So here are some prep details:
The room is set up for 10 kids max. Any more and it would be difficult to run the program.
Lights are dimmed, volume turned lower than usual, name tags at the door.
Each child's space is set up with a personal time line so that they can follow along with the BIG timeline up front. Giving them control of removing each activity as we do it reduces anxiety and lets them know what to expect next. The personal timelines are made with strong laminated paper and velcro.
Along with the timeline is a list of songs with images and a tangible "clock-like" weather game that goes along with the story we will read. The children will move the "clock" to the different weather images as the book progresses. THis allows them to stay focused on the story being read and participate.
At opening we introduce today's theme; weather.
After the "Hello" song we play a T-Shirt color game where we introduce each other and come up to the board to pin up our color shirt to the board. The piggy-back song I use is "Mary HAd A Little Lamb", but change it to: Who Is Wearing Red Today.....etc.
OK, so the image is upside down, but you get it :)
Along with the book about weather, I have weather toys and at the end of the book I bounce the weather plush toys to the kids. In this throwing game, we say out loud what weather pattern we are throwing around and they all try to catch it as I throw it. I think this was their favorite activity!
I had to throw "Itsy Bitsy Sprider in the mix ;-)
And for the added activity, I had the children color a weather cutout to take home.
(Parents received the magnet for the back of the rainbow to glue on later.)
Our Autism Storytime was a SUCCESS!