Whether you are setting up a new space for school work, teletherapy, or just a dedicated play space in your home, working on the motivation to keep your kids (and yourself going), or craving new resources and activities – Project Play Therapy’s ABA Team has some great tips for making the most of extended time at home.
Creating a Space That Works
Creating a dedicated (and functional) work/play space for your child, can help set the tone for the activity and determine success. Having a dedicated work space, separate from their play space, is a great step in establishing and maintaining schedules and routines. Think about what helps you be productive while at your workplace. Is it noisy or quiet? Is it messy or organized? When you consider a workspace for your child, take into account anything in the environment that could be distracting. Even the simplest of changes can create and promote great learning. To get your child excited about their work space – let them help you decorate!
(Check out Project Play Therapy’s suggestions for a teletherapy workspace here).
Motivation is the KEY
Everyone needs motivation to do things. Motivation will look different for each person and change over time. You know your child best, so spend time thinking about what they really enjoy. (Your kids can also help you make a list!) Remember to consider what is available, and try to always provide something that they would naturally experience (like praise) alongside any item or fun treat. Be specific with your praise, telling them exactly what they did well. Often new activities, and even undivided attention from a parent / caregiver, can be just the motivation your child needs to be successful with a new task or routine.
Set Clear Expectations
Children tend to do better when they have clearly defined expectations. Here are some tips on setting expectations:
- Establish rules beforehand – make sure your child truly understands the rules and can be successful with them
- Set time limits – try using a timer for work time / tasks, and letting your child take breaks in between
- Create a checklist of items to complete – checklists can be FUN and will leave your child feeling accomplished. Let your child mark off what they completed with their favorite stickers.
- Create a visual schedule to follow. Check out this video on how to create one with your child.
Clear expectations help your child ensure that they know what their goals and how they should complete them. Make sure that your expectations are reasonable and attainable. If you hit a snag, remember it can be helpful to start small (ex. working for a few minutes or finishing a few activities at a time) before expecting more.
Need additional resources for making the most of extended time at home? Here are a few additional links!
- Tips for the Work Space
- Downloadable Motivation / Reward Charts
- Tips for Littles (Toddlers / Pre-K)
- List of Great Online Resources
If your child is experiencing behavioral challenges, or has an autism diagnosis, Project Play Therapy is here to help. To find out more about ABA Therapy click HERE, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org