Magazines tend to pile up and take over your home if you’re not careful! I love home design and decoration magazines. My favorite magazine in France is called “Art & Décoration”. It is filled with page after page of beautiful photos showing gorgeous furniture, perfectly designed and stocked kitchens and exquisitely designed and planted gardens.
Recently, I decided to go through my collection and recycle most past issues I had collected over the past couple of years. I love them, and I look at them from time to time, but I need to make extra space in my office for new and exciting projects!
I recycled quite a few issues, which left me with a sweet little pile. Before I recycle these too, I decided to create some learning activities for the kids at my center. One last hoorah for these beautiful magazines! 🙂
If you have some old magazines in your home. Before dropping them in the recycling bin, give them a second chance at life : as learning tools for your child.
Let’s take a closer look. How can old magazines be turned into learning tools for a child with autism? Here are 10 ideas + some of the photos I used for my various projects. (Photos are all original, taken from the pages of Art & Décoration, septembre 2012.)
1.Build fine motor skills by having your child cut out photos from the magazines.
2.Have your child assist you in laminating photos. Cut out again.
3.Organize by categories (everything that goes in the kitchen in one basket, everything that goes in the living room in another basket, etc.).
4.Build new vocabulary in 3 simple steps : 1) “What is this?” (prompt answer). 2) “Show me the ______!” (help child the image that corresponds to the word you just said). 3) “In the kitchen (or other area of your home), goes the ________ (new word you are teaching – for example, “stove”). (#3 may sound like an awkward way to phrase your teaching instruction – and that’s because it is! 🙂 I’ve phrased it this way however so that you have a 3rd way to build new language skills in this activity – through what is called an “intraverbal fill-in” in behavior speak. 😉 It just means you are teaching your child to fill in a phrase using the new word he just learned – a valuable skill you can be very proud of teaching your little one! ♥
5.After your child has put each photo into a category, have him or her bring the photos to each corresponding area of the house.
6.Use your newly laminated furniture and home accessories in your doll house!
7.Teach prépositions : instruction “put the dog on the couch!”, “put the couch in the dollhouse living room!”, “out the mouse under the chair!” and so on…
8.Make a collage – keep building those important fine motor skills by having your child create a house on paper and glue the cut-out furniture and accessories into each room. Go one step further and use your images to journal.
9.Ask your child to choose his or her favorite piece of furniture or accessory and write a little sentence about it.
10.Teach functions – instruction “show me the furniture you sit on!” (child points to couch), “show me the item you drink from!” (child shows you the mug), “show me where we plant flowers” (child shows you the garden planter).
These are the first 10 ideas that came to my mind! The possibilities are endless, really. I apologize – I don’t want to add clutter to your home. (I know you were itching to toss those old magazines!) But, before you do, maybe you can give them a second life as valuable learning tools for your child!
How could you reuse old magazines as learning tools for your child? I would LOVE to hear your ideas!
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