Ready, Set, Go!

My Turn, Your Turn

Teaching Play Skills (Part 4)

Learning Goals

  • Increasing social play and leisure skills, with a focus on turn taking
  • Using visual schedules and work systems to teach predictability, independence, flexibility, generalization and task completion

Learning Connection

Visual supports can build social skills and foster independence. Because visual supports provide children with a concrete reminder of what to do or say, they decrease reliance on verbal and social prompts, thereby increasing independence.

Dr Kathleen Quill –
Do-Watch-Listen-Say: Social and Communication Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder (2017)


  • the learner’s schedule
  • the learner’s communication device (if used)
  • painter’s tape
  • 2 laundry baskets
  • variety of balls
  • whiteboard
  • markers
  • My Turn/Your Turn visual

Note: visual schedules and work systems (or activity schedules) can be used to support any level of symbolic and social play.


  • Create physical boundaries by choosing an area that is segmented from the rest of the space.
  • Ensure that the space is free of visual and auditory distractions.
  • Provide visual structure by putting painter’s tape on the floor to show where to stand.
  • Fill one laundry basket with the balls and place it on the floor by the tape.
  • Place them empty laundry basket at the other end of the space.
  • Write/draw:
    • Play Ball
    • Stand at the line.
    • Pick up a ball.
    • Throw the ball.
    • Write/draw a spot for 5 checkboxes.
    • Wait.
    • Finished.
    • Say “bye”.
    • Check Schedule.

Depending on the learner’s readiness and social comfort, have him/her wait by standing or by sitting on a chair. As the learner becomes more successful in understanding expectations, consider reducing the detail for the steps on the list. As the learner becomes more independent, reduce adult facilitation.

Verbal Prompts


  1. First, if needed, support the learner in checking his or her schedule.
  2. Next, if needed, support the learner in going to the physically structured “play ball” area as indicated on his or her schedule.
  3. Next, show him/her the work system (activity schedule) and review the expectations.
  4. Next, model the expectations.
  5. Next, show or hand the learner the “my turn” visual.
  6. Next, if needed, support the learner in standing at the line, picking up the ball, and throwing it into the basket.
  1. Next, support the learner in checking off one box to indicate that they have used one turn.
  2. Next, hand the learner the “your turn, wait” visual and support them in waiting behind the line.
  3. Next, support the learner in continuing to take turns, and checking off all 5 boxes.
  4. Next, after the last box is checked, if needed, support the learner in understanding the activity is finished.
  5. Next, support him or her in saying goodbye to the peer. Then, if needed, support the learner in checking his or her schedule to see what is next.