One for the Dating Humiliation File

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There is nothing about this picture I don't love.  And I will feel the same way one day in the future when he brings home that first love and I get to whip it out for them.

Playing the Wii fit obstacle course game

Making Change

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I came up with this activity in another one of those random blechy weather stuck inside moments of momspiration.

We happen to have a jar we keep change in and we happened to get a couple of piggy banks as baby gifts ages ago. Until Bear showed an interest in the piggies on his shelf, I'd nearly forgotten we had them.

Since Bear has issues with weak grip, focus and impulsivity, these are the activities I came up with...

- digging hands through the change
- scooping & pouring the change
- sorting change into colors and sizes
- feeling/discussing the differences (e.g. smooth vs. ridged edges)
- putting change into the banks (endless options to challenge them, based on ability)

I tried to have him put the "brown" change into one bank and the silver change into another, but he just wasn't having it. When he's older I plan to have him sort by size, denomination, etc.

I decided to be happy that he was happy putting the change into the piggies at will. Who knows, maybe it helped work on his processing issues (some days he can't make a simple decision to save his life).

For what it's worth, he liked it enough that now he asks to play with coins every time he notices the piggies.  Challenge now is saving up enough change to make it worthwhile!

Side note: If you don't have a piggy bank you can cut a slit in the top of an empty plastic food container to put the coins in (think round plastic bowls with lids like from cottage cheese). I keep one of these impromptu banks by the washer for the "tips" that fall out of my husband's pockets.

Random LOL

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dying to know if STDs are on the board too.

Sensational Snowman - Part 2

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This is the second half the Sensational Snowman indoor winter activity.

After the glue holding the 3 paper balls together dries, it's time to stand back and let the kids get creative.

Since I'm a craft store junkie, I've got a box full of stuff like felt scraps and puff balls and pipe cleaners.  I actually have a big bin labeled "rainy day" where I toss anything with project potential, but I know not everyone is that nuts.

If you don't happen to have a bunch of decorative items in a craft bin, let the kids design their snowman decorations on paper.  They can cut (or tear) their snowman embellishments out of construction paper, or color them on white paper before cutting them out.

The big bag of puff balls was one of the first things I got when he first started speech and OT through Early Intervention (because it was cheap and easy).

Obviously, we played with the bag o' puffy balls until he got it out of his system and he was ready to focus on decorating the snowman with them.

 Making a scarf for the snowman was another opportunity to practicing cutting on a line, and the felt offers extra resistance.

Making a ski cap type hat is just cutting a semi-circle, so it's a great one for a younger kiddo.  We also did a top hat, but that one required a lot more help.  (Bear was able to trace the circles but I had to cut them out.)

Gluing the goodies on is another chance for him to get squeezy input.

We also discovered it's another great chance for a tactile experience when the glue inevitably gets all over his hands.  The liquid glue didn't bother him much, but he was very curious and mildly uncomfortable with the way dried glue felt on his hands.

That's all there is to it!  I let him glue stuff to the snowman until he got bored and wandered away.

Bear loves that his snowmen are on display in the family room

Sensational Snowman - Part 1

Thursday, February 10, 2011

As winter approached, I noticed the go-to plot development in children's programming became building a snowman.  Bear picked up on this from the first winter themed Caillou rerun and started demanding that we build a snowman before the first flurries stuck to the grass.

Of course we take advantage of our snowy sensory wonderland and have fun outside whenever possible, but as Patty pointed out, when you live in the Midwest it's not always in the cards.  -20 days (and my SPD kiddo who generally can't handle wind no matter the temp) means an awful lot of time stuck indoors.

Since building a snowman was what Bear wanted, one recent frigid afternoon I decided that's what we would do.  I looked for every possible way to work a little of his sensory diet into the paper snowman fun.  It was such a hit with Bear I decided to share it here.

My favorite part about this activity is that there are lots of natural breaking points, so you can choose to do it all at once or in sections, depending on your child's attention span.

Uuum, yes. I'm this nuts.

Basic Supplies
- large paper
- glue
- tape
- if no optional supplies on hand, markers or crayons to create decorative elements

Optional Supplies
- puff balls
- felt
- googly eyes

We were lucky enough to score a giant roll of paper from a friend who was discontinuing an eBay business and no longer needed it as packing material.  Easel paper is what we used to use (we get our easel paper at Ikea for about $5 a roll).  I also just learned you can ask your local newspaper office for the end rolls of newsprint - apparently they give it away for free.  

We also love the giant roll because it weighs a ton and Bear gets a little heavy work rolling it out.

Obviously you need 3 pieces of paper sized small, medium and large.

- if your child is capable, let them determine the sizes (Bear's not there yet)
- if your child needs the input, let them tear the sheets off by hand
- if your child needs the fine motor and/or grip practice (like Bear), let them cut with scissors

Bear's OT recently suggested we draw lines for him to practice cutting on, so that's how we went with it.

Next step is a classic sensory diet staple: crumpling up paper.  Let them get it out of their system, and then you'll need to help a bit.

- crumple the paper around your hand to help create a flat front (for later decorating)
- tape the crumpled back end so the whole thing stays put

Time to break out the glue.  Squeezing the glue bottle is a nice input, so I resist my urge to control the situation and simply cover the whole table with paper so he can glue to his heart's content.

The glue needs to dry, so this is an ideal breaking point.  The first time we made one we did this half before lunch, and the glue was dry enough to move on after we'd eaten.

For us, it was also important to verbally prepare him for the break (he really wanted to glue eyes on and talked about it the whole time).  I also discovered it was really dumb to let him see the craft box before we were ready for its contents, because he was so focused on the puff balls, googly eyes and pipe cleaners it was hard to keep him on task.

We learned easiest way to keep the paper balls together in snowman form while the glue dries was to tape the whole thing together.  We used a tape that removed easily since it's no longer necessary after the glue dries.

You'll have to use your judgment on the taping.  Obviously it's a nice tactile and fine motor exercise.  Bear wanted to help so badly we let him try, but for us it would have been better if we'd just let him squeeze glue and then quietly taped it after he transitioned to something else.  As it was, this was how we ended this part of the project.

Full of Awesome

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Best Morning Conversation In the History of Ever
(7:15am 2/3/11)

Bear: I like nungle with you.
Me: I like snuggles with you too.
Bear: Mommy? I love you Mommy.
Me: I love you too.
Bear: *snuggles more*

Last night, Bear said an unprompted "I love you" to his daddy the first time.  And this morning's conversation was the first time he said it to me.

Only thing that even compares to this level of awesome is this...