Most parents in this spectrum are desperate to provide peer interaction for their children and that includes me. Some of the games I have adapted from RDI, some are my own.Over a period of time harish has actually begun to enjoy these games. This is a collection of games I have tried and it has worked. Most of the games have been designed keeping in mind that Harish is nonverbal.
Game 1: Pass the parcel/ball.The ball is passed around with the children sitting in a circle.Simple commands are written in slips of paper and placed in a basket. Music is played and when it stops the child who has the ball has to pick a slip of paper and perform the comand written on it.Or the instructions can be verbal . Keep the level of your child in mind. For example, I would tell Harish to perform simple actions such as brushing, touch everybody’s head.
Game 2: This is to increase eye contact. 3-4 children sit on bean bags placed in different corners. It is a must that nobody talks. The signal to interchange their seats is only by eye contact. Should somebody nod their head in a no, then nobody moves.
Game 3: Mask on mask off. Another way to increase eye contact is to use a mask. Make funny faces every time the mask is introduced. Play games where you have to simultaneously put the mask on and remove the mask off.
Game 4: Have a bag with various things in it. Give it a name. The bag is to be passed around. Each participant has to pull out an object. For example, he pulls out a ball and pretends to pop it in his mouth and says yummy laddu. At a later stage, one can have modifications to this game asking him to rate an idea with a thumbs up / thumbs down sign. Once the child understands the game he begins to enjoy it.
Game 5: Pile all the bean bags to make a throne .Let the children take turns to become kings and queens. Keep a set of items such as plastic swords, paper balls for canon .Create a situation where there is monster in the forest and is out to harass the animals. The king sets out to rescue them.
Game 6: Shoot paper airplanes trying to hit each other and teach the child to duck. Same can be done with paper bulls. You can also get him to crush paper to make the balls.
Game 7: Do role play enacting stories such as, The little red riding hood, The shoemaker and the elves, The frog and the princess. Another game is to dress up your child as a washer man, vegetable seller. For the vegetable seller game the retailer sits at one end and pushe s the truck to the wholesale market with his demand. There is to and fro interaction in this game as the truck moves back and forth. My 4 yr old daughter is around to help me with these games she loves pretend play. So when we play doctor –patient, thief -police she is a very willing partner.
Game8: Memory game: Each child is given the name of fruit/vehicles/vegetables. The child who gets the maximum number is the winner. A nonverbal child can point/touch the person when the name is called out.
Game 9:The airplane ride. I count to 10 and befor the plane takes off the children have to board it. I ususally stand at a distance and so they have to come running. The 10 is then graduall y reduced to 5 for a faster take off.
Game1: Balloon games. Tie balloons filled with water at a height and ask the child to hit the balloon till it burst. My son loves it when the water falls on him.tie balloon again filled with water tied around the waist of the children .The child who burst maximum balloons is the winner. Keep a set of change ready with you.
Game 2: Treasure hunt. Keep something exciting maybe few candies wrapped in a paper, a favorite toy and let him go hunting for these. You can also blind fold one child and let him catch the other. Initially my son had a problem being blind folded, later he slowly adjusted to the idea.
Game 3: Tug of war. Play the game of oranges and lemons where two people stand on either side with their hands held together. The children have to pass thru and some of them are caught in at trap when the song comes to a finish. The trapped children agree to be a lemon or an orange and take sides to play the tug of war. The suspense of getting caught adds fun to the game.
Game 4; Make a long human train that goes around the park, stops at the station.
Game 5: if there is a small mound or something let the children have a rolling down race. Initially Harish used to be very rigid. Let them do the frog jump up and down the mound..
Game6: All children form a circle and hold hand to form a human wall and the child trapped inside has to get out.
Game7: The children sit in a circle. One child runs around in a circle and drops his napkin next to one child who is sitting down. Then this child gets up and chases the running child. He either manages to catch the runner who might give up the chase and sit down, in that case he drops the kerchief near another child and the game continues.
These games should be played regularly and slowly or children also begin to take an interest. The three E’s energy, enthusiasm and excitement should be very high. The train ride is usually the closing game, when I paly with my son.