Tag Archives: sequencing


Hands-on Learning Games: Help Your Child Learn to Sequence

Looking to help your child improve his sequencing skills? Here is a fun hands-on learning game that will improve your child's skills using their favorite children's songs.

Why is sequencing important anyway?

Helping your child learn to sequence is important for several reasons. First of all, sequencing allows your child to manage his time effectively, and helps him see the relationship between actions and consequences. A child who has difficulty in this area will be consistently "time challenged."

They will be late to school, late coming home, or will take longer than necessary to complete an assignment because they are unable to estimate how much time something should take.

Strong sequencing skills allows him to communicate meaningfully with others, whether it is with words, sentences, or paragraphs. Children who are weak in this area will start a joke with the punchline. Their stories will be jumbled and difficult to understand because they find it difficult to present events in the order in which they occurred.

Good sequencing skills also means your child will be able to make a better connection between his actions and the consequences that naturally follow. Children with weak sequencing skills will sometimes appear as if they never learn from their mistakes. Despite warnings, threats, and punishments, they seem intent on repeating the same ineffective behaviors time and time again.

By playing this hands-on learning game with your child, you will find both your child's ability to learn and his behavior will show an improvement.


For this game you will use songs which use sequencing, plus you will need to make pictures to go along with them. For children under 5, or more challenged children, try Raffi's "Brown bear." For children 5 and up, try Fred Koch's "I had a rooster," or "Today is Monday."

More advanced children can try "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly." Any song that uses a sequence of objects, and is easy to understand, can be used.

You will need to write down in order all of the objects that are named, and find clear pictures for each one. Each picture should not be smaller in size than a playing card. Each picture should also be on a separate piece of paper. You can laminate each picture or print it out on card stock for durability.

How to play:

Listen to the song once with your child in order to help familiarize her with the song. As each item is mentioned, lay it in front of your child. Most of the songs add a new item, and then repeat the previous ones. When this occurs, your child should point to each object in order.
For example, in "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly," by the time you get to the cat, you will have in front of you a fly, spider, bird, and the cat. You will add the cat when the singer sings it, and then you will point to the cat, the bird, the spider, and the fly. After you've done it once, let your child try it out. Here are some variations on the game you can use to make this game harder or easier:

    • To make the game harder, do not use pictures, but ask your child to tell you the names of the animals, forwards and backwards. You can make it easier for him by giving him a hint-the first letter of each word.


  • To make it easier, let your child sequence the pictures as the song is being sung. You can stop the song to give your child time to lay out the picture. You can make it slightly harder by asking your child to sequence the animals after they've heard the song.



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Hands-On Learning Games

Hands on Learning Games: Use “Goodnight iPad” to Teach Your Child Sequencing Skills

Improve child's expressive language with Goodnight iPad

Use this great online book to improve your child's memory and sequencing skills.

(Update: This book is no longer available on wegivebooks.org. However, you can still borrow it from your library or buy a copy on Amazon).

As I was browsing the web a few weeks ago I stumbled across a great site for online children's books: wegivebooks.org. There are over 160 online books to choose from, and unlike other sites I've found, many of the books are classic or popular children's books.

Books, for example, like "Llama llama in Pajamas" or "The Snowy Day" sit happily alongside my favorite version of "The Little Engine that Could."

Perhaps the nicest thing about this site - other than the fact that it's free - is that you can choose to donate a book to one of their literary partners, which is a nice way of sharing the fun of reading with those who really need it.

One of my favorite books on the site is called "Goodnight iPad." A spoof on "Goodnight Moon," it's a poke at our 24/7 connectivity to technology. In it, a grandmother sits in a rocking chair trying to find a little bit of peace and quiet, which of course is impossible due to the various beeps, clicks, and dings from iPads, gameboys, and other household electronic necessities.

Grandma decides to take things in her own hands, and starts dumping everything out of the window, to the great distress of every one in the family except the baby, who was until then wandering around the house like a lost puppy.

The illustrations are great; close enough to the original but with a humor of their own. Both you and your kids will love it, and maybe it will inspire you to unplug the family for an hour or so, and get some much needed downtime.

I had such fun reading this book that I decided to use it as the basis of a hands on sequencing game for the modern child:

Goal of the game:

The point of this game is to help your child strengthen her memory and her sequencing skills by reading the story and sequencing the pictures provided below.


- Read the book at: http://www.wegivebooks.org/books/goodnight-ipad?auto_launch=1#

- The pictures available for free download below from Scribd

Hands on Learning: Goodnight iPad

How to play the game:

1. Read "Goodnight iPad" to your child. As you read each electronic item, have your child find the picture of it and place it in order on the table.

2. After you've read 3 items, mix up the items, and have your child put them back in order. Make sure she names each one aloud as she places it in it's place.

3. Continue doing this until you finish reading all the items in the book. You will add 3 new items to the old ones at a time. Each time you finish adding new items, your child will sequence both the new and the old ones.

4. When you finish, mix up all of the pictures, and see if your child can put them back in order again.

5. Now turn the pictures over so they are not visible. See if your child can name the items, in order. If they have trouble doing this, then let them peek at the picture for a second or two, and then name it.

TIP: Children who are more advanced can skip the pictures, and just write the first few lettters of each item down as  a hint.

You can also make this game harder by having your child sequence all of the items both forwards and backwards.


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Free Picture Daily Schedule for Your 3-6 Year Old -Hands on Learning

Free daily schedule

Click here for your free daily schedule

Transitioning from a carefree summer to the more scheduled school day can be difficult for many children with special needs.

Usually when we need to face a potentially upsetting experience, we picture in our minds exactly what might happen. We imagine the various possibilities, rejecting some, and changing others.

Many children with special needs have trouble with the ability to picture things in their minds. They can't imagine what could go wrong, and therefore are unable to make plans to prevent disaster from occurring.

The other problem children with special needs often have is an unawareness of time, which is a sequencing issue. Their internal clock is often running faster or slower than the rest of the world. Hence you have the child who is always late, or the preschooler who constantly asks when the next activity will be. The former's internal body clock is slower than everyone else, while the latter's is too fast.

You probably know already that using a daily schedule can help your child adjust and anticipate to new situations. Since I know it can sometimes be a pain in the neck to organize one, I've downloaded one from Boardmaker® for you to use - for free.

TIP: You can enlarge the squares if you want, laminate, and put Velcro on the back of each card. Hang up a square of carpet (you can often get a sample free from a carpet store), and put the cards on the carpet.

If you get a light colored piece of carpet with no nap, you can draw boxes with permanent marker so your child will know where to place each square.

Before school starts, let your child practice sequencing the cards in their proper order. Start with 3 cards at a time, adding one additional card each time.

This way by the time school starts, your child will have a clear picture of what will happen during the day.

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