We had a great therapy session last week and I have many new ideas to try again this year. One of my main concerns is tackling the concept of "why." It seems to be one that is hard to grasp for many kids with Down Syndrome, at least at this age, so we are trying to come up with games and activities to help teach it. While I am sharing what we have learned, I encourage you to comment and share things that have worked for you too. I love getting new and fresh ideas!
Last year I shared the "Sorting Activity: Why is it Different?" This was a great start in learning to focus in on why something was different and to learn to speak in the negative, "it is different because it is not ______." Another activity to expand on this concept are activity sheets about what does not belong. I found some to use at Schoolexpress.com. I do not even print them out, we just discuss them together on the computer.
Share this picture and have the child tell you what does not belong. At first Gess could not answer the question because I did not ask her what was "different" or why it was not so. Now I am teaching her the same concept, but from a different angle. What does not belong? Of course once she chooses the right item we discuss "why" it does not belong. (There can be more than one right answer. The turtle is not "furniture" or found in a house or is alive, etc.) The point is to get the child thinking about what links the items that are the same so they can determine why the other one is different.
Another great activity is figuring out "What's Wrong with This Picture?" We have all played with those pictures as kids. You have a picture with silly stuff on it like a horse wearing a cowboy hat or a duck with a pig tail and you are supposed to circle what is wrong with it. Well, instead of circling or coloring we just discuss what's wrong. Gess finds something that is "silly" or "wrong" with the picture then I ask, "why is that silly?" We want them to learn to answer things like "because horses do not wear hats" or whatever is appropriate. It might take some time but doing this will surely help them see not only what is wrong, but why it is so. I thought I could find lots of pictures for this activity free online but you know, so far I have not. I do not really know how to search for these pictures and find what I am looking for so I just bought the coloring book "What's Wrong with This Picture?"
We will not actually color in it as I want to keep the pictures fresh, but there are lots of great ones in here. If you have any good links for places online to find similar pictures, please share them. I also look forward to hearing other things you have done to help teach the concept "why" to your children so don't forget to share them! I hope to be sharing other speech activities in the future. While school has been postponed a week or so for us, speech has already begun! I only pray that the surgery won't cause other speech issues, but I know she is in the best of hands!
Since posting this I have already been given a great link for this. I will share that and hopefully others I get here.
Links friends have shared:
What's Wrong Games/Activities: