What do you do when faced with a school closure and a day at home with your active Sensory Seeker?
Maybe your little one refuses to go to school?
If your child is anything like my boy, home learning is not easy!
What is the answer ?
Make it as fun as possible!.
Focus on play first , learning second.
There are ways to make home learning more like play time . Let’s have a look at some fun activities to try.
Due to recent strike action, many of you may have turned to home schooling. In my experience, SEN schools don’t force home work but actively encourage it.
I have some ideas for you to try that make home learning feel like play time!. If you can make learning fun, you’ve cracked it!.
FOR ENGLISH READ YOUR CHILDS FAVOURITE BOOK AND ACT OUT THE CHARACTERS/ DRESS UP
My boys favourite book is “The Lion Who Wanted To Love” Giles Andrea. This is a picture book story about a Lion Cub that is cast out of the pride because he is too kind and not fierce enough.
This is a lovely story about a lion cub that refuses to change who he is. He is cast out of the pride because he doesn’t conform. In the end love prevails and he is finally accepted back into the pride and accepted for who is he is. This book is available on Amazon.Click on the link :
On a recent day of home schooling we began the day by reading this together. To test his comprehension I pretended to be the lion cub and i made different silly faces and showed a range of emotions to make it more memorable for my boy.
I pretended to be the Lion Cub and E### pretended to be the animals in need. We had lots of fun and what actually felt like a game was an English Comprehension lesson.
At the end of the story i asked him questions about the story and because it had been fun,he recalled a lot more information.
You can make it more fun by dressing up as the character. You don’t need to use actual costumes. You can improvise. Let your imagination run wild!.
FOR YOUR MATHS LESSON -HAVE A WALK TO THE PARK ?
Go to the park!?
Hear me out.
While your walking, pick something that your child loves. In our case, buses, trains, balloons. Balloons are a little harder to spot so we chose trains and buses.
While on your walk, count how many of your chosen object, you see.
Your child is focusing on getting to the park without realising they are actually practising their counting skills. You can either keep a mental count or keep a tally.
When you return home, have them write a sentence saying how many of the items they saw. Maybe they could draw the item. Maybe they could draw how many of the items they saw.
You could try designing a tick sheet. Draw the item ,for example draw a row of buses. Then have your child colour in how many they saw.
Another task i like to do with E### is ask him to collect things in the supermarket, for example so many apples, so many oranges etc. We then take them to the till and he pays the cashier. He loves the feeling of getting it right and feeling independent.
BRAIN BREAK. DO SOME MINDFUL COLOURING
SEN children often need brain breaks from learning. There are endless ideas including trampoline jumping, playing with a body glove or gym ball, to more calming activities such as mindful colouring.
Check out my previous post on the importance of mindfulness in Autism.
My son regularly uses his Sensory Room. He has access to his body glove, hug shirt and a range of Sensory Toys. All of these are good choices for a brain break.
Sometimes these can trigger him and make him more stimulated so we need to look for an alternative.
The alternative is Mindful Colouring. This really calms him and helps him to focus, be present and sit still.
I have attached some mindful colouring templates at the end of this post for my readers.
MAKE A PICTURE OF GLITTER SHAPES.
For an Art lesson you can make pictures of glitter shapes. Beware ,this can get messy particularly if you have a hand flapper like mine! We ended up with more glitter on the table and floor than the actual picture. But we enjoyed it and the results were impressive.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- LARGE THICK ART PAPER
- PVA CRAFT GLUE
- SPONGE SHAPES
- PLASTIC TRAY FOR THE GLUE
Start by dipping the sponge shape into the PVA glue. Dab the sponge with glue onto the paper. Sprinkle some glitter on the glue area. Wait a minute then shake the paper into the sink to reveal your glitter shape. Use different coloured glitter and different shapes. We used gold and silver glitter.
As you can see this turned out ok and we made lots of lovely gold and silver shapes.E### had lots of fun with the glitter.
If you want a fun and easy cooking lesson. Make pizzas. You can experiment with different toppings.
Put all your ingredients onto a big plate or little bowls and then let your child sprinkle the toppings onto the pizza bases. Finish with grated cheese and some salt, pepper and basil.
Cooking is an important life skill that teaches independence and the value of good nutrition. It increases confidence and helps to develop other life skills such as social skills, reading recipes and listening to instructions.
E### loves food tech at school. At home he always sits on the kitchen units and watches me cook and gets involved with stirring and mixing.
He really enjoys it and I can see his confidence is growing in the kitchen. I can’t wait for the day he can make me a cup of tea.
BUILD IMAGINATIVE SHAPES WITH GEO MAGS.
Geo Mags are the best. They are magnets and magnetic tubes that stick together to make all sorts of weird and crazy shapes.
They are also very Sensory. My E### loves them. He likes joining them all together to make one long Geo Mag.
I like to make shapes with them and then ask E### to copy what he sees and make the exact design himself. He does really well with this. Activities like this are good for developing fine motor skills ,cognitive development and imagination. They are available on Amazon and in all major toy shops. Click on the link:
RELAXATION TIME IN THE SENSORY SPACE.
E### has his own Sensory Space that I made from a large walk in under stair cupboard. I will write a post on how i made it. He loves spending time in there relaxing with his mood lights and Sensory Toys.
If you don’t have access to a Sensory Space (which trust me,you can make anywhere and I will show you how), then some proprioceptive activities work just as well.
You could try a deep pressure massage or cosmic yoga. There are some great yoga for kids videos on you tube you should absolutely check out!.
There you have our ideas for a day of home learning that should be fun. We hope you have fun and enjoy the free colouring templates at the end of this post.