Children can feel empowered when given choices throughout their day. Their ability to make decisions improves their communication skills and behavior.
Choice cards are picture cards used to offer a choice between 2 or more items. These cards can be used with young children or children with special needs, such as autism or communication delays.The choices can be of anything: from what to eat for a snack, to which song to sing, to which activity to do. The teacher must be willing to accept either choice and follow through with the child's decision.
When presenting choices, the teacher points to a representational picture of each choice. A yound child or non-verbal child would need to point to the picture card of their choice. Which ever they touch, even if it seems by accident, the teacher should stick with their choice. Older chidlren can point and verbally state their choice. The child may take their choice card to the designated area or place within a schedule.
Here are some ideas for choices to offer throughout the day...
1. Morning arrival: Two tables are set up - one with legos, and the other with puzzles. Offer a choice to each child as they enter, "Which activity would you like to do?"
2. Music: Show picture cards with songs titles. "Which song would you like to sing?"
3. Art: "Which would you like to use in your drawing, crayons or markers?"
4. Centers: "Which center would you like to go and play?"
5. Snack: "Which snack would you like? Pretzels or banana?"
6. Storytime: "Which story would you like to read today?" Little Red Hen or Brown Bear Brown Bear?
7. Outside: "Where would you like to play? Swings or Tricycles"