Use photo's to teach the names of places but use them in conjunction with doing something in those places. Here are some examples:
Teaching the idea of Inside versus Outside. For this game, you need an 8 x 10 photograph of someplace inside your house where you can play and somewhere outside your house where you can play. Put these photos in plastic sheet protectors. Let your child choose where you will play by asking "Play Inside or Outside?" while holding up the two photos. Your child can choose by telling you, pointing, taking one photo, or looking longer at one than the other. "You want to play outside!" you will say, if that is your child's choice. Go out and play together.
Teaching the names of rooms in your house. Take a picture of a toy that your child loves and hide it in a room in your house. Show your child the picture and then tell him or her where it is hidden. "Kitchen. Thomas is in the Kitchen. Let's go look." Go to the kitchen and get Thomas the Train together. And so on. If your short term memory is poor, like mine, you will want to write down where you hid all the favorite toys as you set up this game.
So, in this game, you use the picture of the toy, not the picture of the place and your child listens to you say the name of the room in order to find a beloved toy. If your child does not understand where to look within a short thinking time, take his or her hand and run to the room you named. Over time, using this Hide and Seek Game, your child will learn the names of the rooms. The same game can be used to teach other words. Just hide the toy under a jacket, hat, mitten..whatever you are trying to teach. Learn more about Teaching Vocabulary on this page of Autism Games Website.
Teaching the names of places around town. Take photo's of all the locations that you go to often with your child like School, Target Store, Grandma's house, Church, Grocery Store, Bank. (I can often find a photo to steal off the Internet) Whenever you go out with your child, assemble a trip itinerary by placing these picture on a HERE WE GO! card that you take to the car. Draw a picture of any new place that you are going if you don't have a photo handy. As you arrive at the location, take the photo off the HERE WE GO! card and show it to your child again, pointing out that you are now "at Target".
The HERE WE GO! game will not only teach your child the names of places, this game will make it much easier for your child to enjoy trips when going out in the car because he or she will understand where you are planning to go.
Add the written words because your child may use the written word to start learning to read.
**Remember to take a picture of your own home and put it at the end so your child knows he or she is going home at the end of the trip.
HERE WE GO!
2. Target Store