IMG_3788-This was the first time that this friend came over to play. It’s one of her best friends and I can’t believe it’s taken this long for her to come play after school. For one reason or another, Y hasn’t had many friends over until this year. She was just never interested. Her cousins have been her best friends and I guess she never felt the need to bring anyone over. 
–I would ask her if she wanted to have a playdate, and she would always say no.  But today was different. She was extremely excited her friend was coming. I made a Jenga with questions on it so that when she plays with her friends, she can practice talking in front of them and it can be a fun, pressure-free thing to do. That way, they can also get to know things about one another that they have likely never known before. Y came up with some of the questions and was looking forward to playing it.
–I had a feeling this would be a positive play date. From the minute they went outside to jump in the trampoline, Y was very verbal with her brother, talking to him and explaining things right in front of her friend. I wanted to cry as I set out the strawberries for their snack. There she was jumping and talking! Her friend even blurted out: “You talk a lot more at home than you do at school!”.
–It’s so mysterious and sometimes hard to understand exactly how her mind works. But I think it has a lot to do with how comfortable and safe she feels with that particular friend, what kind of a day she had at school, what the circumstances are and how much she really thinks she can “talk” without anyone making a big deal.
–Here are the questions I used for the Jenga. We started with a lot of what’s your favorite —–? It was harder than I thought to come up with 54 questions for 8 year-olds. Feel free to add/subtract questions as you see fit for your little one. Whether they have SM or not, I think it’s a fun way to play jenga!

Ice cream
TV show
Game or toy
Trip you’ve taken
Where were u born
Spell your last name
When is your birthday
What’s ur middle name
Mom’s name
Where was your mom born
Dad’s name
Where do your parents work?
Where was your dad born
How many cousins
Brothers and sisters
What do you want to be when you grow up
What do you usually have for breakfast
Colors of the rainbow
If u were a character from movie or book, who would u be
Invisible for a day, what would u do
Been out of the country
Been to Disney world
Been on a plane
Allergic to something
Pool or ocean
Waffles or pancakes
Hot dog or pizza
Christmas or Easter
Dark or milk chocolate
Boots or flip flops
Beach or mountain
What do u like on ur burger
Describe best day ever
Do you have a dog or a cat
Met a famous person
What do you like to do in your free time
Name a plant or flower you love
What is 2+2
What is 5+5
What are you really good at
What makes u really happy?

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