Through her IEP, Sweet B is guaranteed to attend some form of extended school year (ESY) during the summer. When she was younger, she would attend a summer school style program at Wildwood but in the past few years; she’s attended Camp Wildwood. Services, such as speech and occupational therapy, are still provided.
However, there’s a brief time period between camp ending and the school year beginning that she’s at home. And while our afterschooling program may suffice, I wanted to looking into developing an ESY program at home. With thanks to Fun and Function for providing our items and sponsoring this conversation for our program; I’m outlining a suggested plan for a two to three week time period.
First, you’ll want to determine what you want to focus on or work on over the summer. Because she receives services during her ESY program through Wildwood, I want to extend on that.
The three main areas that we’ll work on are: physical education, language, and social skills.
Though we try to spend as much time as possible outdoors anyway, sometimes it’s nice to come inside for a change. Sweet B occasionally participates in yoga at school, so I thought we’d try it at home as well:
We’re adding the Yoga Exercise Cards for Kids into our program. Sweet B loves using her exercise ball and I figured that it would be a fun way to get her into yoga at home. The cards can be used with or without the ball, but the ball really does help Sweet B focus.
Each card highlights elements of the pose: Balance, Calm, Social, Strength and/or Stretch
Great for kids who need help with motor planning, balance skills, body awareness, flexibility, language
Made by Fun and Function
I also had my eye on adding in Regulation Cubes, either for the ESY or for her afterschool program.
- For children who need guidance to self regulate
- Includes 2 cubes and 24 colorful illustrated cards
- Great for solo or group play
- Made by Fun and Function
- Age 3+
I felt that the Memory Matching game would help with both language and cognitive skills.
- Teaches language syntax
- For kids with language or developmental delays, learning disabilities and autism
- Great for classroom or family play and in speech therapy groups
- Age 5+
We worked on identifying similar letter groups in addition to following the suggested use for the game.
To help with language development and to work on fine motor skills, I also considered adding Discovery Putty.
Strengthens fine motor skills and provides tactile exploration
Versatile therapy tool, fidget, and travel toy for imaginative play
Supports speech, color recognition, math and language activities
High quality professional putty, free of gluten, casein, latex, soy
Because Sweet B does have PICA issues, sensory play can be interesting to say the least. I look more for items that have texture and are still taste safe, just in case.
This is one if the biggest focus areas for Sweet B (along with daily living skills and functional language). We’re working especially hard on identifying emotions and feelings.
I was absolutely thrilled to see the Guess How I Feel? game!
Helps kids with autism recognize other people’s emotions
Good for children with speech and language delays
Made by Fun and Function
One of the main things that I love about this is that, with her limited literacy, this game does not rely on reading skills.
Why We Choose Fun and Function
Fun and Function is the leading resource of kid-friendly sensory tools. Fun and Function’s goal is empowering different and believes that differences make the world a better, more fun, and more interesting place to be.
Fun and Function was started by occupational therapist and mom (of 8!) Aviva Weiss because she couldn’t find kid-friendly sensory tools that would fit her family’s needs. She channeled her frustration and turned it into a passion for creating the best sensory toys and tools on the planet.
Improving the lives of kids with special needs is Fun and Function’s driving mission. Everything they make is kid-friendly, affordable, and most importantly, makes a real developmental and therapeutic difference in the lives of children.
I encourage you to go take a peek and see what Fun and Function has to offer. You’ll find everything (and then some!) that you need to develop your own extended school year program at home.