Because they have a mama who is an occupational therapist, my children are exposed to and knowledgeable about differences between people and how our differences make us the amazing individuals we are. Jack and Ella know that it is not scary to look different, to have extra challenges, or to have to approach tasks in different ways. Today, make it a point to talk to your kids about how people are different and unique. Give them some examples of how their friends may be different (e.g. blindness, using a wheelchair or a walker, deafness) and explain that despite differences and challenges, everyone can be successful by approaching things in their own way. For example, describe how people who are deaf can communicate in a way other than talking and hearing: sign language. Teach them how to sign some Thanksgiving words with their hands instead of speaking the words.
WHAT TO DO: Teach kids to sign Thanksgiving words. You will be amazed at how your children will love learning to speak with their hands. Check out this post from About.com showing how to sign 9 simple words related to Thanksgiving: corn, Indian, pie, Pilgrim, potato, pumpkin, thank, Thanksgiving, and turkey. I chose About.com for it’s simplicity, but there are many other sites out there with lots of great information about American Sign Language.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-If your children enjoyed this activity, go ahead and teach them more sign language – check your library for books!
-A wonderful way to open kids’ minds and hearts to others is to check out library books about differences. Ask your librarian to guide you in the right direction depending on your child’s age.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, social skills, motor control, cognitive skills
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.