Day 23: Main Activity – Activities of Daily Living in the Morning Circle

by | Tutorials

This is a post out of the 31 Days of Morning Circles. You can find the main page for this series here.

Note: If you’re reading this series for the first time, I suggest you look at the daily structure post to understand the routine we follow in our morning circle.

One of the advantages of homeschooling a disabled child is that he can learn life skills in the place he’ll be using them most: within the home and community. Once again, the morning circle allows for quick skill practice while you have your child’s attention.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) include a focus on anything we do on a daily basis for self-care, home management, or community functions.

Among ADL are:

  • dressing self
  • bathing/ showering
  • washing face
  • washing hands
  • grooming (combing/ brushing hair, cutting nails, etc.)
  • feeding self
  • using the toilet
  • taking prescribed medication (when older and able to do this safely)
  • housework (doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, making bed, etc.)
  • functional activities: (using the telephone, computer, AAC equipment, etc.)
  • shopping (groceries, clothing, and managing money, etc.)
  • taking public transportation and getting around the community
  • etc.

In the morning circle, you can practice some ADL skills using common and safe materials that your child will be able to handle based on his developmental level. Also, be sure to keep the activities short and doable in a circle. You don’t want to cook in the morning circle, but you can practice some of the skills he’ll use for cooking later.


Doll teaches ADL

This doll is amazing for ADL because, for one, it’s a boy, and secondly, it teaches dressing self: snap belt, Velcro and lace shoes, zipper on the back, button pocket and the entire jumper comes off to dress doll completely. We practice feeding him, combing his hair and washing his hands, face and body parts. I love that I can toss this little guy in the washing machine to make him brand new again when he needs it (but, shhhh… don’t tell my son that!)

Activities of daily living practice in the morning circle

  • folding small towels (or use small pieces of fabric)
  • sorting laundry into two baskets: towels in one, socks in another
  • manipulating cleaning tools: brushes, sponges, rags, a spray bottle with water
  • practice feeding self or feeding a doll
  • manipulating cooking utensils: spatula, whisk, bowls, measuring spoons and cups
  • practice dressing self with outdoor clothing: hat, boots, coat
  • practice dressing a doll
  • pretend play: washing face, washing hands, washing arms and legs on doll first, then self
  • practice brushing/ combing hair on doll first, then self (looking in mirror)
  • pretend play: using the telephone
  • etc.

How can you incorporate ADL in the morning circle?


More Resources

Continue reading my essays, activities, and case studies for supporting the education of disabled/chronically ill and neurodivergent children.