As most of you know, my son Jimmy turned two in June and has Down Syndrome. He’s a great kid with an easy smile and loves to play. His strongest skill right now is by far communicating. I can’t help but get excited when he gets things and I enjoy working on those skills the most. He is a signing fool. His signing vocabulary grows daily and he is practically signing sentences. We got the U-Play Mat not too long ago and we break it out to practice word/picture/sign association. It’s a great game and my daughter, Isa, 4, loves it as well. Jimmy is definitely a beginner at this game and he mostly just wants to grab the cards. The whole idea of looking for the card and hitting it or just pointing to it is too much. I play with Jimmy by playing with Isa. I let her look for the card and then I give Jimmy the matching card and tell him what it is and the sign (if I know it). If he knows the sign he will repeat it and I will applaud. He LOVES applause. Then I ask him to give it back and say thank you like he is the kindest little boy in the whole world. He loves that too!
Here is a picture of Jimmy smiling after he gave me the card back.
And, every now and again, he will surprise us by hitting the card after Isa does it.
Here Jimmy is excited just to have the card. He loves holding them and sometimes eating them so watch out if you have a teething child like mine.
I think the key is to make it fun and don’t worry if your session is a short one. Sometimes we play for five minutes and other times for half an hour. Having an older sibling who wants to show off is very helpful too! The U-Play Mat team is offering 10% off and free shipping till August 15. Just type in the code CHRISTI10 at checkout. And, just in case you are wondering, I am not getting a cut of the profits. :)