Building a train set can be a great visual performance (VP-MTS*) activity, which you could also provide a visual aid for your client to copy (play 12a). This task incorporates opportunities for requests for more train track (Mand 6a), or if given the set with a piece missing to request a missing item (mand 6c). This also supports hand eye co-ordination and motor skills by connecting piecing together (VP-MTS 6a, 8e). There is also the symbolic play element of moving trains on the tracks (play 11M). This could involve motor imitation by modelling certain movements with the train and stating “copy this” (MI** 6d) or pushing the train without a model (VP-MTS 4b). You could also use other objects, for instance a small cardboard box, to pretend to be a train to begin developing symbolic play (play 8M). If you have some characters you could further the imaginative play by incorporating role play. This activity allows for opportunities for labelling objects or parts of the train (tact 6M). Also you could introduce conversation skills, for instance the train goes… “choo choo”, what does a train go on? “track” or tell me some other vehicles? (IV† 6a, 9e, 9M).
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.
*VP-MTS: Visual Performance Match-to-Sample. **MI Motor Imitation †IV Intraverbals (conversation skills)