Tag Archives: Craft

Bags of style

5 May

My 9 year old daughter “Alice-Sara” reminds me a little of myself at her age. She loves nothing more than a creative project. Whether its customising something new or old, she loves to put her stamp on it!

That’s why I knew she’d really enjoy the creative challenge of designing and creating her very own handbag!

Note: Alice-Sara is also your typical fashion loving pre-teen, she’s very individual when it comes to style, which is something I really love.

This is why the My Clippy Bag kit was perfectly suited to my daughters needs.

My Clippy allows children to release some inner creative flare and create bags with style that are 100% unique to them. The great thing about designing and putting together your very own bag is that no two bags are ever the same and you can change your bags design whenever you like.

With the ‘My Clippy’ bag Alice-Sara was able to create a funky bold bag that was perfectly suited to her personality. It provided her with hours of fun and she was so proud of her finished bag it accompanied her to school on Friday for show and tell.

The My Clippy create your own bag kit consists of
Cool Art Papers
Lots of Templates (that double up as stencils)
Embossing Tool
My Clippy Cards
Design Station
Clear Silver Trim Clippy Bag (With 3 Clear Pockets)
Silver Bag Strap (clips on to bag)

Note: additional items are required! These are…
Scissors
Glue

Optional extras are
Glitter
Photographs
And anything else you may like to add.

How it works…

Place a Clippy card on the design station, now use the papers, embossing tool, templates and any optional extras to customise your card.

Templates can also be used to draw around, then you can cut out the shapes and layer these on your card with glue as to create a 3D effect.Templates can also be used as a stencil once removed.

Use the Embossing tool on the funky papers then cut out and stick to your card.

Add photos and customise with a paper boarder. The possibilities are endless… Raid your craft box for additional touches such as sticky gems or glitter glue to add some extra sparkle and some added WOW factor!

Once you have designed a total of three cards and these are fully dry, pop each in one of the three pockets of your Clippy Bag. Add the strap which is easily connected to the poppy buttons to wear the bag under your arm, or leave it off as to create the perfect clutch bag, makeup make or funky pencil case that is bound to impress the kids at school.

Make more cards and pick and choose different sets of Clippy cards for different occasions or as a fashion accessory for different outfits, making your Clippy Bag even more unique.

Alice-Sara really does love getting creative with her my Clippy Bag Kit and she’s already designed all her cards leaving us no choice but to create some more cards with the use of different coloured card cut to size (we just used one of the original Clippy cards as a template to draw around).

I’m a very crafty person meaning I have a cupboard full of glue and loads more additional craft bits and bobs. However, for the price I do feel a glue stick would be a good addition to this kit as I’m sure there are many parents who don’t have some at home sitting about (unlike scissors) which could prove disappointing to children, especially on occasions such as birthdays or Christmas (just like the all-too-familiar battery scenario)!

The My Clippy Bag Kit is priced at £14.99 and you can check out the My Clippy site to buy this direct. You can also visit the site to sign your child up to the My Clippy page for lots of creative fun and inspirational ideas.

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This is a review post, all opinions are that of my own. I was not paid to write the review but was sent a sample of the product as to give my honest opinion

#HAWMC DAY 16 – The brilliance of Pinterest

16 Apr

I have to admit that when reading today’s #HAWMC writing prompt, I smiled a big fat cheesy grin.

The prompt was to create a pinterest board surrounding your health focus and then pin three things and share them here within this post.

There was no need for me to run off and try to open a pinterest account, I already have one and yes… Like many I’m already a bit of a “Pin Head”

Of course, having been actively using and engaging in Pinterest related activities, I had already created such a board (one surrounding my heath focus).

The board is titled, “Autism and Sen” its one of a hand full of boards I have surrounding autism and sen related issues.

This actual board focus a lot around creativity, supplying its followers with ideas that could help make life a tad simpler (visual prompts) as well as lots of ideas for sensory play, ones designed to help your child’s senses develop or give them that sensory seeking pleasure they crave!

Unsurprisingly, I also didn’t feel the need to zoom of and start pinning, the boards adequately filled and continues to grow most days. I did however actually find it quite difficult to decide which three pins I wanted to share, so of course I broke the rules a little and have shared a few more for good measure (sometimes rules are there to be broken)!

My first pin I’d like to share is this awesome visual chore chart which I thought would be a great resource for parents trying to encourage children on the autism spectrum engage in household chores or even as a prop to help teach independence skills. The original content came via the blog moneysavingmom.com.

I love this next pin that links to the blog growingajeweledrose.blogspot.com where some fabulous ideas can be found for sensory fun. This particular image is home-made glowing bath paint. I have tried this and it works 🙂 If your child, like mine is tactile defensive and isn’t to keen on the bath tub, this could be the thing to help.

Staying on the issue of sensory processing and that of tactile defensiveness, this next pin demonstrates a great way to encourage your child to experience and recognise different textures therefore learning to tolerate them. The home-made tactile board below is also great for the sensory seek who just has to seek out different textures. The pin shows a really effect and cheap way to combat such issues (tactile boards that of shop brought are often very expensive products). The pins original content is from the awesome blog makeadoandfriend.blogspot.com.

As mentioned I couldn’t stop at just three, so, here’s a few more…

This pin is from handsonaswegrow.com and demonstrates the beauty in sensory play. Dish or shaving foam is both a cheap and effective play idea for the child who sensory seeks.

Lastly I had to share this pin that displays a badge displaying a quote many of us can relate too…

Pin from hugsnstitches4u.com

You can find my Autism and Sen board along with some other fab boards, over on my Pinterest  just click HEREFollow Me on Pinterest

This is post 16/30  of the Wego Health #HAWMC

Easter Crafting for a £1

22 Mar

This year myself and the children have done lots of different craft projects, its all that bit more exciting now Harley is that bit older and therefore able to contribute that bit more. Harley is 2 and seems to be a keen crafter making it one of our favourite afternoon pass times.

In the run up to Easter, I’ve shared one or two reviews on some brilliant creative activities that are fun for all ages and abilities. This week we’ve been doing all sorts of Easter crafting, what with competitions such as designing and making Easter bonnets and cards, its been rather busy in our house.

We were pleased to be sent a cute Easter gift bag containing some found Easter crafts from Poundworld. Within this gift bag were a few things perfect for the activities we had planed. I’ve always loved a good pound shop, these stores are not new to me, though Poundworld is somewhere I’m yet to discover. Here’s what was sent and how we used it, and remember everything is priced at the bargain price of a £1 with one or two deals thrown in for good measure.

A Dozen Decorative Chicks £1

Cute little yellow chicks perfect for any Easter crafting project. These also look great as non edible Easter cake toppers. Myself and the children have been busy making paper mache decorative eggs which we housed in a pretty basket we had decorated with lovely yellow ribbon adding a few of this chicks amongst the eggs made an excellent touch. You can find out how to make your own over on my sister blog “Mummy of many talents” tomorrow.

Make your own Easter Cards Activity pack £1

This was perfect for the children’s entries into the Easter card making competition. Within the pack you get 6 cards and 6 envelopes plus a cute selection of toppers and pretty embellishments for decorating your cards. Alice-Sara had her friend stay over for a sleepover and both had tons of fun making Easter cards. They did empty the crafts box adding additional touches such as glitter and other girlie bits and pieces. These are fantastic value for just a quid.

Easter Bonnet Decorating kit £1

A really good size pack of dressings for your Easter bonnets. Included are some sheets of luxury tissue paper, 6 brightly coloured large pipe cleaners (perfect for creating bunny ears) some ribbon and a good selection of pretty Easter embellishments. Alice used these to decorate her bonnet she had made with card and with what’s left we’ll decorate the straw bonnet supplied by Poundworld (see below) as a competition entry.

Straw Easter Bonnet £1

A really pretty straw Easter Bonnet decorated in pale lemon ribbon. The hats the perfect size for little heads and can be customised if desired. As mentioned we’ll be customising ours for a competition we’re entering.

Easter Poster Art Kit £1

I knew as soon as I saw this that my toddler would claim it and claim it he did. He loves painting and this set came with 4 posters to paint. Each poster consisted of a cute chick design and the quality of the paper was impressive. Sadly the brush fell apart within minutes and the basic water colour pallet was not really visible on the paper, I had to get the toddler to put lots of paper on his brush to get any sort of colour on the paper. Luckily we have poster paints which I took out for the remaining posters.

Easter Egg Hunt Game £1

This set consists of flat-packed Easter Baskets and Easter eggs. These are easily assembled into 3d visions and children can hunt for the eggs around the house and if whether permits, the garden, adding them to their baskets as they go.

As we already have the appropriate supplies for an Easter Hunt game we used these to make a fabulous beaded Easter picture by decorating both the eggs and baskets with the use of thick double sided tape and an assortment of beads, then we mounted the cards to some black paper. (you can find the step by step on my sister blog Mummy of many talents tomorrow) see picture below for finished results.

So… that’s all the crafting done, there was however, a few other surprises in our bag.

Pink Easter Bunny Ears

These cute pink bunny ears are fabulous addition to any Easter costume, costing just £1. Below Alice-Sara kindly models them for you.

Character Chocolate Easter Eggs £1

A couple of chocolate character Easter eggs, costing £1 and currently on offer for 4 for the price of 3. Great value and better priced then many other retailers. The kids reported these were yummy.

Chocolate Easter Bunny

Lastly we have this super chocolately big bunny costing £1. The kids however cannot comment on its yumminess as mother took him to bed and mother never speaks of the secrets of the bedroom, OK! 🙂

All in all, excellent value for money at Poundworld who also sell everything from cleaning products, to books and homeware. Plus you’ll find lots and lots of brands for just a pound… you can’t really grumble at that can you!

Cubby Love

19 Mar

As we have clearly been in an extremely crafty mood these past few weeks, it’s no surprise that I wanted a piece of the Cubby Kit action.

A few parent bloggers have been chatting about these exciting boxes filled to the brim with crafty fun and as I consider myself to be a rather crafty mother, I found myself somewhat interested in what exactly the little brown box, known as a cubby box, entailed.

Not only did I discover more about the Cubby Kit appearing on the blogosphere, but id also received an email, which gave me a full introduction to the Cubby Kit from those behind the idea!

I didn’t need all that much convincing and within a blink of an eye, I’d already replied agreeing to give it a try.

So… What exactly is a Cubby Kit?

Cubby Kit is a subscription based service where every month a well presented box of crafty fun is delivered direct to your door, addressed to your child.

Within this box of crafts you will find a brightly coloured sheet highlighting the months theme along with three different activities to complete. The activities all contain their own bits and bobs alongside a brightly coloured instruction booklet, all placed in their very own paper bag. Once children have completed the activities, they will find lots of extra craft materials within the box, so the little crafter will have plenty to keep them going till next months box of surprises.

There are two subscriptions available for children aged 3-4 or those aged 5-6

For me, the idea behind Cubby Kit is a fabulous one! Children get everything needed for each activity within the box (even down to the scissors).

Harley is actually 2 years old but is showing a real interest for crafting, so we decided to have this addressed to Harley and Alice-Sara his 9-year-old sister.

The box arrived quickly and I really can’t fault them on presentation, the box was nicely packed within sheets of sky blue tissue paper, everything had a cute cubby sticker placed on it, and each item was labelled well.

First impressions were excellent and I couldn’t wait to get this out when Alice-Sara returned from her sleepover.

The months theme was “Space” and the three activities given, were, Mushy Martians, Constellation Chart, 3D Rocket Picture.

Each projects instructions were displayed really clearly, with the use of both words and pictures making this great for those visual learners like my little man who has Aspergers Syndrome.

This all kind of reminded me of my days at pre-school, what with the cute little tub of PVA glue supplied with little spatula. Our box was a sample box for the purpose of a review so I am not sure how much additional material a child is given to see them through the month as the supply box contain a small handful of these.

One thing I will note, is given the box is designed for smaller children, my daughter who is 9 enjoyed the 3D Rocket Picture, and the Constellation Chart, a great deal. I personally felt that both these activities were also great for her age group.

The first activity started was that of the 3D Rocket picture. All the materials were supplied with nothing missing. We did however get out our own felt tip pens to give Alice-Sara more variety of colours to use for the colouring in of the rocket. Harley (the toddler helped with the gluing, sticking and sprinkling of glitter, which he seemed to enjoy. The activity didn’t last more than half an hour to complete and both children seemed impressed with the end results.

Above the finished 3D Rocket Picture… Note, the ribbon was not added as Harley decided to run away and hide it, seriously, we’re still looking! 🙂

Next up the children decided to get going with the Constellation Chart. Little Man (aka A boy with Aspergers) who is 11 years old, at this point declared that he had learned about this topic at school and it would be in the interest of both his brother and sister, if he helped!

Admittedly, Little Man, does tend to like control, he can often take over and become quite bossy as he dishes out instructions. Thankfully, he wasn’t to bad and this was the nicest I’ve seen them play together for ages (especially Little Man and Alice Sara). Harley the toddler, again done lots of the sticking and sprinkling, where’s the older two joined the dots and did the cutting. It’s a lovely activity based on an educational subject, so it’s a good way to get them asking questions. Again all supplies were included, though we found that the gold get pen was not fully visible on the card which I think had something to do with the glossy texture the card was made from. Luckily I have one of those gold ink pens which was perfect and helped complete the task a treat.

The most exciting activity had to be the Mushy Martians which went down a treat. Here’s the thing, my eldest child who attends a special school for children with autism and aspergers, has difficulties with all areas of his sensory processing. This includes touch and smell, his very tactile defensive and has always expressed a dislike for play dough especially its smell. Since having OT (occupational therapy) his started to tolerate more textures and informs me that he now handles play dough at school. He was absolutely amazed that we had been given the recipe and even more amazed at how it contained no smell. Seriously, he became a little over obsessed with the whole thing and told everyone that his mum can make play dough. He was even impressed at how we could make it any colour we wanted, meaning I’ve stood making pots and pots of play dough in all colours of the rainbow with Little man as my sidekick.

The instructions for Mushy Martians were again very clear and easy to follow, all ingredients were fully supplied as expected.

The only disappointment with this one was, regardless of following the given instructions the added oil and green colouring failed to turn the dough even the slightest shade of green whatsoever. I have no idea why this was, though the supplied bottle contained a very small amount and the only explanation I can possible think of is that it just wasn’t enough! Maybe the bottle leaked prior to packaging as there was no trace of any spillage and I did wonder if the amount was included before starting.

This did mean we needed to store the dough in the container that originally housed the flour and buy some green colouring the following day. Adding it to the pre-made mixture was a messy job, but worked well.

I loved the googly eyes supplied but was puzzled to why only 3 had been included (then again this is an out of space martian) We had some more googly eyes and the two boys had lots of fun making different faces. Little man pulled and pinched the dough as to make different expressions. As he has trouble with reading certain facial expressions we made this into a really fun game of “Can you guess how the Martian is feeling today”

Check out the pictures, what do you think? Note: Little man is 11 which shows your never to old for play dough.

We loved the Cubby Kit, but purely because we do a lot of crafts which therefore means we already have lots and lots of materials. This means that I couldn’t justify the £19.99 subscription fee. This would be perfect for the busy parent or the one who isn’t big on crafts. The fee does seem a lot for what we received, however, ours was a sample box so I therefore cannot comment on how much additional materials are given.

Remember, it’s not only the box of crafts supplied, but also the inspiration given within the monthly theme and enclosed three crafts.

Big thanks to those at Cubby Kit for sending us a Cubby Kit to review as well as their delightful customer service. I’d also like to thank them for the play dough recipe (Little man and his brother have a rainbow selection of dough) plus myself and Little Man are currently making some dough for his play dough crazed cousin who is also on the autism spectrum.

Newsflash: Just discovered that Cubby Kit are running a promotion… First Month Free! Promo Code on their site HERE

Disclaimer

I wasn’t paid for this review, though we did receive both a Cubby kit and lots of inspiration for the purpose of the review. 

 

Crafty Family Fun

17 Mar

I love spring, for some reason it brings out the creativeness within me, which is then passed on to the children for good measure.

Out of my two eldest children (these being Little man AKA a boy with aspergers and Alice-Sara his younger sister of 2 and a half years) its Alice-Sara who has always been the one most keen to embark on any creative projects, whether this be drawing and painting, or making something from odds and ends.

My youngest, Harley, a very energetic toddler of 2, has already displayed a fondness for crafting. He loves everything from finger painting to gluing and sticking (basically, anything messy).

Little man is extremely creative when it comes to ideas, poems and LEGO creations. He draws plans for designs, but doesn’t actually enjoy putting pencil to paper, he would much rather do everything on a computer if given the opportunity! The Use of Colour is something else his always struggled with! Given the choice, he will do everything in black and white! Little man does have many difficulties, not just with his gross but also his fine motor skills. His lack of control over his fine motor skills causes him difficulties when colouring or painting a picture as he struggles to remain within the lines, and being a bit of a perfectionist, he will normally just reframe from the activity all together!

Over the last few weeks, myself and the toddler have found ourselves elbow deep in paint, glue, goggly eyes, pipe cleaners and everything else you could possibly think of! Since discovering his enjoyment for such activities, I’ve found it a great way to interact and spend lots of mother and son time, enjoying each others company while the two older children are at school (before I know it, he’ll be in that place soon too, and I want to enjoy my toddler being a toddler for as long as possible).

Having been on a creative crafty high these past few weeks (trust me, we’ve made everything from Easter Baskets to sock puppets) I was delighted to hear from the lovely team at Baker Ross.

Baker Ross have an online Aladdin’s Cave, filled to the brim with everything you’ll ever need to get crafting, plus loads of undiscovered treasures. I love it over there, so, I’m obviously delighted to be part of their network of bloggers.

Yes, this makes complete sense, as not only do I love their stuff (I could quite honestly spend hours browsing their online store) but I love to craft, bead, draw and paint with or without the help of the children. I also believe that by encouraging little man to express more of his inner creativity, he will benefit greatly! This could also help improve his fine motor skills and he may well benefit in a therapeutic type of way too.

A few weeks back, a smiley delivery man brought me a box that put me in a crafty mood. Inside there were Daffodil windmill kits, a pot of pre-cut foam to create 3D flower pots, a very funky key ring making kit and the toddlers favourite, a kit to make an array of Pom-Pom bugs.

Although, I love to use the magic of imagination when thinking of, or working on a project, it was quite pleasing  how these were all kits with an intended purposes. So, instead of being sent craft supplies which I’d spit up and use within varying projects, I actually had some pre-planed tasks to embark on with the children.

Now, I’ll start with the Miniature 3d flowerpot kits, which sadly was mine and that of the children’s least favourite! Basically, you get a pot of foam pieces all pre-cut into the required shapes…. Flower heads, steams, leafs, flower-pot etc. The instructions are Ok, though some sections needed to be read twice. The only additional material that was required to create these foam flower pots, was some silicone glue (clear in colour). My daughter found this most fidley and it was frustrating to glue the bits on and then have to wait around for each bit to dry, it really wasn’t productive. Little Man attempted it for all of 2 minutes and this really wasn’t appropriate for the toddler. The leafs wouldn’t stick correctly to the stems as these were to thin, gluing each part, pressing firmly than waiting to dry before attempting another section, was the only way forward. What would have been perfect is, if the foam was self adhesive, otherwise this just ended up a bit of a gluey mess. I did however have some double-sided tape tabs which I cut and gave the children to use. This worked out a little better, though it was still not perfect. Once these had been assembled, they looked quite groovy. In the end we just made a selection without leafs, though they were all pretty much leafless by the end ! The fact these are made of foam meant they would be easy to customise and decorate if desired (I’d highly recommend some little gem studs applied to the petals for a pretty finish).

 Next up were the Brilliant Bug Pom-Pom kits: These were the toddlers favourite, and if I’m honest, mine too. Harley, the toddler, was able to help me with these and did so for over an hour, which passed the time nicely. The best thing about these, is the fact each kit (bug) comes in its own bag which is absolutely brilliant, means they could be used for party bags etc. The Pom-Pom bugs are dead simple to make, with easy to follow instruction, these look really effective. Each bag contains instructions, goggly eyes, the required amount of Pom-Poms for the Bug you’re making and pre-cut foam pieces for body, wings, etc

All you do is glue the pieces together as shown on the instructions. We did cheat and on certain sections we used double-sided tape! This was purely because Harley wanted to play with them right away, he isn’t the most patient child, but then again, what 2-year-old is?

I particularly loved the Lady Bird we made, what with its massive goggly eyes and big smile. My toddler Harley, loved the completed Bugs, he honestly sat playing with them for hours (a cheap Christmas 2012 for me then, I hope)!

Check out the picture I took of the Lady Bird with a completed caterpillar alongside the foam flowerpots I told you about first.

Daffodil Windmill Kits (10 kits per pack) were next on the list. These were made by my daughter and my good friend Donna. This crafting activity also came in their own packaging so great for gifts, especially Easter ones. These, I wouldn’t recommend for younger children, the instructions were not the easiest I’d ever seen, so, was in agreement when my friend blamed the instructions rather than herself, when she got the first windmill very wrong. 🙂 What’s more, there is no clear description of what way the pieces should be fitted and quite obviously my daughter did become a tad frustrated. However, on a more positive note, the overall quality of the windmills is absolutely brilliant. They do start of a bit stiff, but after a while loosen up allowing them to spin as they should. These are made from good quality card and they would look fabulous stood in some flower pots next to the daffs.

These are kinda like constructing a gift from a Kinda egg, only bigger. Children are not really required to use their imagination on any kind of level, as it’s basically a step by step construction process that I guess some children will feel proud to have completed. As nice as these look, I do personally like my windmills with some personal touches, so I think I’ll be getting the kids to decorate these with some sparkle.

Now up in-till this point, its fair to say that I was unsuccessful at getting Little man (my eldest who has Aspergers Syndrome) engaged in any of the above. He just wasn’t interested! Then came the wonderful Super Shrink keyring kit and that was it, he found something he wanted to have a bash at!

Little man must have seen the potential as I was a little confused at how the kit we had been provided with, could possible make keyrings.

The kit contains lots of keyring attachments, 5 mini packets of colouring pencils and lots of plastic sheeting (size of a standard photo).

Seems like a strange selection of supplies, wouldn’t you agree? It was only once I had taken a look at the instructions, that I realised how these worked and was both impressed and intrigued by the idea! Basically what you need to do is, take one of the plastic sheets and draw your design (any design) on the rough side. You need to ensure you leave enough room to hole punch the design and cut around it. Once cut and complete, heat up the oven and then place your design inside (with the help of a grownup helper) Leave in the oven for 2-4 minutes, remove and leave to cool! What actually happens is the plastic shrinks and becomes thicker, the colours (if used) become somewhat darker, though, I still found the supplied pencils to appear way to light, so Little man used markers instead, which worked really well. Once cool, you simply add the keyring attachment through the hole that was punched before the design was cut and baked.

As previously mentioned, Little man isn’t big on colour, his actually not keen on drawing (unless it’s a simple bus design or that of a hotel plan)! With this he instead opted for a simple design, a quote as opposed to a drawing. He enjoyed this activity so much that he started making keyrings for all his teachers and staff at his school, he even made one for the cab driver and escort, each with its own personalised message.

This was a great idea, it’s a fantastic idea to get children on the autism spectrum to display their feelings for others (which many find hard to express).

Above a selection of Little Man’s message keyrings to teachers and staff at his school. 

Little man loved the kit so much that he has told me that once these are all used up, I’m to order him some more, bless him.

If you love crafting with your kids, check out these creative kits and loads of other fabulous arts and crafts materials, over on the Baker Ross website.

Fun with Scribble Down

28 Feb

As a child I loved nothing more than embarking on a creative task, and to be honest, I still love to get creative whenever time permits. 

Out of all three of my children, it would seem that my daughter is the most creative, like me she loves art. However, I try to get Little man involved in creative task as often as possible, I feel it works as a great therapy like tool for his Aspergers syndrome, as it provides a calming effect. Creative and arty projects are also a great way to improve his OT skills, including that of his fine motor skills

Last week we were sent some very creative little projects to try from Craft and Play. These crafty little packs are called Scribble Down and have been created around the famous illustrations of ‘Clinton Banbury’ an artist who’s illustrations have been around some 30 years and have featured in some classic children’s stories and workbooks, as well as a weekly series of cartoons for the Times

Scribble Down, are sets of fantastic transfer activity packs, that allow children to create magical scenes with the use of a supplied background card and dozens of Clinton Banbury’s transferable images. What’s even better, these activity packs are a steal at pocket-money prices. 

There are lots of activity packs to choose from, there’s quirky animals, fantastic fairies, excitable pirates and many more! We received Clinton Banbury’s Fairy Cake Factory, consisting of  funky fairies, cupcakes and bakers. Others we received, were, Dinosaur encounter and Wild Adventures, which were equally as great with a host of transferable dinosaurs and wild wacky animals.

Each pack also come with its own mini tip, which consists of 6 easy steps teaching your child how to draw one of the characters from the activity pack so kids can create their own Clinton Banbury comic strips.

The children couldn’t wait to get started, these came complete with simple instructions that consists of both words and pictures (The visual aspect was ideal for Little man as his mostly a visual learner). 

To create the scene, all you have to do is remove the backing paper from the transfer sheet, select the image you want to place on the background scene placing it so the image is face down, then using a pen scribble over the chosen image. Remove the transfer sheet slowly, simply revealing the chosen image now on your scene. To give it a protective covering so it doesn’t peel off, use the backing paper and rub again.  

Alice didn’t use a pen, she opted to use a coin as she didn’t want to scribble on the paper, which is fine, however, the idea behind using a pen, ensures the whole image has been scratched and no bits get left behind when you remove the sheet.

Little man has quite poor fine motor skills and not a lot of patience, so did make a few mistakes. However, with some encouragement and practice he did fine, though he came back and finished later as his attention span is much shorter than your average child. 

Both Alice and Little man had fun creating their scenes (toddler is a tad to young at two to get involved). Alice did two of the cards straight of, and as mentioned, Little man did one over the course of a few days, but enjoyed it all the same. 

These are great value for money at £2.89 each. These are also great for the development and enhancement of a child’s imagination, as well as being a good way to improve a child’s fine motor skills 

They are brilliant and most defiantly worth buying for your creative little one’s, though watch out, you may find yourself have a sneaky go!

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How to make your own visual aid in 10 easy steps

12 Nov

Visual aids are a fantastic resource for a child on the autism spectrum and can be used in a number of ways.

This could be anything from PECs to encourage communication, reward charts for the encouragement of appropriate behaviour; schedules (whether for the whole day or just parts of it, such as school, bedtime etc…) Social stories to help prepare for change and many others.

We have used visual aids for the last few years and I discovered the true beauty of them, back when I went on the ‘Early bird plus’ parenting course for parents of children with autism & aspergers syndrome, which was ran by NAS and our local authority, a good three years ago! At first I spent a small fortune kiting us out with a load of tools, from visual cards for games to schedules and social stories. Of course when you’re a mother to a newly diagnosis child, you spend a small fortune on these things just doing what you think is right! Well, Like many I learnt the hard way, and I’ll never fork out big bucks for something that can be easily made in the comfort of your own home (Well, unless someone presents me with a well made product that’s fairly priced and sold by someone who isn’t just looking to make a quick buck from my child’s diagnosis, that is)!

We don’t use an all day schedule for Little man, though we used to, however, our life is a tad crazy at times and it becomes a little hard to follow. You see, I don’t want Little man becoming to reliant on routine, yes, routine is good and he loves it, but life cannot always be this simple and sometimes a little thing called “Life” gets in the way. Nonetheless he has one at school and also follows one to help him with his bedtime routine.

HOW IT WORKS

Little man has a chart that has a small pocket that holds a number of small cards each displaying its own symbol or image!
What’s great is, by designing your own you can completely customise it to fit around your own child’s routine (or in most bedtime cases, desired routine)! Here’s an example… Your child maybe the type of child who settles only after a story, may take medication and also have a small bath an hour before bed. You would therefore make cards that resemble these actions, plus any additional cards that symbolise other areas of the routine like… a tooth-brush, pyjamas, warm drink, toilet, kisses, lights and bed. This doesn’t even need to be in the form of pictures, your child may even prefer words! You may start with pictures and as they grow change over to text, whatever works best for you, that’s the beauty of it.

Another great aspect to the whole concept of schedules is that they work for children with and without autism. This means your child wont feel that its anything out the ordinary, especially if schedules are being used both in the home and educational setting. Children with Aspergers Syndrome especially, are quite aware of their differences and can sometimes get downhearted, I try my best not make Little man feel singled out, as-well as trying to avoid his sister feeling left out, if you know what I mean? That’s why I have ensured that both the children have a bedtime schedule as well as a chart to display their own set of targets to ensure they keep all of their pocket-money or even add to it (quite a new thing, it has its up and down weeks) this way it’s a win-win scenario as no one feels singled or left out!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SCHEDULE

I wouldn’t mind getting me own brand of schedule out there and onto the market! One that’s simple yet fun, easy to follow and doesn’t leave you feeling poor! I’m forever having ideas for schedules running away in my head, maybe because I’m always thinking of ways to make life that Little bit simpler for both little man and the family as a whole. However, life offers little time, so for now… how about I show you a dead simple way to make a bedtime schedule with nothing other than a few bits and bobs from your craft box?

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

3/4 sheets of paper or card
Velcro Dots (available from all major craft shops)
laminating sheets & laminator
PC and printer (though not essential)
brightly coloured pens
ruler (if not using a PC)
scissors
small piece of sticky tap
Glue stick
Glue Dots (Optional) can use a glue stick
some stickers for decoration (optional)

Step one: Decide which area of your child’s life will benefit most from a structured routine, then make a list of the symbols or words that make up your routine (bed, tooth-brush etc.-etc). Next you need to make the base for your main chart. You can download and print templates from an array of sites that offer free downloadable resources such as symbols, I will include some resources at the end of this post. Otherwise if you fancy getting really creative simply use a ruler to make your own (I made my own using text edit in my mac). Once you have finished printing or drawing your chart, you may wish to cut it down to size, depending on how many symbols you have to attach. We used A4 paper so cut it in half. If you have lots of symbols, keep it at A4 size.

Step two: Once you have done the above, put it to one side, its time to make your cards! These are quite small and you can make these in a number of ways…

a) Download from one of the sites given in the resource at the end of this post or check out free clip art on google! Once you have found what you want, you can then print them out.

b) Use your ruler to mark out the number of square boxes required to make up all the symbols or words in your routine (just count the number of items in your list). We made our boxes 3 by 3 cms but you could make yours bigger or smaller if desired! (If using text as opposed to symbols you may wish to make these slightly larger, you could use rectangles over squares) just make sure there is enough space to house them all on your chart.

c) If you are using instruction ‘B’ over that of ‘A’ you will then need to add the images or words to your cards! If you fancy doing a bit of a freestyling, then great… draw away, otherwise look in magazines or uses the google images ect, make some cuttings and get sticking, attaching your cuttings to the card templates. If using words, write these in nice bold lettering, or even add some small text above your symbols as I’ve done .

Step three: Now take a laminating sheet and laminate the paper containing your card templates. Note you should not have cut out your cards as yet, all should be on the same sheet of paper regardless whether you downloaded them (Step two [A]) or made them by hand (step two [b]c]).

Step four: Once laminated, cut each of your cards out and leave to one side.

Step five: Next bring forward your base chart and before laminating, you can decorate if you wish, using the brightly coloured pen (important don’t add stickers just yet).

Step six: Once decorated, laminate your chart.

Step seven: Take your Velcro dots and your glue dots (a glue stick works fine also) and glue the rough side of the velcro dot to your chart, with the other smoother side to your card. Do this for every card in your routine, these can then be attached to the Velcro on your chart.

Step eight : With a small piece of paper fold it in half and use the tape to stick down the sides and end. Apply a Velcro dot to the back and the other side to your chart , then use stickers or whatever else you fancy to decorate. This will be your envelope to store your symbol cards when not in use.

Step nine: Here’s the fun part ! Its time to decorate your chart by applying the stickers to the base chart. These can be easily removed and wont damage the chart due to its laminate casing. This will allow you to apply new stickers whenever you like, completely revamping the whole chart meaning it can therefore grow with your child and his/her changing interests.

Step Ten: Hang on the wall, choosing somewhere quite low, making sure its accessible to your child. Last but by no means least, have some fun as you but your creation to the test.

Congratulations
You just made your very own visual aid.

FREE RESOURCES  

Click on any of the links listed to uncover download resources to help you create your schedule.

Visual Aids for learning

SymbolWorld

Use visual strategies 

 Trainland

 Tinsnips

Pics4Learning

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