An important life skill for children is knowing where to find things and where to put them away. Knowing the answer to where do you find the sink, the refrigerator, the potty, the table, the bed is not only helpful to your child, but it is also helpful to us Mommys as we lighten our load as our child becomes more independent in his activities of daily living.
With that in mind, I’ve created some PECs for items around the house. Here’s a few ways you can use them outside of the obvious:
1. Scavenger Hunt: Make 2 copies of the PECs. Laminate both copies, leave one intact and cut up the other. Put velcro dots on the front of the intact copy and on the back of the cut copies. Place the cut PECs in the place where that item is found (the fork PEC goes in the silverware drawer, the refrigerator PEC gets taped to the refrigerator). Give your child a board, point to the first PEC and ask him, “Where do we find the ______________ (fill in the blank with the appropriate word). Giving him as much assistance as necessary, go with him to find the item. When he finds the item and the PEC, have him place it on the matching square on the PEC board.
2. Memory game: Make 2 copies of the PECs. Laminate and cut both copies. Place all cards (or just a few pairs of the cards if your child is a beginner) face down on the table and allow him to turn over two cards, trying to make a match. If he finds a match, he gets another turn. If he doesn’t make a match, turn the cards back over and now it’s your turn.
3. Matching game: This is a great way to introduce your child to the Memory game if he is not quite ready for the real thing. Print 2 copies of the PECs, laminate and cut. Place the cards face up on the table. Allow your child to select one card. Now instruct him to find the matching card. When he has made a match, then it’s your turn. This is a great game to play with multiple children if you are like me and have several Littles at the same time with different ages and ability levels.
4. Lotto cards: This will only work for a noncompetitive game since all the cards will be the same. An alternative would be to print several cards, cut on the lines, reorder the PECs, glue onto cardstock or paper and then laminate. In any case, you’ll need an extra set of PECs for the caller. Give everyone a card. Place the cut PECs face down on the table in a stack. Have the caller turn the top card up and name it. Have children place a coin or other small item on their corresponding space on the card. The first one to have a complete line marked wins. If the PEC card is not completely covered with PECs, using blank cards for the blank spaces works well. Don’t forget to write the correct word on the back of each PEC so your child can start to use the letters as hints. The very first time I played this way with Bella (3), she started saying, “This can’t be a match because this has a p and this doesn’t have a p. Clever girl.
You’ll find the kitchen PECs here (kitchen, sink, cupboard, fork, refrigerator, tea kettle, oven, microwave, spoon, napkin, dish towel, dish soap, sponge, radio, paper plate, paper bowl, coffee maker, blender):
And the dining room PECs here (dining room, table, chair, window, bookshelf, pencil sharpener, pens and pencils and booster seat):