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Monday, June 27, 2011


Independence, choices, problem solving, basic skills, etc - encouraging these things with your child is a great way to foster self-esteem and give them a sense of control over their own lives (ultimately reducing challenging behaviors for some children).  Not only do I see my son as a highly intelligent and capable learner/doer, I also want HIM to see himself that way.  There are so many things we, as parents, can do throughout the day to make our children feel competent, respected, and worthy.  The key to making this activity "PLAY" is that the CHILD initiates it.

Snack/meal time is a perfect opportunity to sit and connect with our children.  Its a great way to increase communication, language development, motor skills, and even basic academic skills.  I made these number plates one day and offered them to my son at snack time.  We talked about the numbers, I let him explore the plates, and then we made a game out of snack time.  I typically let him chose how he wants to play with them during snack - "Would you like to count them and put them on the plates?" or "Would you like to count as I put them on the plates" or "Would you like a turn or do you want me to have a turn", etc etc.  I don't ever want to make it a "chore" for him - I want to guide gently and I want it to be fun.  I have a drawer where all of his plates go - at snack time and meal time he gets his own plate (he loves this independence).  We can go DAYS without playing with the number plates - and that's fine - if he wants them, he gets them.  I also have a small pitcher for him - he loves pouring his own drink.

[I bought the plates at the dollar store (in a pack).  I wanted to be able to wash them.  These are clear, plastic plates.  I used a fat Sharpie marker to write the number on the bottom of the plates.]

- AK
This is the drawer with all of his plates.
Putting on 1 piece of Honeydew
Eating off of plate 3
Pitcher for pouring


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