Bag of Tricks Smiles that melt our hearts! There are of course tons of ways to encourage smiles from your kiddos! We just wanted to include some of the ones that work best for us & ones that make us feel like real life comedians!
Songs – We find that songs that involve movement make Roman laugh the most! For instance we bicycle his legs or make his arms go in a circular motion during “Wheels on the Bus”. During “Itsy Bitsy Spider” you can make their hands crawl up. “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” is great to target body parts and also build body awareness. Another awesome song is “Pop Goes the Weasel”. When you say the word “Pop” you can clap your hands, make yourself jump up, or even make one of their favorite stuffed animals jump up to surprise them! An app that we love to target songs is First Songs.
Simple Games – We get loads of smiles during “Peek a Boo” where you cover and uncover our face. You can even begin engaging in a simple game of “Pat A Cake” (with physical prompting of course). They will not independently play these games with you at this point, but it’s a great way to introduce them so they can become familiar with what is expected of them later on.
Mirrors – One thing that Roman thinks is hilarious is making funny faces in the mirror. He also thinks it is very funny if you come extra close to the mirror. Just showing them simple smiles can often encourage smiles as well! I also take this time to review his name and point to him in the mirror to help build self-awareness.