My current project is organizing all of the kids toys into themed boxes. That way they aren't all out at the same time. They are each labeled and I have another copy of the same picture that is on the front of each box. We will start to work with Lowell on requesting what he would like, by choosing between the "animal" picture or the "tools" picture, for instance. We will then get the corresponding box out for the day. I first saw this idea in the fabulous book Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum. The book says that there are a few reasons for having several boxes, because children with autism tend to:
*have poor attention pans and may flit between toys without directing attention to any one in particular.
*not know which toys they have unless they are items of obsession.
*have language difficulties that make requesting a certain toy frustrating.
*have imagination problems, which means that varying toys each day keeps up interest.
Varying toys builds in flexibility and prevents your child from becoming fixated on having one collection of items which he expects and needs to see in the same place every day.
I really had fun putting these boxes together and now know what I want to look for at garage sales to enhance some of them. I tried to put at least one puzzle, some books, different sensory activities, animals or puppets, etc. in each box on the given theme. **Note to self: Do not work on boxes when kids are awake! They were very intrigued with all the "new" toys that seemed to be popping up all over the place:)
Themes I thought of include:
colors~art~ shapes~ food/store
things that go~water~ music~ ABC's
zoo/animals~numbers~ farm~ plants
seasons~people~ tools~ holiday's
I treated myself at the end of the day to a shopping trip for new books for some of the boxes:)