Monday, January 7, 2013

MT DIY- Let's Play a Game!

Howdy and happy 2013, all!  Here's hoping that your 2012 ended on a high note, and that the new year will bring you good health and happiness- and be filled with music!
I've, unfortunately, been sick since Friday for the second time within the span of 5 weeks : (   Very unlike me!  It's a good thing that I'd planned to share a non-singing activity with you today!

At our Christmas gathering with my mom's side of the family, I noticed in passing that she had large foam dice that she thought would work well for my Gram, plus my 5-year-old niece, when playing games.  My work hat landed on my head for a minute- I needed a pair!  These were an item that had always been on my (ever increasingly long) list of "to purchase", but never quite made it to the top.  It turns out, mom ordered them from Oriental Trading, and they came in the amount of 6 pair.  It also turns out that my momma is super sweet, and I can cross "large dice" off of my list : )

A loooong time ago, I made this board to use in lieu of my traditional picture schedule board (when appropriate), and called it "Let's Play a Game!"  The number rolled on the dice determines the order of session activities for kiddos.  Making the board is simple- foam board, Velcro, and a marker! Apologies for the length today, but to give you details as best as I can, here's a breakdown of skills that may be targeted, procedure for use, and pictures:

1. Following 1- and 2-step directions, as well as a schedule
2. Being flexible within a routine
3. Counting 1:1 correspondence
4. Number identification and matching
5. Within a group, opportunities for turn-taking, waiting, cooperation

1. I start by giving instructions...something like: "We're going to play a game today! (excitement is always good :)  This is going to be our schedule, and we're going to use a dice (pausing to let the dice be examined).  I've put our work pictures on the board.  Each time you roll the dice, we're going to count the number of dots and then find the number on the board; then it's time for that activity.  When we're finished with it, we'll reach up and take the picture off and say it's 'done.'  We get to do this until all of the pictures are gone and it's time to say 'Goodbye.' If we roll a number after we've already used it, the dice is rolled again until we get a new number.  [If in a group, I'll add: "We'll start with __ and go around the circle, taking turns to roll the dice"]."

2. I set up the board by putting a "Hello" and "Goodbye" picture card before/after the first/ last number- for my kiddos, these are constants and need to have their place at the start and end of the session.  The rest of the cards can be placed randomly.

3. Student(s)/ Client(s) roll a dice.  Before I had these fun yellow ones, I'd made one (again, a loooong time ago) from a box.  I like using a large one for several reasons:
    a). it gives a larger visual field
    b). it's easier to manipulate physically
    c). it's different, and more intriguing than a regular ol' pair of dice

4. Activities (or interventions, tasks, if you prefer) are performed as their respective numbers are rolled.  Say the first number rolled is 5.  According to my board, "conversation" would be first.

5. Complete the activity.

6. Once finished, remove the card from it's numbered space.

7. Remind individual/ group that if a number is rolled again, the dice continues to be rolled until a new number appears.

8. Repeat until 'schedule' and session is complete.

- if it's hard for a client to look at the numbered game board and want to visually follow the activities from 1-6, you can elect to roll all numbers at once to make a complete schedule, and transfer ordered pictures to another board.  This still helps to work on the aforementioned skills, but may make more sense to some.
- you may wish to use the pair of dice and the concepts of addition/ subtraction to get a number.
- a dice could be modified to hold (Velcro?) the actual schedule pictures, done in the order they're rolled.
- if hello, goodbye + 6 other activities is too much to fit in a time frame, I've done this: place the greeting and closing at #1 and #6, respectively.  Instead of rolling for these numbers, ask the student to find those numbers on the dice.

Should you be feeling DIY, and want to make the dice, I used a small box; taped it closed; applied white card stock; drew dots with a black Sharpie; used a little clear packing tape.  Ta-da!

I work primarily with young children through early adolescents, but you could surely adapt this to fit other age ranges!  Questions or comments?   I love input!  Hope this is helpful : )