From Jack: Here are 10 easy, fun ideas of games that you can do with the simplest prop imaginable – a bucket! Seriously, in the magic world of The Son-Rise Program ANYTHING can be fun and ANYTHING can be the doorway to an amazing interaction as you help your autistic child grow and change!
- The Magic Cauldron – You are the bubble/squeeze/tickle (or whatever your child loves) witch and your child has to stir your magic bucket-cauldron to help you make the bubble/squeeze/tickle spell and then they get the thing they are motivated for! Encourage their flexibility through physical participation! Expand this fun game by adding a list of ingredients that need to be added before the spell will work (e.g. two scarves, a toy car and a blue marker).
- A rock-star drum! Turn the bucket upside-down and drum on it! Sing your child’s favorite songs and rock out together! You can work on different challenges depending on where your child is: clear words (e.g. “music”), verbal participation (e.g. your child sings while you drum), physical participation (e.g. your child drums while you sing).
- Help your friend around the playroom – put the bucket on your head and have a fun, silly time wobbling around the playroom, bumping into things. Your child’s role is to verbally guide you safely around the playroom. You could even take turns!
- The tickle bucket! There’s a tickle monster hiding in the bucket – any part of your child’s body (e.g. legs, arms) that they put in the bucket will get tickled! Encourage their physical participation in this fun, simple game.
- Hiding animals – turn the bucket upside down. Tell your child there is something hiding under the bucket, but you don’t know what it is! Slowly lift up one side and make a crazy animal sound! Your child’s role is to guess which animal is under the bucket. Once they have done so, either swap and encourage your child to make the animal sounds, or come up with a different animal for your child to guess.
- Fly to the moon – if your child is small and light enough, invite them to stand in the bucket and fly them around the playroom. Once they are motivated you could help them to say the word “fly”.
- Spin the bucket! Stick different motivating activities in a large circle on your playroom floor (e.g. tickle, squeeze, sing, ride). Place your amazing bucket in the middle of the circle and spin it. Whichever activity it ends up pointing towards will be what you do with your child! Take turns spinning your bucket and helping lengthen your child’s attention span with all these different games!
- Guess what’s in the bucket! To help your child ask questions, place one of their favorite things in the bucket and put it on the top shelf so your child can’t see what is in it. Tell them that one of your child’s favorite things is in there and your child has to guess what it is. Model questions they could ask (e.g. “Is it something you wear?” “Is it red?”) and celebrate in a huge, fun way when they guess!
- Dodge the bucket! Have a fun time with your child rolling the bucket at each other, while the other one tries to dodge out of the way! Once one of you gets “hit” then swap over who is rolling and who is running.
- Playroom firemen – encourage imaginative and symbolic play by pretending that there is a fire in the corner of the playroom and you have to rescue your child’s favorite character (Bob the Builder, Barney, The Wiggles). You could fill the bucket with scarves or paper and pretend that it’s water as your playfully splash it around to put out the fire!
See how something as simple as a bucket can be the source of SO much fun and silliness!
Have a wonderful time playing