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Teaching Special Needs Kids at Home; Tidying!

calendarApril 20 2020

Maths and tidying the house? Here’s how!

In these days of lock down we are trying to juggle being a parent, housework, our day job and teaching our Special Needs kids at home!

But there is a way to turn housework into an easy Maths lesson!

Yes, honestly!!

Tidying the house !

Teaching special needs kids at home can be challenging. But the ideas below should give you some ideas on how to encourage your child to do Maths whilst learning some vital life skills (i.e. tidying up) AND helping you!

3 teddies are sitting together in order of size, smallest to biggest.
Teddies that have been sorted
according to size

Just do a little at a time

Try just one idea at a time to keep things interesting. Trying to do everything in one go will just stress you out and your child will protest! Once you get started you will start to see opportunities for learning in everything you do!

Maths and Tidying the House

Daily ActivityMaths Learning ideas

Making the bedTime How long does it takes to make the bed?
What time did you start making your bed?
Show your child the time when you start
Ask your child to tell you/ point to the time when you started.

What time did you finishing making your bed?
Show your child the time when you finish
Ask your child to tell you/ point to the time when you finished.

How long does it take to make the bed ?
Your child can count the minutes between starting and finishing or
you can use a stop watch/timer on your phone
Putting things away Positional language Whilst putting things away, emphasise the position word:
Put the slippers UNDER the bed.
Put the teddy IN the bed.
Put the pillow on TOP of the bed

You could also show words to help them with instruction (UNDER, IN and TOP) or picture cards like PECS.
Ordering Ask your child to put things away IN ORDER, according to height or size.

Tell your child to put the TALLEST book ‘here’ (place a mark where the book should go)
Ask them to put the SMALLEST book ‘here’ (place a mark where the book should go)
They could sort teddies on a shelf by height or width

You could also show them words while you are doing all of these activities. Here are some words: – tallest, tall, taller, smallest, small, smaller
Counting and learning numberWhilst putting things away e.g. toys in the toy box, count the toys into the box.

You can also count toys by type e.g. how many cars, how many dolls, how many bricks.

For extension, you could start to introduce fractions by saying “half of the toys are in the box and half are on the floor”. “A quarter of these toys are cars”.


We hope this gives you a few ideas. If you need any help you please post in our Education Forum here.

Please leave a comment below! Tell us how you got on or what ideas you have for teaching Special Needs kids at home!

About Us

Emma Bara has taught about environmental topics and science for years, running whole school education projects, teacher training, science clubs for primary school kids and GCSE Science tutoring. David Bara has years of experience as a SEN teacher and Senior Lecturer of Special Educational Needs. They are the Co-Founders of WeCanAccess.com.

David and Emma Bara

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