Motivate to Communicate!
The Toy Box above is the result of many years of research working in classrooms with children with Autism, Communication difficulties and Special Needs. I discovered the 'PECS' Picture Exchange Communication System and found it to be a brilliant tool, which allows non-verbal Children to select and give pictures to others in order to communicate.
Sadly, over the years it became clear that this system is generally only used around communicating for food...at 'Snack Time' Communication Folders and Choice Boards appear, but after that they are often put away. There is generally a lot of motivation to communicate when food is involved, but that motivation is often lost when it comes to the rest of the school day. I found this situation extremely fraustrating and over the years have looked to find as many situations, toys and resources that are motivating to my students.
As I tried different things out I discovered there are lots of things that motivate children, however organising these things in one place and having the correct symbols to hand was always a difficult task. As a result I began experimenting with putting the best, most interesting toys i could find into boxes and having the corresponding symbol in the same place. I found this worked really well and sent me down the path of producing the 'Talking In Pictures' Communication Toy Box which I am using in Special Needs Classrooms to great effect.
With this box I am able to engage whole classes of children and get them communicating effectively; learning new skills and enjoying learning through play. Through creating more of these boxes and sharing them with the world I really hope as many children as possible can develop their communication and play skills in order to reach their full potential.
If you would like to get in touch or have any questions please don't hesitate!