I've been looking for some activities Frog can join in the community. He is interested in other kids, but still can't play with them. It's not easy coming up with parallel play opportunities for a non-verbal 6 year old.
Our local Paint your own Ceramics shop just started a story art hour for pre-schoolers and moms. While Frog isn't wild about art projects I thought we'd give it a try. The set-up was similar to what we do at home: Listen to a story, eat a snack, do a short art project based on the theme of the story, done. Unlike the library story hour, quietness is not strictly enforced. It is also helpful that Diva is a regular at the shop and I went to high school with the owner.
The first session we attended went better than I expected. Frog spent some time rocking and singing while he took in the environment. A little boy I knew of through a mutual friend introduced himself to us, talked to Frog, and showed us his finished project from the week before.
The story was Winter's First Snowflake
by Cheri Hallwood. Frog had some trouble staying in the room for the story. Another young child wanted to play with the toy kitchen Frog was sitting in front of. Frog wanted to get to the door behind this child and leave. The third child wanted to hear the story and spent a good deal of time shhhshing the other two and telling Frog to take the toys out of his mouth.
When the story was over we moved Right on to the project. We cut our own snowflakes out of wet clay. we decorated them with stamps and painted them. Frog enjoyed the feeling of the clay and let me help him push down on the cookie cutters and stamps. He opted to finger paint his snowflake with a mixture of blue and white paint. When we were finished, we were both well painted ourselves. We left while he was still in a good mood to make sure it was a positive experience.
We did not get to go again yesterday, as Frog was in a very messy mood and had me cleaning up all morning. But Diva and I picked up his finished snowflake that the studio had glazed and fired for him.