Add a little sparkle! Fun ways to use glitter + increase learning with special needs kids!
These are 5 of my absolute favorite glitter filled activities for increasing motivation and learning with children with autism.
I heart everything Fall and I truly believe that learning opportunities are everywhere. You can incorporate anything and everything into your child’s home program with a little bit of creativity and specialized help!
A fun & educational family activity
Take your child for an awesome Fall walk. Collect some acorns while you’re outside. Bring them home and decorate them with glitter.
Color matching & sorting
You could work on colors by using 2 or 3 different colors for this activity. Make sure you have at least 2 acorns that are painted the same color and have your child match them, sort by color, etc.
Engage your child in pretend play
Use your painted acorns in pretend play with your little one! Feed a stuffed squirrel and have acorns on your child’s pretend play kitchen counter.
Build fine motor skills
Have your child collect acorns using tweezers of different shapes and sizes that require varying amounts of hand strength and precision.
You could even use these fun and colorful homemade glitter acorns in your Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game!
Halloween is comiiiiiiing and we are all about everything pumpkins at my learning house at the moment!
Pumpkin pie playdough? YES!
Pumpkin lattes? YES!
Pumpkin carving? YES!
So, why not make glitter pumpkins? This is a fun and sparkly way to celebrate Fall, October and Halloween. I most definitely recommend you add it to your list of home activities for this beautiful month of October.
Teach your child to follow steps
- Prepare the pumpkin.
- Add glue.
- Use a spoon to cover with glitter.
Build fine motor skills
Holding a spoon, scooping up glitter, dropping it onto the pumpkin… these actions all require fine motor strength and precision. Guiding your child through the actions repeatedly will help your child build these crucial skills. You may need to decorate 3 or even 4 pumpkins which is pretty great because you can really never have too much Halloween decoration. Am I right?!
Teach your child to decorate and cherish a special space
All kids need to have a special spot they call their own and learn to respect and love it. This goes for special needs kids, non-verbal kids and multiple children living under the same roof. Everyone needs their own, personal sacred spot – even if that spot is a teeny tiny reading nook in a corner somewhere. Learn about creating a progress nook for your child here!
Once your child has a special spot in your home, he or she will need to add some beauty to it. You may think your child doesn’t notice these kinds of touches but he or she probably does. A space that has objects in it that attract your child’s attention and that make your child want to spend time there is essential for creating a dedicated learning environment.
Glitter shoes from Joy Bobo.
Glitter shoes are on my list of favorite glitter filled learning activities!
Glitter shoes are on this list because your child’s motivation to learn is the number one most important barrier/opportunity when it comes to teaching your child.
Why did I write barrier / opportunity? I wrote this because your child’s motivation can very well serve as an opportunity to engage him or her in thousands of fun learning activities. Your child’s lack of motivation can be what holds you back from reaching your child.
Glitter shoes can serve as the motivation to learn. Hear me out.
Teaching self-help skills / autonomy
If what you are trying to teach your child is to be more autonomous and if you are planning to teach putting on shoes, glitter shoes could serve as the motivation to be interested in shoes. In my center, we are always looking for fun ways to teach crucial self-help skills that are often not inherently interesting for the child (putting on shoes, going to the bathroom, putting on a coat, etc.). I have found that decorating the child’s shoes (inside or outside) can be helpful in getting them motivated to learn to put them on. Having “putting shoes on” as a step towards going outside, is beneficial as well.
Family art project
Making glitter shoes can also be a really fun family art project that has sensory benefits and helps to increase your child’s concentration on an activity! Enjoy.
Glitter bags – cute and useful for so many purposes!
Teach your child to ASK
I suggest you use these adorable little pouches to teach your child to request. Your child loves playing with mini cars? Hide one in the pouch, show you child where it is by opening up the pouch, saying the car is in there and pointing to it. Then close the pouch and have your child sign “car” or say “car” depending on your child’s communication level.
Teach your child to clean up
Use these sweet, decorated, glitter pouches to coral small items such as marbles or coins. Have your child put them away in the pouch one by one.
I love using feathers in my therapy sessions!
I have bags of them – in all kinds of fun sizes and colors! I promise you I will share many more fun therapy activities and games that involve feathers, but today, we are talking glitter! Glitter feathers.
Have some sensory fun
Make these feathers with your child (another fun, family art project!) and use them to tickle your child lightly on the arm, hands, feet, neck and face.
Which project is your favorite? Try one (or all) of these fun projects and share your photos with me on Instagram. Make sure you tag #speciallearninghouse and I will share my favorites!
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