Start off slow and easy, as skills develop you can add the more challenging elements of the activities. You may find that your child cannot manage some of the activities yet. Don’t Worry! Make a note of them for future reference and replace the activities with others and come back to them at a later date when your child’s strength and skill levels make them more appropriate.
Remember these are only suggestions to get you a started. You can change them to best suit you and your child’s needs.
When doing modelling activities try to focus your child on using specific techniques, such as rolling with the palm of the hands, kneading, pinching and rolling between fingers, squeezing, stretching and cutting.
If your child is reluctant to do a task, or finds it difficult, set a time limit of say 5 minutes to start with that can be extended later. Remember one minute is better than no minutes! As your child’s stamina and skill base improves so will the time they spend on the task.
Use a clock or timer so that your child can see how long they are spending on the task and how they are improving.
Encouragement, praise and patience are the key elements in supporting and developing your child’s confidence and self-esteem, encourage them to have a go.
Try to build in a special time for doing the activities that best suits that day, it could be first thing in the morning before school starts some days or later for others. Older children may prefer to choose their own timescale, giving them greater ownership.
Keep the activity sheet on display somewhere they are comfortable to have it seen and can access it easily (not all children will want their friends to see it).
Try to get your child to take ownership of the activity sheet as they may well respond to using it better. This can be achieved by allowing them to choose how they mark off the activities completed. They could use stickers, stamp pens, draw smiley faces or make tokens on the computer which can be blu-taced into place. Maybe they could choose one or two activities for the week’s program.
Have a box with all the items in needed for doing that week’s activities, so your child can get themselves organised.
Have a bonus activity as a reward for completing that week’s tasks; such as cooking with you, playing a board game or building an obstacle course for an extended play time with you.
Keep a record of the activities done and for how long you have been doing them as this information is very useful if you need to approach the school about additional support.
Speak to your child’s school about your concerns or the extra activities that your child needs to support their development. You may find they are happy to incorporate them into your child’s school day.
Remember the aim is to have fun and enjoy the activities, so sharing the games with brothers; sisters and other family members and friends can be a great way to encourage your child, as well as show off new found skills.