Friday, 22 July 2011

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

James enjoyed making these today....

he was happy to try the chocolate,

but not so keen on the strawberry!

Sparkly Shiny Treasure Basket

I've been collecting a few bits together over the past week for this treasure basket.

Amongst it all there's a silver slinky, pan scourers, a teaspoon, silver star confetti, an old necklace, a silver heart with a jangly bell inside (it says 'peace' on it, probably wishful thinking!), a small silver bowl, a couple of CDs, a set of glittery nail files, some shiny streamers and some cake cases. (I made the huge sacrifice of eating some cherry bakewells to obtain these)!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Messy Rainbow Painting

Hands always find their way into our painting activities but was planned for with this one....

We squirted the paint directly out of the bottles onto a large piece of lining paper using 'hand over hand' to make a big rainbow. I left a brush next to it and encouraged both brushing the paint and pushing hands through it.  Needless to say, the hands won!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Strawberry Sensory Success

We have been spending some time each week focusing on a particular fruit.  I have loads to post about apples which we have been working on for months but we've now moved onto strawberries so I'm starting with that!

The boys are not good at eating fruit and vegetables.  We've made what we consider to be huge steps forwards over the past months. To most people it probably looks minimal.  Charlie is eating apples and trying new fruits regularly.  James has been eating carrots and sometimes a sprout or piece of broccoli with a roast dinner! It's all very wonderful!

We approach this with a very relaxed attitude, there's no expectation that they eat what's put in front of them, we play, sing, cook and explore the fruit with all our senses. If someone takes a bite, we go really over the top with praise!

Today we made strawberry smoothies.  I find the boys really like the smoothie maker as it gives rewards that Charlie in particular finds pleasing - not the smoothie - the really loud noise and the great visual stimulation!  The first time I made smoothies with him he danced around the kitchen!  Today, he was brilliant, signing please to press the button again and again.  (I purposely kept switching it off to keep the communication going).  His smoothie was very well blended after this surprise communication game!

We then led onto some time spent sitting at the table with the smoothies and some more strawberries.  We listened and watched several different 'Strawberry Fields' videos on YouTube, listened to the story, 'The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear' and did a bit of sensory play and hand massage with some strawberry scented soap and Lush strawberry massage bar.

Charlie sat with me doing this for a good 45 minutes and ate quite a bit of strawberry!

Rainbow Cookies

We tried to make this slice and bake recipe, but this is how they ended up!

I chilled the dough overnight and it was still not stiff enough to roll out or slice so in the end, after I managed to layer the colours, we just put spoonfuls of dough on the trays. It wasn't a complete disaster. I think they were still quite effective, James worked really hard making the dough and Charlie enjoyed them, repeatedly asking for more. We might give it another go next week with a different recipe.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Our potato plants grew rather large.....

 I have been worrying for weeks that there were actually no potatoes in the planters because the plants seemed to have put so much energy into growing upwards.  As we decided not to enter the competition in the end, we harvested one container on the 'Potatoes For Schools' day and the other one when we needed them - which was today!  

These were Charlie's....

....and these were James'.

We weighed James' spuds and he had 3lb. 

We cooked them tonight. I really wanted the boys to try them so we roasted them as we know Charlie will eat potatoes this way.  He ate them all up, James didn't want to taste, which is fine, we just keep offering!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Weaving a Rainbow

We made this out of a left over bit of garden trellis and strips of coloured fabric. We were a bit low on purple and had no orange at all but I think it was still quite effective.  Also, I tried to have several different types of fabric in order to give the boys a more interesting tactile experience and let them hold and investigate the strips they liked for a while.

The boys took part well.  Charlie needed quite a bit of help but pulled the fabric through on his own.  I used a lot of repetitive language like, 'Down, Up, Pull!' to try and get him to understand what we were trying to do.  James needed less help and once he saw what we were doing managed to do the weaving bits himself whilst I just had to tuck the ends in.


Granny read this and came over with some purple!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Bendy Twisty Sensory Rainbows

We made these with jumbo pipe cleaners stuck into play dough.

These were made out of bendy wax sticks.  They were too small for the boys to deal with so I gave them some to hold and do there own thing with whilst I made them some rainbows which I stuck into shaving foam 'clouds'.

I had a very hard time trying to get James not to eat the shaving foam!

Rainbow Waffles

I found a new blog this week with a lot of rainbow activities for us to try, I'm sure we will try some more of the things here but the activities that really spoke to me were the rainbow circles,

and the rainbow waffles!

Last year I made a rainbow birthday cake for James and Charlie's 8th birthday so I had all the food colourings in the cupboard.  I also have a circular waffle iron so it just had to be done really! Yesterday seemed a good day to do this as Gaby was home (strike day) and I new she'd want to join in. She helped me make the waffles and then we all sat down to eat them...

James was not terribly keen....

...but Charlie finished them all off!!

Rainbow Sand

A few things we've done with our rainbow sand....