- 1 large box (14-gallon size)
- 1 small box (shoe box size)
- Sets of items – 1 BIG, 1 little
- 1 Printout Big and Little PECs
- 1 Printout Big and Little ASL Flashcards (thanks to www.lifeprint.com for their amazing sign language graphics)
Directions Stage 1 (Repeat these steps for at least three sessions):
- Attach the “BIG” PEC to the BIG box.
- Sit with your child within arm’s length of the boxes. Point to the BIG box. Say and sign, “BIG. BIG box.”
- Gather your sets of items, keeping like item next to like item. Bring your child’s attention to the first set. Hold up the BIG item. Say and sign “BIG” and the name of the item (ie spoon). “Put BIG in BIG.” Repeat until your child has placed all of the BIG items in the BIG box.
Directions Stage 2:
- Attach the “BIG” and “little” PECs to the appropriate boxes.
- Sit with your child within arm’s length of the boxes. (Each session you have with your child doing this activity, start with the boxes a little further away. This is a gradual way to exercise working memory and advance motor planning.) Point to the little box. Say and sign, “Little. Little box.) Point to the BIG box. Say and sign, “BIG. BIG box.) Show your child one set of BIG and little items (ie two spoons).
- Hold up the BIG item. Say and sign “BIG” and the name of the item. Set it down.
- Hold up the little item. Say and sign “little” and the name of the item. Now hold one of the items in each hand.
- Ask, “Where is “BIG”? Your child should take the BIG item. If he starts reaching for the wrong item, bring the correct item towards your child until he takes it. You should have to do this less and less as you progress. Now say, “Put BIG in BIG.” Do not rename the item; the less words you use when you want your child to select, the easier it will be for him to focus on the task at hand, identifying little and BIG.
- Repeat step 5 with “little.”
- Repeat steps 3-6 with the other object sets.
Variations:Two Players: This makes a fun relay for two children. Designate one player as BIG and one as little. Have players find their designated size from a set of objects and deposit it in the right box. Repeat with next set of objects. (Distance box 3+ yards from the objects.) A Step Up: Present one set of two differently-sized objects (ie baby spoon and serving spoon). Prompt your child to communicate via speech and/or signs or PECs, “I want BIG (spoon). Give them the item and prompt them to deliver it to the correct box. This works well as a two-player game when you assign one size to each player. For extra visual support, print off an extra copy of the BIG/little PECs. Laminate. Punch a hole in the bottom left and right corner of each card. Lace yarn through holes and tie to make a necklace for your child. It will look like it is upside down, but it will not be to your child when he flips it up to see it. Point out to your child that his card is the same as the card on the matching box, ie “Little, little. It’s the same.”Be on the lookout for opportunities to practice BIG and little. You’ll find them abounding at snack time (little crumb or BIG cookie), play time (little car or BIG car), and bath time (little water or BIG water). Hopefully, with a little bit of effort your child will have a BIG payoff in learning this early concept.