Implementing a Structured Snack Time in a Special Needs Classroom

I don't have a snack time in our classroom every year, but when the school day is long and lunch times are either really early or really late, it's definitely necessary!

Snack time in any classroom can be a hectic time time! In self-contained/ center-based classrooms, snack time can be even more overwhelming if structures and routines aren't in place to support students!

Check out how I structure and set up snack time so we can have a meaningful and calm snack time!

-Post and share your routine with all classroom staff!

It is SO important that all staff know the snack time routine and keep it consistent for students! I post a simple mini-poster at the beginning of the year to make sure all staff are on the same page about snack time routines and expectations. You might have to change the routine and expectations as the year goes on (and that's okay!) but make sure you communicate that with all staff and students!

-Structure snack time by assigning student jobs!

Keep students busy and engaged during snack time by giving them jobs! Jobs we assign during snack time include: snack time helper (this student passes out dishes), table wiper and dish washer. Not only does assigning jobs keep students busy and teach them great functional skills, but it also makes snack time a little easier on the teachers!

-Organize snack time materials.

We keep all of our snack time materials (except for the snacks) in a labeled 3 drawer system. With this system, students are able to independently find what they need and put materials back without any assistance from teachers. 

-Help students increase communication skills.

We use these free snack mats/ place mats to increase communication skills. They are the perfect way to help students communicate their wants and needs during snack time!