By adding a little bit of extra time to your daily routines, you can create a number of learning opportunities for your child without having to completely change your daily schedule. Teaching within daily routines and activities is also helpful because it allows your child to learn new skills throughout the day within activities that are meaningful to him.
There are a number of different daily routines that you probably already do with your child that might be a good fit for using what you learn during Mirror Me Online. Here are some examples of how to use the strategies during different daily routines.
- Story: When reading or looking at a book with your child, take turns imitating your child and encouraging your child to imitate you acting out or interacting with the characters on the page. For example, if there is a picture of a bird, model pretending to be a bird (flap your arms like wings, “Chirp, chirp”). If there is a picture of food, pretend to eat it off the page (“Yum, yum!).
- Meal Time: Try imitating your child during snack. Place the food in your mouth at the same rate as your child. Provide a description of how the food tastes. Encourage him to imitate you pretending to feed a toy puppet or person. If your child enjoys cooking, have him become part of the process. For example, have your child imitate you pour the ingredients in, mix the ingredients, or measure the ingredients.
- Bath Time: If your child enjoys baths, imitate his actions in the bathtub. If your child splashes the water, splash the water with him. Imitate your child’s play with water toys, such as water wheels, cups or other containers, strainers, rubber toys that float, wind up tub toys, bath crayons, scrubbers, or bubble bath. Then encourage your child to imitate you as you show him a different way to play with the toys. For example, if your child likes to pour water, model how to pour water over a toy person and say “it’s a shower!”
- Gross Motor Play: Imitate your child’s vocalizations, gestures, and body movements as he moves through your home or yard. Exaggerate the fact that you are imitating him. Then encourage your child to imitate you as you spin around, fall down, jump, or dance.
The [USING RIT DURING DAILY ROUTINES HANDOUT] can help you identify the best care‐giving routines to teach within. On the handout, write down the daily routines that you use with your child. Include when they typically occur and how long they typically last. Then write a brief description of what the routine looks like. For example, “At wake up, I go into my child’s room and turn on the lights. I get in bed with my child and rub his back until he wakes up. Then, I get him up and bring him to the living room.” You will notice just how much time you already devote to interacting with your child during the day. Then, think about ways in which you can use the strategies from Mirror Me Online during the routines that your child enjoys.