While I love every ounce of my profession, my biggest goal is using ABA principles and techniques to teach kids to be KIDS! Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is very important, but it is equally as important to generalize these skills across people, settings and stimuli. Today, we had fun with dinosaur bones and fossils. If your child has a list of ABA program goals (and if they’re with me, you know they do!), don’t forget to carry those goals into fun activities. I’ll try to post some of these ideas under the Everyday ABA heading.

Baking/cooking is probably one of my favorite ways to incorporate ABA program goals into a child’s day without it feeling like “work.” Mix up your own salt dough with your child. While making the dough with your child, count and measure, work on action words like “stir” “mix” “scoop”, ask about textures, temperatures and all those other describing words listed in his/her program book. This is also a great time to work on pesky positional words: put the flour in the bowl, put the spoon on top of the table, etc. For my older kids, I like to have them draw sequence cards to work on remembering steps and putting steps of a task in order.

For dinosaur day, we worked on matching dinosaurs into salt dough fossils and also worked on putting dinosaur bones in order from small–>big, heavy–> light and thin–> thick!

I must give credit to the wonderful world of Pinterest for initially giving me this idea a year or so ago! If you want to make your own salt dough, follow this recipe:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup luke warm water

I baked mine in the oven for a few hours to make sure they were sturdy for sessions.

Elizabeth Gagliardi, MSSW, BCBA Owner and Behavior Analyst of ABA Interventions