An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Play to Learn

img_5662-taggedThe snow has gotten the best of my family over this last month, leading to a lot of hard days shut in and a lot of pent up energy and anxiety from the disrupted schedules and lack of freedom to get out like we normally do.  Recently though I ran across supplies on-line for creating your own board game so I bought some for the boys.  Our delivery came in pieces so as we waited for the final package we have been hashing out different ideas for games that would make learning and reviewing easier and more fun.

Well the blank dice were the last thing to arrive and they finally came in yesterday!  I went to work as soon as I could creating some custom dice for the boys that help with different skills. The boys were so excited, that we actually started playing with our new dice by themselves instead of waiting to finish planning out the board and cards.

img_5661-taggedThe power of hands-on learning and learning through play showed through strong as I watched my boys approach with excitement subjects they previously ran from and to even start to master some new skills previously out of their reach. They even tackled their first division problems that don’t end evenly and mastered the concept of remainders in less than 10 minutes! That’s a new record!
In less than an hour of simply throwing some custom dice around and making hard skills into a game, the boys mastered 3 new concepts (division with remainders, > vs <, writing money in decimals), memorized their 11’s times tables up to 9, gained ground on their coin value recognition, worked on reliably reading the $ sign vs the cents sign, and made great starter progress on adding (and subtracting!) money.
If this is the ground we can make with just the dice, I can’t wait to find out what’s in store once we have complete games to work with. ^_^

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