snow can be used to target numerous one-step receptive directions including: “open the bag”, “pour the snow”, “make a ball”, “hand me the sticks”, etc. The motor skills to build with the snow are simple, and many of our kiddos can build easily. This gives lots of opportunities to follow a variety of instructions successfully, and it is really motivating!

Two-step with or without multi-cue: “Make a ball and hand it to me” – the immediate reinforcer can be completing a snowman with the ball. Easily add multiple cues with “big” or “little,” numbers, or preposition. “Pick up the hat and put it on top of the snowman!”  

Other Variations

Aside from “snow,” you can color this mixture with food coloring and make it into an aquatic sea tray with fish and boats. Or you could color the snow yellow to make sand and include cacti and rocks for a pretend desert. You could also pretend that it is sand from beach and add beach toys. The possibilities for scenes and play – even with the white snow – are endless! 

-Megan Y. 

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