ESDM Online

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Active Ingredients for Change
Young children learn best when having fun. Whether it is play, bath, meal time, or another routine, each moment can involve the ESDM to help children connect, communicate, and learn. See how you can get started with the ESDM with your child or the families whom you support in an early childhood learning environment.
Quick Tip 

Find out how to use tips from the ESDM for early social-communication skills important to life-long learning, behavior, and health with your child or with families whom you support in an early childhood learning environment.

Click the video icon (to the left) for the latest Quick Tip video. 
Want more of this week's Quick Tip? Click the video icon above!
Latest News

Read monthly research about intervention outcomes for children with or at risk of autism; coaching supports for their families; and/or family-centered, culturally inclusive coaching tools to help early childhood professionals support families. Each monthly article is publicly available for free access.
This month’s Latest News compares two frameworks of science and practice that developed separately and represent different professional disciplines- Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI) as practice guidelines for autism interventions, including the ESDM, and early childhood education (ECE) guidelines for developmentally appropriate practices in those settings.

Elements to each framework are organized across these five domains:

1. Creating a caring, equitable community of learners.

2. Engaging in reciprocal partnerships with families and fostering community connections.

3. Observing, documenting, and assessing children’s development and learning.

4. Teaching to enhance each child’s development and learning. 

5. Planning/implementing an engaging curriculum to achieve meaningful goals.

Click the article (to the right) to read more.
Play of the Month
Play not only brings smiles to children's faces but also helps them learn, feel good about themselves, and enjoy the interaction that comes from doing something with someone. Join me each month for Play of the Month to try with your child or the families whom you support in early intervention or other early childhood learning environment.

This month’s theme repurposes spray bottles into a novel toy and fun activity for children to play with water. They will work across several levels of play and as an opportunity to model and encourage language and new play ideas.

Pay attention to what children like (or seem curious about) and follow their lead as long as you are a part of the action, too. Remember, the most important thing is for children to have fun doing this with you! Fun means engagement and that excites children's brains and bodies for meaningful learning to happen.

Simple water play that encourages children to explore, use their senses, and movement:

  • Fill up the bottle with water. You can help children hold the open bottle under the faucet, dunk it in a bucket, or practice their fine motor skills of pouring from a cup. (“The bottle is full.”)

  • Spray children’s hand lightly with water. If they enjoy it, try spraying other body parts. If you pause between spraying, they can request continuation of the game by pointing to or holding up the next body part they want sprayed. (“Your hand is wet. I sprayed your belly!”)

  • Help children take a turn to spray the water on you. (“We’re spraying the water. My face is wet!”)

  • Spray a sponge or wash cloth and watch as it gets wetter. Squeeze it out and start again. (“The sponge is very wet. It’s dripping. You squeezed the sponge. The water came out.”)

  • Put animal or vehicle stickers on a surface you can hit with the water sprayed from the bottle. Other toys can be targets, too. (“Garbage truck!” Let’s get the police car now”)

Pre-symbolic water play that encourages children to construct and accomplish goals and use their imagination:

  • Incorporate the spray bottle into a pretend washing routine. First, spray a toy animal or figure with water, pretend to wash them with a washcloth, toothbrush, or rag, rinse, and then dry them off. You can use a toy bathtub or even a Tupperware. Incorporate shaving cream or foaming soap to make it extra fun!

  • Give children a spray bottle and a rag and have them help you pretend to clean (or maybe actually clean!) surfaces around the room or even water plants.

  • Use window markers to draw on the window or glass door for children to spray and wipe off as you name the letters, numbers, dots, shapes, or other drawn symbols (“Dot, dot, dot. Let’s count. 1, 2, 3 dots. Spray and wipe.”)

Symbolic water play that encourages children to make-believe and role-play:

  • Pretend a dollhouse or building they made from magnet tiles or blocks is on fire. Drive a firetruck over and use the spray bottle as a hose to put out the fire.

  • Set up a pretend car wash! You can use streamers or a duster for the brushes, the spray bottle for the rinse, and a hair dryer for the dry stage, and a towel for the buffing.

  • Spray water into the air and pretend it’s raining! Time to get out the rain gear!

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