How to bring a little bit of Abeona home
It feels like it’s been years since we’ve all been together at Abeona House, and we miss seeing all of you so much! If you are feeling overwhelmed having your child at home every day, just know that’s ok. This time period has been a huge adjustment for everyone, and whatever has been working to keep you and your family happy and occupied is perfectly ok, even if it means playing with the same toy every day or taking lots and lots of walks. If you’ve been struggling to set up invitations for your child or they haven’t been interested don’t worry, not every activity is going to work for every child and that’s fine!
Sometimes, making a few small changes to your child’s play routine can be enough to get them interested again. It may seem like we have a lot of toys in the classroom, but often we find ourselves reaching for the same materials and trying to use them in a new way. For example, you could try setting up a cozy corner with pillows, blankets, soft toys and some of their favorite books to look at, and the slight change of scenery could help them feel excited about the stuff they already have. If they have a few favorite toys that they tend to gravitate toward, try setting them up in a new way. For example, if your child is a big fan of magnetiles, you could offer them a sheet pan or something else metal to build on, even if it’s just the refrigerator. Or you could suggest they build houses for some of their favorite animals or toys. Not every activity needs to be huge and involved, and adding in one or two different components can be enough to reignite their interest.
If you are struggling with being ok with messy activities at home, that is perfectly understandable. While things definitely get messy at Abeona house daily, it can still be an effort for us teachers to step back and let the children explore on their own without trying to clean up along the way. A trash bag that has been cut down the side and then taped down to the table can make a quick and easy tablecloth for fast clean up, or an old sheet used as a drop cloth underneath a sensory activity could save you a lot of sweeping. If all else fails, some activities might just be better for outside 🙂
Most importantly, do not feel guilty if you feel like your child is doing the same thing every day, or if sometimes an episode of Paw patrol is the only thing that will soothe them. It may feel frustrating that they aren’t open to trying new things or you may feel like you’re not doing enough, but they likely find comfort in that safe option. You can try talking to them about whatever the activity is and ask them open ended questions and see what they have to tell you. Often we are surprised by the reasoning behind why the kids may like these activities/toys and why they use them the way they do, and these conversations are great for developing speech and critical thinking. Above all else, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay sane. I know it must be hard trying to balance everything and we really appreciate all that y’all are doing at home, so pat yourself on the back because you deserve it, and we can’t wait to see you all again!
Lots of Love,