Strategies to Make Unstructured Times Enjoyable and Beneficial

Follow these 10 simple steps to learning to making unstructured times enjoyable and beneficial. Use the guide yourself or work through the steps with someone you are with.

A simple guide to learning to making unstructured times enjoyable and beneficial in 10 easy to follow steps

1. Visual Schedules

Create a visual schedule for the day that includes both structured and unstructured times. This can help provide a sense of predictability.


2. Transition Warnings

Use timers or visual cues to give advance notice before transitioning from structured to unstructured time.


3. Special Interests

Encourage engagement with preferred activities or hobbies during unstructured times.


4. Sensory Activities

Offer sensory-friendly activities like playing with textured materials or engaging with sensory toys.


5. Guided Activities

Provide options for activities with clear instructions, like puzzles or art projects.


6. Choice Making

Allow the individual to choose from a set of activities during unstructured times, giving them a sense of control.


7. Social Stories

Use social stories or visual supports to explain the concept of unstructured times and what to expect.


8. Gradual Exposure

Introduce short periods of unstructured time and gradually increase the duration as comfort grows.


9. Structured Relaxation

Incorporate calming activities like deep breathing or listening to soothing music into unstructured periods.


10. Personaliszed Approach

Understand the individual's preferences, sensory sensitivites and communication style to tailor the strategies accordingly.


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