Mother’s Day is approaching! Not only does Mother’s Day give us opportunities to show Mom how much she means to us, but it also gives our children fun learning opportunities. For children with autism, language and social challenges, it can be difficult to understand and express Mother’s Day concepts. We want to share a fun flower craft that will help your child show Mom they care, understand Mom a little more and increase many other language and fine motor skills.
First we will walk you through all the steps to create the craft and then we will give you lots of ideas on social language skills you can work on with your child.
-Chip and dip tray or small bowls/plates
1. Trace and cut out vase, stem and leaf shapes using different color construction papers. Feel free to use the template above or draw your own. Also cut out circles using your patterned paper for the middle of the cupcake liners.
2. Organize! Place paper flower parts, cupcake liners, buttons, pom poms, glitter and glue in different sections of the chip and dip tray. You can also use bowls and plates to organize and contain your materials if you do not have a chip and dip tray.
3. CREATE! Depending on your child’s skill level, you may need to provide them with a completed example of the craft for them to visually refer to while you work. First glue the flower stems. Then glue the vase. Third glue the cupcake liners. Next glue the paper circles inside the cupcake liners. Glue decorations on top of the paper circles inside the cupcake liners (buttons and pom poms). Then glue the leaves. Last create a Mother’s Day phrase on the top of the page using glue and then glitter.
Not only will your kids have fun making the craft, they can also work on many different language and Theory of Mind skills:
1. Making choices: You can work on them making choices within the activity with the various materials: “pink or blue”, “pom pom or button”, etc. Hold up two items so your child can see them and then say the phrase (“pink or blue”, “pom pom or button”) and let them make a choice. If they don’t immediately make a choice, give them time to process. If making the choice is still difficult, then make the choice for them and model the language.
2. Requesting: This is a great time to work on “more flowers”, “I want button”, “more purple”, “I want purple pom pom” and more.
3. Asking for help: If fine motor activities are hard, this is a great time to work on “help me”.
4. Turn taking: Make the activity social with turn taking. You can work on taking turns with your child “Daddy’s turn glue”. In addition, if you have a playdate or a sibling….wonderful! You can work on turn taking while making one picture together or with making their own pictures side by side.
5. Commenting and vocabulary: You can comment on the colors, sizes (big, small), textures (soft, bumpy), shapes (rectangle, circle) and more. Model and use these words throughout the activity, “Look pink button”, “Wow! Sparkly glitter!”
6. Giving the gift: This is a wonderful opportunity to practice Mother’s Day language. A visual may help your child understand and use the language. Practice beforehand while pointing to the pictures and modeling the words.
1. Theory of Mind: Before starting the activity, talk about Mom. Brainstorm her favorite things like colors and flowers. Use this information to make your craft. “Mom’s favorite color is pink. Let’s make the flowers pink”. If you are uncertain of Mom’s favorites, ask beforehand! This gives your child opportunities to work on asking questions and increasing their Theory of Mind towards mom. You may need to use a visual. Point to the pictures while you talk. You can also circle Mom’s favorite color on the visual page to refer to while you make your craft. Also don’t forget to talk about Mom’s favorites while you are making the craft.
2. Describing and vocabulary: “The pom pom is round, soft, and blue.”
3. Asking for help: If your child has difficulty with gluing, this is a great time to work on requesting help using full sentences and politeness words (e.g., “Can you help me glue please?”).
4. Turn taking: Taking turns with siblings and friends. Take turns describing what they are going to choose and the other guessing. Take turns picking what color to do next.
5. Giving the gift: This is a wonderful opportunity to practice even more Mother’s Day language. A visual may help your child understand and use the language. Practice beforehand while pointing to the pictures and modeling the language. See above visual for gift giving language.
6. One helpful hint: Try to provide a level of independence that is appropriate for your child. This will help them work on planning and organization as well as fine motor skills.
Have fun learning about Mom while working on new language and fine motor skills skills. Happy Mother’s Day!
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