As special education teachers, we are trained in identifying a child’s learning goal and then to embed opportunities for a child to work on that goal. Organizing and cleaning is a great way to embed opportunities for children to work on certain learning goals. Here are some ways to aim for real learning objectives while you clean with your child.
1. Counting goals: Your child can count how many while they clean. They can count backwards as they put something away. They can count by 2′s if they put away socks.
2. Sorting goals: Your child can work on identifying attributes of objects. They can sort a basket of clothes or office supplies into different categories.
3. Speech/Language goals: Your child can work on completing whole sentences with proper syntax and grammar during cleaning opportunities. Depending on your child’s speech needs, you can have them work on plurals, past tense verbs (I put it away, instead of I ‘putted’ it away), describing words, and more.
4. Fine Motor goals: Some children have a weak pincer grip. Cleaning small objects, such as buttons, is a great way for children to strengthen their grip.
5. Positional Vocabulary: Your child can practice using mathematical language around positions. Such as below, above, next to, beside, on top, between, etc.
6. Ordering: You can give your child directions using the words First, Next, Then, Last, Finally, After that.