Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Favorite Cause Effect Activities

Here are some of our favorite cause and effect activities. There are lots of others that we use but these seem to be the most popular. As you can tell, we do a lot of work with cause and effect.

With switches
Fan to blow on chimes and/or self (Powerlink)

Bubble machine (ours is AC not battery so we use a Powerlink)

Turn on blinky lights (we have a whole collection of different kinds; with Powerlink)

Turn on tape player (with Powerlink)

Change the song on itunes; we use a jellybeamer; one of my students uses a Lilli Nielson HOPSA harness for standing and we Velcro a jellybeamer to the harness so she can do it while standing/walking which she thinks is totally cool

Press and hold (“direct” mode on a Powerlink) to explore between 2 different activities such as music and lights—lets the student have more control than using a timer

Use latching (click once to turn it on, click again to turn it off) to run appliances such as blender, mixer, vacuum, paper shredder, blow dryer, etc. Really nice to work on following directions and sequencing

Voice output switch to request “more” (swing, spin, massager, music, TV, ipod, itunes visualizer, the list is endless; especially effective with activities that have a natural ending like swinging); we like to vary “more” messages with comments so the student has to pay attention to what he/she is saying and realizes they have to hit the switch more than once to get “more”

Voice output switches for “channel wars” when watching TV: one student gets a switch that says “change the channel” messages; second student (or adult) gets switch that says “change that back, I was watching that” OR also gets a “change channel” switch. Let them battle it out. Adult changes the channel as directed

Voice output switches with “go” and “stop” messages when on walks, playing on scooter, etc. It’s also fun to add “faster,” “slow down,” and “crash!”

Voice output switch for gaining attention; especially good for the student who isn’t in the mood to engage just yet

Computer activities
Big Bang from Inclusive TLC
Priory Woods switch adapted videos
Itunes (make cause effect by putting cursor on play/pause or reverse or forward)
Things I’ve made using Intellitools Classroom Suite
Away We Ride and similar programs from SoftTouch, Inc.
The SwitchIt! Series from Inclusive TLC
Sights and Sounds series from Marblesoft-Simtech

Nonswitch activities
There's a lot more to cause and effect than just using switches. So often I find school teams get caught up in the technology for teaching cause effect skills when in reality cause effect is all around us, from hitting a light switch to using PECS to make requests to flushing the toilet. Here are some of our favorite non-tech and low-tech cause effect activities:

Knock the Can on the Floor: a favorite of my kids; simply a metal coffee can with marbles inside that gets pushed off the table/lap/tray onto the floor to make a giant noise; also good for Kick the Can

The novelty toys, usually an animal, with a button to push that makes the toy sing and dance

Lilli Nielson’s Little Room concept: we use an Actitunnel from Abilitations that is dubbed the “toy tunnel”

Resonance board, another piece of active learning equipment

Esseff board: a spring board from active learning; we put ours on a stand vertically and stretch a bungee cord across it and hang noisy toys from it; does all kinds of cool things when you bump it, pull on the toys, kick it, etc.

Wind chimes; my favorites are the bamboo ones because they’re easier on the ears

We have a toy that looks like a big red fuzzy head; when you drop it on the floor or hit it, it jiggles and makes noise; ours is called Cris P. Bacon

Learn body parts with a massager: which body part is this? Or where do you want me to put the massager?

The swing: we use a net swing and an Air walker

Flarp: it’s like plastic play doh that makes interesting noises when you squish it in the container; great for using with Walter the Farting Dog books



Mardi Gras beads on a cookie sheet: really good when using an active learning positioning bench

Shake and Go Crash Ups cars

Playskool Busy Gears toy

Tangle toys

Squeaky toys: OK, I'll admit it, we've found the best ones in the pet aisle; they are easy to activate, durable, LOUD, and just plain cute

1 comment:

  1. I would love to see some pictures of some of these! Thank you for sharing!