The holidays are just around the corner, although if you have been in the stores lately, you would assume it’s Christmas right now! I have always loved this time of year, but all the change and excitement can be a little rough on our friends with social language impairments. Travel, being out of routine and the constant flow of conversation with different people can overstimulate even the most calm of kids. As a mom, I know I was guilty at times of setting a pretty high bar of behavior over the holidays for my boys, and then being surprised when someone melted down!
The holiday dinner table, either at Grandma’s house or a fancy restaurant for a family gathering, can be fraught with social peril! Maybe I overstated that just a bit, but it is a setting that has a lot of moving pieces when it comes to predictable and unpredictable behaviors. I created a game “Gobble, Gobble, Gross!” to work on these behaviors at the holiday table including choosing appropriate topics for discussion and making appropriate choices such as using a napkin (not your sleeve) and chewing with your mouth closed. The game also addresses identifying and avoiding unexpected behaviors such as nose picking, burping, or taking food off of other people’s plates. There’s a blank template included for your students to brainstorm their own set of predictable and unpredictable behaviors at the holiday table too and a set of blank cards to add your own specific scenarios to the game!
The goal of the game is to collect as many turkeys as you can for identifying expected holiday behaviors, but look out for the GROSS cards! If someone can identify the unexpected behavior and change it to an expected behavior, they can take your turkeys! It’s all in good fun (and a lesson in winning, losing and playing games with peers is automatically embedded).
How do you work on these holiday skills with your students? Share here!