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ideas/tips/games/activities for playdate with NT child?

(9 Posts)
oodlesofdoodles Wed 14-Sep-11 19:58:25

We have a playdate coming up with a boy from the NEW nursery. He's in a different class to my DS, but this family are part of the scene and I really want it to go well. We've had a couple of playdates over the past six months where my ds has been a bit overwhelmed by this socially adept confident boy.

Does anyone have suggestions for a menu of activities that I can have up my sleeve? I want both boys to enjoy themselves. The little sisters will be there too. Ages c. 4.75, sisters c. 2.5.

My DS has asd type traits. He wants to have friends and play with other kids, but lacks the basic social skills and conversation abilities. He loves rough and tumble, fencing, obstacle races, but such games only last so long (and don't do much to progress his social skills).

All ideas gratefully received.

beautifulgirls Wed 14-Sep-11 20:01:39

Do you have a park nearby you could go to and let them run off some excess energy as a start. They will either play together or alongside ignoring each other, but both will probably be happy with the space and it might make for a calmer time afterwards. Will suit all ages too usually.

coff33pot Wed 14-Sep-11 20:29:02

Do you like messy play? ie playdough or cutting out shapes from sponges and using them with paint as stamps. Or give them a giant box to colour draw on and turn it into something. Baking, all kids like mixing up rolling out and making biscuits which is simple then have a cookie time at the table as a break. With these sort of things no child is going to be better than the other so your ds will feel part of it all.

pedalpants Wed 14-Sep-11 20:34:37

my NT 5 yo recently went on a playdate with autistic boy from her class.

they did the following things:
games with an ABA tutor (it was towards the end of her session and then she left)
eating (v.popular meal)
played with autistic boys NT younger sibling (sorry, know this probably isn't the ideal for you but just letting you know what happened)
watched brief DVD DD had not seen before

she had a really good time, and although she hasn't suggested it, I'm sure she'd be happy to go again. autistic boy also happy but not sure details as wasn't there.


oodlesofdoodles Thu 15-Sep-11 20:33:38

Thanks everybody.
That's nice that you sent your daughter on autistic playdate pedalpants. I'm paranoid that if I tell anyone they won't want their children to play with him.

bialystockandbloom Thu 15-Sep-11 20:45:17

Some good ideas here, and ones we've used before with playdates for ds (4.4, asd) and nt playmates.

Messy play, playdo stuff, painting always a hit.

My ds is very into outdoor stuff like climbing trees and looking for spiders, snails etc. If yours is, and and you have suitable garden, worth a try. 4/5yo boys seem to love this stuff. My ds and his cousin (nt) and friends (including a 5yo nt boy) can spend hours looking for insects and making 'homes' for them.

Dressing up/pirate/knight stuff. Foam swords. Anything to demolish - pinata if you can buy one, or just build a den in the garden and smash it with swords. Hide a treasure box or two for them to find (with treats in).

Hide and seek. What's the time mr wolf. Duck, duck goose.

I think the rough and tumble stuff does more than you think to help social skills, even if it's just teaching concepts like winning/competing, and even just the interaction will help smile

Definitely have a meal in there, and include something that takes a long time to eat, like ice lollies.

Don't make it too long - 3 hours max I'd say (including meal).

I've spent the last six months working on our techniques to get more playdates, can you tell grin

Good luck. When is it?

oodlesofdoodles Fri 16-Sep-11 20:27:37

Thanks Bialy - more good ideas, this is just what I needed. Is your technique paying off then? Playdate is on Monday, fingers crossed it's dry and they can go in the garden.

TheTimeTravellersWife Sat 17-Sep-11 07:52:06

If its wet, are you near to an indoor soft play place? Only problem is that they can be a little bit noisy for children with ASD, but just an idea as a fall back activity.
DD has had some successful playdates with NT children, but I have discovered (through bitter experience!) they need to be activity based, such as a trip to the park and a picnic, doing craft based activities, it has to be structured and I do occasionally have to prompt her on the social skills side!

oodlesofdoodles Sun 18-Sep-11 21:34:18

Thanks TimeTraveller, nearest soft play is too far for playdate. I'm getting the picture from all your replies though: playdates are not the time for cup of tea and natter with another mum!
DS also has fine motor problems so art and craft can be difficult, esp if NT child sneers at his efforts.... No matter, I've stocked up on paintbrushes and fished interesting bits of junk out the recycling box.
I'll suggest bialy's creepy crawly hunt as well.

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