Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday Workout - Aiden's Experience Book

The experience book introduced to us by our AVT is not quite the same as the ones I've read about or made in the past. It is not one book on one subject, but a big binder full of daily experiences and lessons we're working on. Aiden's AVT started this with us and we not only use it at home, but also in therapy. It is a wonderful tool to help facilitate conversational speech, story telling, and it is a great means to building a strong literacy foundation. (oh, and it can serve as a great scrapbook for mom too!)

The ultimate goal is to get Aiden used to, and excited about, bringing his "story book" to therapy to tell Dr. Don all about an experience from that week. Kids are typically more excited and more apt to talk about something they've experienced, know, and understand. Depending on how long we're in AVT, once Aiden gets to an age where he can draw his own pictures, he will, or tell me about an experience in his day that he wants to add to his book.

Creating one page a day can be overwhelming, so Dr. Don and I decided to make one personal experience page a week and one learning/theme page a week. Before I make the page, Aiden and I always talk about the topic first then make the page together.

Situations we currently incorporate into Aiden's book include:

Emotional Experiences
(Today he fell off his sister's bunk bed, so I need to make a page on that for this week. This is when I cut my thumb and Aiden was upset about it).
Special Days
(birthdays, holidays, grandma visiting, etc.)

Fun, Interesting Daily Type Events

(we make warm cookies a few times a week for bedtime snack)

Changes in Aiden's Life
(for example, I'm in the process of making a few pages about starting preschool. Here's one I made to help Aiden understand why Ryan and Kailyn left everyday when school started up)

Future Events
(for example, we're heading to the beach for Spring Break, so I'll make pages on packing luggage, riding in the car, pictures of the beach etc)

Social and Hygiene Skills
(for awhile, he was constantly eating his boogers - ewww!)
Themes/Specific Lessons
At Aiden's age, a lot of our pages are based on themes/learning experiences (colors, letters, bears, sequencing, holiday vocab., or whatever the "theme of the week" may be.

As you can see from our example pages, it doesn't have to be hard and time consuming.

Some things I do to create these pages with ease:
  • Use clip art, printable from websites, and magazine pictures. I'm no artist, so if I don't have a picture readily available of Aiden performing the task we're talking about, I find it on the Internet or in a magazine then I ....
  • Draw stick figures with a picture of one of our faces for the head. You can find great online photo print specials. I pick a few pictures of the family with good head shots then print tons of them so I can cut out our heads and use them throughout the book.
  • Use cardstock for the pages, it's much sturdier. Oh, and I make sure the experience we're talking about is on facing pages (so I use the front and back of each sheet), like we're opening a book and don't have to flip the page as we talk about it.
  • Use descriptive words, vocabulary you want them to learn, coloring book pages, and printables to help with themes
  • Keep and use items that represent an experience and gives the story an even more personal meaning, i.e. movie ticket stub, postcard from a place visited, wrapping paper, a card received, picture from the package used (ex. picture from the brownie box), invitation, etc.
Items I Keep on Hand
(I keep all my supplies in two shoe boxes, so when we sit down to make a page, I have all my necessary supplies in one spot).
  • stickers and/or specialty paper (this is an easy way to make a quick page to talk about holidays, animals, etc)
  • ziplock baggies (to hold pieces for some pages - for example, we made a snowman on one page and I would have Aiden dress up the snowman with different color scarves, mittens, hats that I cut out for it, so I stored all the snowman's clothes in the baggie.)
  • Crayons, markers, sharpies, glue, hole punch, stapler, tape, scissors
  • Laminator (great investment)
  • any misc. items collected to use one day -i.e. bubble wrap, magazine clippings, clearance holiday items to use for the next year)
There are a lot of great websites, but some I enjoy for themed units are:
  • dltk-kids (a non-member site with tons of preschool activities, holiday crafts, and printables)
  • Daycare Resource (a member site, but they do have some free printables)
  • Making (non-member site, many printables for paper dolls)
  • Preschool Printables (non-member site with tons of fun games, ideas)
  • Hubbard's Cupboard (non-member site with good lesson plans and printables for different preschool themed units)


The Brights said...

Very awesome!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Great book - great ideas!

I'm giggling though, about the picture with the pink pages. I though they were all one page (maybe three pink pages?) and the top said,
"Big Clean Girl" and "Small Dirty Boy"!

Fun times,


tammy said...

I didn't even notice that!!! I am laughing so hard! YES, it's actually a Flip Book on opposites I made and that's just one of the pages flipped open! It has about 4 pieces of paper, but when flipped together, makes about 8. Then Aiden can flip them down to look what's inside each tab.

Still laughing! Good catch!

Melanie said...

TAMMY- THIS IS GREAT! What great books. You are such a good AVT Mommy! :) They are like scrapbooks--Aiden will treasure them when he is older.

Susan said...

Excellent ideas and post

Herding Grasshoppers said...


I realized that (about the flip pages)... it was just the first glance that made me chuckle ;D

What you're doing is awesome!