Monday, 22 October 2012

Some Charlie Art

This is what I do when Charlie decides to sit down on a beach walk :)

Friday, 1 June 2012

A Few of Good Books

I'm still excited about how much Charlie enjoys looking at books! It's just so nice to be able to sit and read to him knowing that it's something he wants to do - he's using signing to ask for his stories again and again. 

This is a book we found on holiday...

Such a lovely thing happened.  Charlie took this book to his sister and asked her to read it more than 10 times in a row - just so lovely for both of them :) (Rubbish photo, I was trying not to distract)!

We have had a bargain basement bookshop over the road from us since before Christmas.  I think it opened in an unused shop for the seasonal period but has stayed for the time being.  I have got several really good books for Charlie there and these are what we are reading together at the moment....

'One Drowsy Dragon' by Ethan Long is a fun, rhythmic counting story.  It's about 9 noisy dragons keeping another dragon awake - oh the irony!

'Moo-Cow Kung-Fu-Cow' by Nick Sharratt is a rhyming book about a surreal herd of cows!  It's highly visual and there are some interactive pages.  It's a favourite :)

Finally, 'Thomas and the Starry Night'...... 

This is a counting book with light up stars.  There is a button to press which switches the stars on. 

 This is great for Charlie as he likes 'cause and effect' type activites.  I think this is a brilliant book.  It has a long story which is too lengthy to hold Charlie's attention, but it also has a short counting rhyme going through each page which is perfect.  

So we get to do bedtime stories....happy boy, happy mum, happy days :)

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Asking to Choose

James has made a bit of communication breakthrough recently.  It's one of those that will seem almost insignificant to most people but to us it's a huge deal!  It started with him getting himself into a routine of asking for his TV to be put on after school.  He has to ask us as it's all too high for him to reach.  This is for safety but it is also a good and well known 'trick' to encourage communication.  In the last week or so, he has started to ask me to change his DVDs.  This is totally new and totally fantastic!!  He comes and gets me and gestures my arm up towards the discs.  I get them down and he chooses.....

.....then half an hour later we do it all over again!  I want to put some form of photo/symbol communication into this situation now and will probably use the simple 5 symbol wall mounted communicator which he had for Christmas.  The major deal here is that he is consistently requesting something which is not food or drink - we have another motivator even if it is the TV!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Bird Feeders

We made these bird feeders back before Christmas.  I found lots of different ways of doing this on Pinterest (new favourite place to waste time!) and decided on these two methods as they both used skills the boys are using quite well in different activities - rolling, threading and using cookie cutters.

The first one used toilet rolls rolled in peanut butter and then rolled through bird seed....

For the second ones we spread bread with peanut butter, cut out shapes and then pressed them into the seed.  I made holes in them and encouraged the boys to thread the string through.

We also spent time using the bird seed for general sensory play and encouraged tasting of the peanut butter on bread, which Charlie enjoyed :) .

We took the feeders to my mum's as she has a bird table and I feel a bit mean encouraging birds into our garden as we have 3 cats!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

New Blog - Arty Crafty Cakey Bakey

My daughter and I have started a new blog where we can share and remember our crafts, baking etc.  You can find it here! I haven't had much to blog about here for a while as James and Charlie are settling into their new school very well but are also very tired when they get home and so we are keeping life quite simple for them at the moment whilst they settle into a new routine.  I really want to keep this blog for the reasons I started it i.e. sharing activities and ideas appropriate for children like James and Charlie, and not post here about other things.  As Gaby was keen to have a go at blogging too, it seem like we needed another, more general place to be!  I'm going to keep this blog going and have a few backdated posts to share soon!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


We had lots of oranges doing nothing in the fruit bowl so I thought I'd try making some pomanderish things with the children.  I didn't get any good pictures of them actually doing it, they all blurred, but here is James' one....

.....he did really well, it appealed to his ability to do tasks related to putting things 'in' or 'on' and he finished this one happily.  However, when I asked him if he would like to do another, he put all the oranges in the bowl, walked me over to the shelves and placed the bowl onto them! I took that as a no! Brilliant bit of communication though! 

Charlie, Gaby and myself also had a go.  I encouraged Charlie to do some sensory playing with them once they were all done, they smelt lovely!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Windows and Curtains

Earlier in the year, we had some window and radiator coverings put into the boys' bedrooms.  The purpose of these was to stop them standing on the radiators which are under the windows in both their rooms.  The bonus was, after much discussion about how we could do this, that we came up with an idea that meant we could put curtains up again.  We've tried every type of window covering over the years but all have been pulled down.  Charlie's new curtain has been made and done for a while, but we are a bit 'in limbo' with James' room as we are currently in discussions about having room padding installed for him.   This week I decided to just adapt an old velcro curtain I had made for that window until we know what's going on with the rest of the room.  Velcro curtains are quite good and I would recommend them to limit damage to poles and walls, but they never worked for us whilst the boys were awake as they just pulled them straight down!  This was one I made as a total blackout curtain to use when we had James' projector and other sensory lights going and has velcro all the way around.  If you want to make one as just an ordinary curtain, a couple of strips of velcro along the top is enough.

To convert it, I literally snipped a couple of holes in the lining and put it on a pressure mounted pole.  It's very hard to get photos of because of the light, but hopefully these give an impression of what we've done.  The boxing is the full length of the window and radiator leaving no ledges to stand on.  

We are really pleased with this but I would point out if you are reading this and thinking of doing it, shortly after the work was finished we received the latest Tough Furniture brochure and they are making window coverings now so it might be worth looking at those before designing your own!