Building on my earlier blogs on activities using coloured pasta and rice, here are ways you can extend these activities if the individual requires a greater level of engagement of a more detailed challenge.

Place a mix of red pasta and red rice into a cup. Do the same for the yellow and green pasta and rice. You will also need red, yellow and green cups and pieces of red, yellow and green paper large enough to cover the top of the coloured cups.

As before, start the activity with a verbal prompt: ‘Pasta first and then rice.’ Ask the individual to repeat this so you know they have processed the instruction and are engaging with you.

Then say: ‘Shall we start with red?’ In this way, you are giving them a choice whilst maintaining control of the situation.

Allow the individual to take the red pasta out of the cup and place it in an empty red cup. They may wish to use their hands, a spoon, a peg or large tweezers; whatever works for them. Counting the pieces of pasta into the cup will also help with breathing. Once the red pasta has been moved into the red cup, ask the individual to pour in the remaining rice. Then say: ‘Well done. Finished.’

Move onto the yellow pasta and rice, and then the green.

To advance the activity further, place the coloured paper over the empty coloured cups – red paper on red cup, yellow paper on yellow cup, and green paper on green cup. Repeat the exercise above but ask the individual to first remove the paper before transferring the pasta and rice. They can use their hands to do this or they can blow the paper off the cup. As with counting, blowing helps calm the breathing. When the pasta and rice have been transferred into the respective coloured cups, ask the individual to replace the paper on the top of the cup. Remember to say: ‘Well done. Finished’ at the end each activity.

Make these activities fun and enjoyable, and always keep them controlled.