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Using Experience Books or Journals to Develop Social Skills

Try creating an experience book or journal with your child or with siblings to talk about what they have done that day, that week or something special to them. This is a great way to provide social interaction while working on a project together and communicating feelings or thoughts.

Experience books and journals can be created for any age or literacy level.

A typical experience book would include an object that represents something they did during the activity. The object would be attached to a piece of paper in a book or placed in a baggie.

Some examples could include:

  • If you played outside, include a rock or flower you found.
  • If you baked cookies, put some of the flour into a small bag to touch.

It is important that the object that is chosen is something the child has touched, smelled, looked at, and/or tasted during the activity, so they can connect the object back to the experience.

Object pages can be made into a book or left on individual sheets. The experience can then be discussed or written about. Sentences or words can be written with your child in print or braille and added to the page. When possible, have your child help think of the word or sentence to describe the activity, which helps make it more meaningful. It will also be helpful to talk about the object and the experience. When talking about the experience include things like how it felt, what you did, who was there, etc.

For older children or children that are writing more, this could be a longer journal entry.

For more information on experience books, check out Paths to Literacy - Experience Books: A Tool for Conversation.

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