Bubbles are a beloved toy for all, though they are particularly intriguing to young children with autism. What child wouldn’t relish in watching a liquid turn into seemingly magical, iridescent balls of floating air that disappear into the sky? So, you know you’ve got a captive audience when bubbles are around, this is the first crucial factor.
What’s also great about bubbles is that they are the kind of toy that young children need assistance to play with. Unscrewing the container of bubbles and blowing a sustainable bubble are tasks that undoubtedly are difficult for a young child to do by themselves. This means they will need YOU to help them. Take full advantage of this by eliciting as much verbal and non-verbal language as you possibly can.
Motivate your child to ask for more bubbles. Blow a few rounds of bubbles, then stop, leaving the wand in the container and see if you can your child to request for you to take the wand out. Then put the wand up to your mouth, but don’t blow. See if you can get your child to request you to blow. If your child is an early learner, you may accept him reaching for the container or wand as a way of communicating his wants, or maybe a simple first letter sound, such as ‘ba’ for ‘blow’ is developmentally appropriate for him. For a child with more language ability, you can elicit the sentence “Please blow more bubbles”.
MOTIVATION IS KEY!
Motivate your child to comment about bubble play. Demonstrate commenting during play, then stop and point at a bubble with an excited look on your face and see if your child will make a comment on their own. You can give an early learner a sentence to fill in, such as “That bubble is _____” or for a child with more language ability, help them to communicate longer, more descriptive sentences.
To perform this activity all you will need is a container of bubbles and a bubble wand. Don’t fret if you don’t have bubbles on hand though, you can easily make your own with household items. All you need to do is mix 1-part dish soap to 3-parts water, add in a few teaspoons of sugar and stir it together. The sugar is a must, as it makes the bubbles last longer in the air. Wands can be made using anything with a hole in it such as pipe cleaners, drinking straws, and even a strainer.
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