Special care is needed as we prepare our students for some BIG changes that happen around the holidays. Here are tons of FREE, high quality supports to help at school and home.
First up, schedules and social stories. These are great ways to help your students prepare for calendar and routine changes. Read about the upcoming days off of school and use the coordinating picture cards to glue on a calendar for a visual daily reference and count down. For those students that get anxious about being away from school, it’s a great tool to show them when they will be back to their regular routine. Make it a fun count down with a small prize attached to each day! This can be done at school, plus you can send a set home to mirror the school calendar. I’ve also included a “On Thanksgiving Day” Social Story to help at home.
Next up, travel supports and social stories. Many families take vacations, including plane rides, this time of year. Preparing a student with visual supports can help reduce the stress for everyone. Here’s a great social story for taking a plane ride that goes from packing to landing. It’s geared for Disneyland, but you can change the destination and minor details. Also, I’ve included picture cards for various modes of travel and one set just for a plane ride.
Then, there’s the food! It’s what this holiday is all about! But finding acceptable foods can be tough for some of our students. The good news is, with so many dietary restrictions and food allergies these days, no one will blink an eye when you whip out your well-packed bag of familiars from home. (Never underestimate the power of a favorite snack in your hand!) I’ve added some picture cards of common holiday foods. One includes picture cards that may be helpful for other common items and activities of the day. I really like the sheet that can be used to help your student verbalize their preferences and needs at the dinner table.
If you are unsure about whether your student will like the foods they will encounter, try having a mini tasting activity. Have a fun time together sampling the upcoming foods and then “judging” whether it’s yummy or not. List the foods on paper with a yes/no box. You can even award a first place to the favorite! You might find there’s plenty more yes’s than no’s!
Finally, let’s have some fun! Here are a few fun activities: a turkey made of rice krispy treats and colored licorice, a follow-the-directions activity sheet, an “I am Thankful for…” page, and a Fall Leaves sequencing cut out.
I hope these supports can help the student(s) in your life enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities. To all of my colleagues and friends, may you have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break.
Warm wishes to you and yours from all of us here at the Success Box!
And for those of you who like to get a jump on the holiday gift giving, we have two awesome specials this season:
FREE SHIPPING – plus FREE GIFT WRAPPING and GIFT TAG!
Let your colleagues, friends and parents know you appreciate the unique work they do
with a unique and practical gift they will use for years.