Every week I spend some time at a foster home where 11 children with disabilities live. We have fun playing together and learning new things. It has been fun to watch the children grow. When I first came, there would be regular meltdowns and fits when they didn't get their way. They would throw toys and start screaming anytime they were frustrated. They weren't able to complete even the simplest of puzzles. They also didn't know their colors or animals. Every time I would take out a new activity they would push and shove to try to get the activity first. They really didn't have the concept of sharing down at all.
As time has passed, they have grown so much. Now, several of them can complete 25 piece puzzles on their own. They can name some of their colors and animals. Today, we had a breakthrough in activities. Instead of just having one activity that everyone had to participate in at the same time, I brought several different activities and each individual got to choose the activity they wanted to do. I brought puzzles, coloring books, and playdough. I was a little worried that chaos would ensue, but they did a great job. Instead of screaming at me, they asked nicely for a new activity. They also cleaned up their old activity before getting a new activity. One child was about to throw a fit because I didn't give him something and I told him to ask nicely instead. He eventually did ask nicely. In the past, he would have thrown something at me instead. It is so much fun to see how much they have grown in just a few short months.
Last week we got to deliver some toys to them, thanks to a generous donation from a friend. These children spend all day and night in one room. Sometimes they go outside when the weather is nice. I'm not sure what they do, as they don't have any toys in their room. We were able to buy several different educational toys for them. We purchased toys that are hopefully fairly indestructible, as the wear and tear is pretty high on toys that are being played with by 11 children. It was so fun to deliver the toys and take turns playing with each type. The joy on their faces was priceless. Here are some pictures of us playing with their new toys.