Thomas the Tank is popular with so many young children. Add Autism to the picture and often it's even more popular! I have actually had friends say to me "Well he doesn't like Thomas so he can't be autistic?", Obviously not true but it is certainly very common. Which makes activities and resources with a Thomas theme particularly useful when extending and promoting children's learning, which will include all children who like Thomas.
So here's a few ideas to get you started:
- Create a box/ bag full of Thomas resources, as above (the paper, scissors, crayons and hole punch are for making tickets)
- Paint a cardboard box blue and add features of Thomas for encouraging imaginative play, make another box to be one of his friends so you can engage in paralel/ joint imaginative play.
- Collect Thomas wrapping paper and use to encourage children to use scissors.
- Collect or save Thomas birthday cards, cut up into simple jigsaws that perfectly meet the child's ability (laminate before cutting for durability)
- Use train track for stage one PECs with the child requesting pieces of track, later on a child can request individual engines using attributes e.g. "I want red train"
- Use Thomas to model positional language e.g. "in tunnel" "on track" "up bridge"
- Introduce little people to encourage extension of imaginative play.
- Create engine sheds out of boxes painted the same colour as the engines and match engine's to thier correct shed. For further extension draw dots on sheds for children to match the numbered engine to the correct shed.
- Play Thomas lotto, made bought or download card from TES.
- Match pictures/ toys of engines to correct numbers, download cards from TES.
- Create Thomas using this cut and stick activity, download from TES.
- Recreate Thomas in this cut and stick puzzle activity, download from TES.
- Stick laminated pictures of engines (or carriages for Thomas) onto pegs, attach to think piece of elastic/ card to make a number line (incorporating fine motor skills)
- Find some pull back or wind up Thomas' so you can use for anticipation and early communication saying "Ready...steady...." pausing for child to indicate go.
- Match engines/ pictures to correct colour cards/ words, simple download available at TES
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