Why Not Wednesday?!

Why Not Wednesday: Play is one of most crucial aspects of childhood. Some kiddos like playing with characters, some like pretending to be the characters, some like playing through art... The nice thing about play is that there really is no wrong way. As parents we can get involved simply by asking some open ended questions, try these out and see how it goes! After all ‪#‎WhyNotEngage ?!  Photo credit Imprints from Tricia.com.

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Science offers insight into topics which surpasses common beliefs. Humankind's continued efforts to find 'better' is often met through research and systematic manipulations. Why Not use those same technologies for bringing more knowledge to how our children grow and learn? ABA is a science that looks at this too. ‪#‎WhyNotEngage?!  Photo credit LA Johnson/NPR.

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Why Not Wednesday: Books can take us to places otherwise hidden from reality. This list of books takes us there while encouraging kindness, one trait that most people hold in high regard and one that our world can always use more of. Try out a few, share your review of them and enjoy the time with your special, kind-hearted kiddo! After all ‪#‎WhyNotEngage?! Courtesy repost from Buzzfeed.com.

 

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Why Not Wednesday: Science has always been a great subject to explore with hands on activities and gets those kiddos excited about learning. Here is a site with a few fun and EASY experiments you can do at home. We have done a few of these at the center (name brand Coke tends to work better than other sodas and diet seems to make an even taller geyser ????). Try a few at home with your kiddo, after all ‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬?! Photo credit frugalfun4boys.com.

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This Why Not Wednesday is dedicated to one of my favorite engaged times with my girls, story time! Many of our families ask about weighted blankets and such for help with sleeping. In my experience, they seem to help for some kids but not all. Here is an option that won't break the bank, but may help create a comfortable sleeping spot for Jr. And if Jr. is comfy, you may just get to sneak a few snuggly moments, curled up sharing a story. So throw on those P.J.s and pick your favorite bed time story, after all ‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬ ?!

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My FAVORITE time of the year is here!!! SUMMER! Hooray! This idea come from our amazing staff at Step-In. Thanks Emily S and Danielle for bringing this up, and YES we will be adding a water wall in our backyard. Parents, you can do it too. What better way to engage with your kiddo than enjoying the sunshine?! So‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬ ?! Photo credit little bins for little hands.

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I LOVE this idea for our older kiddos. In general kids love Legos. Additionally, most parents love Legos. Kiddos with Autism tend to be very concrete thinkers, so why not bring together a fun playing item with a concrete display to help visualize fractions? After the lesson is complete, hang out with your kiddo and enjoy some serious creation time! Post your favorite creation below to show off your and your kiddo's serious LEGO skills! After all, what better way to spend time together than creating a favorite contraption and‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬ ?!  Photo credit JDaniel4'sMom.

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Take a look at this posting from simplefunforkids.com

Here is a fun and easy project using household materials (unless you have switched to a Keurig!) So pull out those coffee filters and create with that kiddo of yours.   Engaged time is the best time!‪ #‎whynotengage‬. Photo credit simplefunforkids.com?!

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It is that time of the year... SUMMER! The kids are loving the sunshine and doing their programs and playing outside. Some of the parents have filled me in on some of the other favorite activities for the summer:

  • playing on the playground
  • going camping
  • feeding the ducks
  • ice cream at AK Land
  • building a fort
  • having a water balloon fight

What does your family do to engage in the Summer? Share your ideas on Facebook  so everyone can have fun in the sun, after all ‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬ ?!  Credit: Littlebins

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For those late/not-yet speakers WHY NOT try out these oral motor building exercises? Oral motor activities help develop the muscles which are imperative for speech development. This is a list of activities that you can modify and try out with your kiddo. After all you would be getting engaged time and an important developmental skill, so...‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬ ?!  Photo credit ARK Therapeutic Services.

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Engaged time is a huge component of success for kiddos with Autism. This is hard though, lives are busy with any kid. Then add in therapy appointments, sleepless nights, doctor appointments, those dreaded IEPs... now you are pushing on the door of insanity just to remember pants as you rush out of the house! So take it moment by moment and add in little moments here and there to stay engaged with your kiddo.

In hopes to help you stay creative and keep pushing for those moments of sharing attention with your little (or big) one, every Wednesday we will post a play based, joint attention evoking, invigorating (or at least inexpensive) idea for you to share. To kick this off we offer a theme mirroring the sandy extravaganza going on at the office: Beach Week(s) ..... Just remember, the key is to play with your kiddo! After all,‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬ ?!  Photo credit Modern Parents Messy Kids.

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Take a look at this fun and visually stimulating project "Calm Down Bottles" posted by theprimarypack.blogspot.com. This would be a fabulous way to get your kiddo involved with you and experience some engaged time. Have your kiddo open the bottle, pour in the ingredients, and close it up. Keep up that conversation as you go: for younger kiddos- narrate the steps as they do them. For those older kids- ask questions, talk about what you see and prompt them to tell you about what they see/feel. There are so many opportunities AND you end up with a fun, visually stimulating toy at the end so WHY NOT! Photo credit playtolearnpreschool.us.

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I happen to LOVE cooking activities with kids. (We frequently use cooking to set up teaching moments at the Center) Here is a fun, easy idea to use for St. Patty's Day from tablespoon.com. Cooking offers opportunities to teach measurement, expand on food tolerances, share engaged time, and many others! Plus you end up with a delicious treat which your kiddo may or may not help you eat. But it really isn't about the product, is it? So grab a bowl and mix up something fun, after all ‪#‎WhyNotEngage‬ ?!

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Sometimes coming up with an enlightening conversation topic with a kiddo is difficult. . Engaging in this skill helps teach flexibility in topics and promotes thinking of more abstract concepts. So dust off that dinner table, pull up some chairs, and chat with one of your favorite people on this Earth. There really is no better way to spend time so, ‪#‎WhyNot‬ ?! Photo credit USDA Snap Ed Connection.

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