ESDM Online

Click the video for a brief welcome message!
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 is a commentary written by and with researchers and Black mothers of children with developmental disabilities. In it, they describe the obstacles that Black autistic people and their families face when navigating service delivery systems and the types of collaboration that are necessary to provide family-centered and culturally competent care in service delivery institutions.

“I believe that my experience as an autistic person has definitely been affected by my gender and race. Many characteristics that I possess that are clearly autistic were instead attributed to my race or gender. As a result, not only was I deprived of supports that would have been helpful, I was misunderstood and also, at times, mistreated.”
- Morénike Giwa Onaiwu (Rozsa, 2016)

Author, advocate, educator, Morénike Giwa Onaiwu’s quote illustrates the intersectional barriers that Black autistic children face when interacting with people within service delivery systems (e.g., schools, medical, early intervention) who are not properly trained to support children from Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities.

Click the article (to the right) to read more on creating pathways of equity for Black families of children with disabilities.
Play of the Month: Feel the Rhythm!

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 environments.

Dance is an excellent way for children to get moving. Dance helps children develop motor skills like balance, flexibility, coordination, rhythm, and spatial awareness. Children who participate in dance are more likely to be able to follow directions, complete tasks alone, concentrate, and improve their attention span. It also boosts their confidence because they get the chance to do something they feel good about.

This month’s theme shares games to make dance fun, engaging, and educational for children. 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. 

Balloon Dance

The balloon dance is a great party game for children. Balloons are easy to use as props. Provide children with balloons and instruct them to juggle the balloon instead of letting it fall.

To make the game more challenging for older children, ask them not to use palms. The person who holds the balloon for the longest time wins the game. Or if the balloon falls before the music stops, they’re out of the game. This dance is an excellent activity for hand and leg coordination. A child will also need to develop their awareness and control of the space in front of them.

Ribbon Dancing

All you need is one of these sticks with a ribbon on top. You can buy an original one or make your own fancy ribbon stick from a twig or a dowel and some leftover ribbons. Next, turn on some music and let your kids dance around while you watch.

It is an excellent exercise for the lower and upper arms. Also, it is a great way to build confidence and stamina because kids have to maintain good posture while dancing.

High Five Dance

High Fives are one of the coolest things about childhood. Children love to do this dance. It is an excellent ice breaker, and it helps connect children. To enjoy this activity, ask your children to form pairs. Give each pair some time to get ready.

A pair of dancers must perform a choreographed routine using hand gestures and body movements. They will have to make a dance with high fives, claps, double fives, low fives, and snapping. It is a fun activity that your child can enjoy without music.

Remote Dance

Your children are having fun at the party. You can control them by using a pretend remote. You may also use a real remote or a flashcard with remote buttons. You play the music low when you call out a word. You can also use a flashcard with words.

Children make moves according to the terms that are called out. For example, if you call out ‘Rewind,’ children need to go back or jog backward. And if you call out ‘Forward,’ their dance moves are quick.

Body Part Dance

Children should be encouraged to use their imagination by playing this game. Have your kids circle up and then you can start some music. Lead by example with this one and start by “dancing” one part of your body (like your arms or even just your right arm). Everyone else in the circle should mimic your dance. After a few counts, “pass” the dance to the next person who must “dance” that same body part but in a different way. After you’ve went around the circle, pick a new body part to make dance.

Jumping Jack Dance

Children are bubbling with energy. So it is a good dance game to help them burn off excess energy and engage them in some great physical exercise. Peppy music is needed to make this work.

Kids need to jump as high as possible. The higher, the better! The weirdest and the best jumps from kids will be considered. You can give those kids some stars.

The Animal Dance

This game requires children to call out the names of animals and then imitate them by dancing. The game is good for the child’s imagination and learning.

Write the names of various animals on separate chits. Call out an animal name from the chit.

Little kids will have to make the noise of that animal and take a fun dance as they perceive the animal to be. It is quite fascinating to see the animal moves children come up with. Ensure you have a variety of animals that little ones connect with, such as birds, snakes, and lions.

Popcorn Dancing

Grab a beach ball or other light ball and crank some music. When you toss the ball to someone, they have to dance. Then they can toss the ball to any of their friends to make them dance.
Follow Me

Check out my Vimeo channel for free ESDM video examples and activity ideas shown with parent permission. 


Subscribe below for new services, videos,
and so much more! 
© 2019 ESDM Online