“This activity is easy to prepare and easy to play with your child, it’s also super fun! During this activity, you can encourage your child to engage with you by looking in your eyes and even physically participating in the game.
“All you will need is a few different types of hats. The hats can be colorful, funny, and even theatrical so that you become more interesting to look at for your child.
“When your child on the Autism Spectrum is in a Green Light (spontaneously engaging with you), Entertain your child by throwing a hat up in the air and attempting to catch the hat on your head by ducking into it. When your child looks at you, celebrate them for looking in your eyes to let them know how much you value and enjoy their eye contact. If your child is still attending to you, grab another hat, throw the second hat up in the air, and once again attempt to catch it on your head. For an extra silly element, you can even catch it on top of the first hat. Repeat these steps – and when your child is motivated, invite them to throw the next hat over to you so you can catch that one on your head too. Keep going for as long as your child is engaging with you. When all the hats are on your head, pretend to topple over in a playful, goofy way, making all the hats fall off your head again. Exclaim to your child ‘Oh no! I lost all my hats,’ and begin the steps to the game again.”
Becky Damgaard, Senior Son-Rise Program Teacher