Special Time

Special Time

Special time is that 5-10 minutes or 10-20 minutes that parents set aside to play with their child each day. Special Time improves the parent-child relationship and builds positive interactions. Below are some guidelines for a successful Special Time.

Spend 5minutes with your child daily to;

  • Improve relationships
  • Develop good routines
  • Problem solve challenging behaviors model and teach new social skills

Avoid activities that have rules or become aggressive or involve screen time. For example, avoid board games, books, puzzles, aggressive superheroes,  video games/apps, outdoor sports. You want to choose an activity wherein you can sit together on the floor or at a table and engage in the below skills.


                         DO                       DON’T
Let your child choose from a few approved activities. Only include activities you are comfortable with


·      Example: let’s play together! Do you want to build with blocks, or do you want to paint?

Tell your child what to choose or make the choice for him/her


·      Example: Let’s paint

Narrate what your child is doing


·      Example: Wow: your monster car is driving in the jungle

Correct/criticize your child or ask questions


·      Example: Why is your car in the ocean? Cars go on the road

Give your child Labeled Praise for appropriate play behavior


·      Example: I love how nicely you are playing with the blocks!

Don’t give vague praises


·      Example: Good job!

Provide a warning or timer to signal the end of play time


·      Example: in I minute, the timer will go off, and play time will be over. In I minute, we will be over playing

End playtime abruptly


·      Example: okay, lets stop playing now. Put everything away

Have the child clean up with you when playtime is over or allow the child to continue playing while you move on


·      Example: it is time to clean up our painting, please put all the crayons in the blue bucket

·      Example: You may continue painting; I have to go start dinner

Clean up by yourself when playtime is over or allow the child to leave without cleaning up


·      Example: since you already left, I guess I will pick all these up