A great activity for pairing, encouraging interaction (SBSP* 2b, 2M) and manding is using a blanket to swing your child. You may need another person, so this is great if you’re overlapping with another tutor, or working with parents or guardians. Get your child to lay down on a blanket or duvet cover then hold tightly to the corners and lift your child and swing them side to side. This is a great activity for smaller children, but please be cautious of how you lift the child, as you do not want to injure or hurt your back. This activity offers opportunities for eye contact or gestures as a prerequisite for requesting (mand 1a-d). As your child makes eye contact you can begin swinging them. Alternatively, you could contrive motivation for mands for “blanket”, “up”, “swing”, “stop”, “faster”, “slower”, etc. (mand 1-5M, 7-10M, 12-14M). This activity can be used to pair up new activities, by quickly bringing over new toys between swings including shape sorters, puzzles, writing, etc. (Independent Play 2M). In addition, this can be a great reinforcer for following simple receptive instructions, or motor imitation targets, for instance “high five”, “clap hands”, “touch your toes”, etc. (Listener Responding, 3d, 4c, 4d, 4M. Motor Imitation, 1a-5M). This can also be used as a reinforcer during Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT/aka Intense Trial Teaching; ITT) if your child is willing to leave and return to the table.
Preceding skills reference to the VB-MAPP Assessment tool:
Sundberg, M. L. (2008) Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP. Concord, CA: AVB Press.
*Social Behaviour and Social Play