Get your kids out and about while working on social skills, too!
Basket or bag
Several choices of snacks NOTE: If your child is working on specific speech sounds, you can pick items that have that the target sound in it -- peaches, pears, pretzels, popcorn, etc.
Plates, napkins or bowls and cups for each participant
A pourable container with water or favorite drink
1. Pack several choices of snacks. Make sure to include items that you know your communication partner will NOT like. (so that the child/adult has to say “No thank you” or work on expanding food repertoire)
2. Have your communication partner help with the packing (you can work on following directions here). Example, “First put the orange in the basket then go get 3 plates.”
3. Dress for the weather. Talk about the weather and predict what clothes might be appropriate. What might not be appropriate??? (e.g., skirt or shorts when it’s cold, a raincoat on a sunny day)
4. Make a PLAN. Talk about WHERE you want to have your picnic. WHY you would like to have it there instead of somewhere else. WHEN you are going to go. WHO will be there.
Once at the picnic, use this time to enjoy being outside with your social communication partner and work on the following:
1. Taking turns (pouring, serving, taking out items, etc.)
2. Asking WHO, WHAT, WHERE questions about the surroundings
3. You can also create situations that encourage your child to use social thinking skills: “WHAT SHOULD WE DO???” Examples: pack not enough snack for you, the water can spill, you get too hot, you don’t like the snack that was offered, etc. Talk about ways to work through these social situations that are expected and unexpected and how different reactions make people feel different emotions.
This activity can be used for toddlers to adults! Have fun!