Tag Archives: facial expressions

A DOUBLE WOW!

11 Sep

 In August Harley shared some WOW toys with everybody as part of the, ‘Santa’s little helpers’ feature that’s now in full swing and is in it’s third month. Little H had so much fun playing with these fabulous toys, that I wanted to share some more of their products with you all.

 For those who didn’t see our last WOW toy review back in August,here’s a little more about them.

 WOW toys are designed for children aged between 18 months to 5 years old.

 The guys at WOW know a lot  about toys, all are designed and made from scratch each going through a series of strict safety checks before finally being delivered to the shops.

 Developmental benefits

 WOW toys are packed with developmental benefits! These toys are great  for pre-schoolers as-well as children on the autism spectrum, not only do they help feed a child’s imagination but help develop basic motor skills to advanced social interactive role play.

 WOW toys don’t require any batteries and this is a feature I’m sure many parents will love!

 WOW toys grow with your child, offering great value for money, making them the perfect gift for your little ones.

 This time Harley reviewed Mario’s Pizzeria & Roll it Riley.

 Lets start with Mario’s Pizzeria. 

What you get: This is an 8 piece set, consisting of

 1x Pizzeria 

1x Magic oven

 1x push-along trike 

3x removable pizzas

 2x figures

Special features:

 Magic oven with push to bake button

Spin Mario on  the chimney to choose your topping

 Harley had a lot of fun playing with the pizzeria. His daddy is Italian so it made the perfect toy. Like all WOW toys, all pieces are well made, there are no little pieces all pieces are chunky and ideal for the little hands of a pre-schooler. I don’t know if Little H is advanced but he will already use two toy figures to act out a scene, pretending the figures are communicating with one another, and this is what he did with Mario and the delivery boy contained in this set. His older sister plays this way all the time and I think it’s because he regularly observes her in action. What ever the reason it’s very cute and I sit watching him enjoy himself with a smile. He had fun popping the pizzas in the oven and discovering the magic features (the oven button and spinning roof) As expected H was overly happy with the push along trike and took a number of his other WOW figures for a ride:)When I asked H if he liked his pizzeria, he clapped, and said yes before kissing all the pieces (something he seems to do a lot lately) on this response it gets ***** stars

 As a parent I think it’s a fabulous set, that hosts a great set of features for your child to discover and learn, keeping their little minds busy. The full five stars is given to this toy as it really does give off the WOW factor.

 Next up is… Roll it Riley.

 What you get: This is a 3 piece set, consisting of 

1x Steam roller called Riley

 1x driver called Kev

 1x road sign

Special features

Realistic engine sounds and rattling roller

 motorised toy

Roll and Spin sorter/ face changer

 Harley loved this one as he associated it with Bob the builder. Though  the supplied figure went by the name of Kev, H insisted on calling him  Bob and I gave up on telling him, “Not Bob, that’s Kev” So Bob it was. The face changer was enjoyed by H and as well as pushing it around the living room he sat spinning the roller and copying the expression,  which was so cute but funny at the same time. He played with Riley  alongside his pizzeria and at one stage he swapped roles between Kev  (aka Bob) and Mario:) Lots of fun was had and Riley kept him very busy and fully entertained. ****  stars is again given to, ‘Roll it Riley’!

 As a parent I loved the spin and sort face changing feature (when Riley moved his face expression changed) This made me think about the potential benefits of such a toy for a child on the autism spectrum who has difficulty understanding facial expressions as Riley could prove  a great resource, offering the children a fun way to learn and understand these expressions better. I really laughed on discovering the name of Riley’s driver, “Kev” it’s sad but true, that yes, many blocks in construction are called John or indeed Kev (well, at least it seems this way, as I know of a few, *giggle*) I’m finding it really easy to again give the product the full five stars.

  I highly recommend WOW toys for your toddler/pre-schooler. This is a very honest opinion, otherwise why would this mum have WOW toys hidden in the button of her cupboard ready for Little Harley’s 2nd Birthday which is on the 11th December. We are also planning to add to the collection at Christmas (yes, just two short weeks after his birthday, meaning a very expensive December for this mum).

 WOW toys can be brought from a number of stores both on and off line. Amazon have a great range and Argos stock them too (they are currently including a small number of their Wow toys in the offer, “2 toys for £15″.

Tescos direct are currently stocking, ‘Roll it Riley’ for a steal of a price, at just £10.99. To buy or for more information, Click HERE

Mario’s Pizzeria can be brought from Amazon for another fantastic price of just £16.99. To buy or for more information, Click HERE

Toys for the sensory seeker

24 Aug

Some children with autism and SPD love the sensation they get from certain tactile experiences.

Little man can is very tactile defensive, but also seeks out certain textures. He is a child who becomes very anxious and one who likes to fidget.

When Little man broke up from school at the end of term (autism special school) his teacher gave him a gift called a squishy mesh ball. The ball is very sensory friendly, filled with a goo like substance, the ball is covered in netting and when squeezed the ball pushes though the netting and appears all bubbly. Little man loved it!

Just over a month later I was sent a link to a website so that I could check out some products to review. The site is owned by a well known retailer called ‘Hawkin’s Bazaar’ I was overjoyed at what I discovered! So many of the products just throw themselves at me. These are toys at silly prices that many  children with autism, SPD (sensory processing disorder) & ADHD would not only love but greatly benefit from. I even came across that Little squishy mesh ball, little man loves so much at the bargain price of £2.50.

I picked four items that came to a total of just £10.50 these were…

1x Little terrors £2.50

 1x The Germies £2.50

1x Pack of bath crayons £4.00

1x Flexiface £1.50

Little terrors, The Germies and Flexiface can all be found on their website under the category labelled, ‘Stress’ Here’s my opinion on why these are great for children on the spectrum!

Both Little Terrors and The Germies are toys that have been designed to offer some kind of comfort as a stress reliever. It is said that such items are beneficial because when held and squeezed it helps to naturally clam the person/child down, removing the stress, giving them something else to concentrate on. 

The Child with autism get this same comfort when feeling anxious, stressed and upset. It also provides the child with some degree of sensory stimulation. It can be used to redirect certain other behaviours such as hand flapping while also working as a fidget for the child who feels the need to constantly use their hands. Just by holding one of these the child maybe able to concentrate on school work, or remain clam in a challenging, stressful situation.

Another fun thing about the Little Terrors and The Germies that make them really appealing to children, are their design. Both are designed to resemble little monsters if you like, and when squeezed both give a great sensation and visual experience. The Little terror felt as if it was filled with sand, however once sqeezed you could see it was filled with lots of little balls. If you sqeezed slowly, you could then carefully remove your hand and the balls would stay in place making it look like monster brains (if you know what I mean) well if you don’t just check out the picture below!

Little mans favourite the Fexiface can be used for all the above and so much more. This is a toy that I remember as a child. My mother brought me a Fexiface some twenty-one years ago or more when I was around eight. I remember it well, it was during a day trip to Margate, we brought it from a joke shop. The Fexiface has three little holes on the opposite side which you insert you fingers into. You can then move your fingers about which causes the fexiface to change facial expression. For such a small price this is a toy that can potentially help your child learn how to better understand facial expression. Though I’m sure Fexiface was never created for such a purpose as this, it sure does a great job at it. Myself and little man played a game where I would ask him to change the fexiface facial expression to a display a face that was happy, angry, sad, etc. We had brilliant fun and for me it brought back some lovely childhood memories.

Bath Crayons are excellent. These are great for the creative child. They come out really well and we used them on the bath room tiles. All three of the children had fun drawing on the bath room tiles while actually being allowed to do so. Little man hates sitting in the tub. Again this is for sensory reasons, he would rather stand and wash under a power shower, sitting in the bath makes his skin wrinkle which upsets him. The Croyons are a great distraction and in a way helped him to relax.

The other great thing about Bath Crayons is the fact you can use them as a visual aid. If your child uses symbols to help them sequence things, like a bath routine these are perfect. You can easy draw the symbols on the tiles, allowing your child to wipe off or even cross out each action they have carried out. A great alternative to using magnetic or Velcro visuals as despite them being made to be waterproof, the stream and condensation from the bath will eventually have an impact on this type of product.

We had great fun testing all the products and would highly recommend these toys as sensory products as they offer this feature and so much more.

So, why not check out Hawkin’s Bazaar online or visit your newest store where you will find the above and more. 

Note some toys/gadgets aimed at adults only. 

Little man writes poetry

23 Feb

I’ve been meaning to share this for a little over a week now.

Poetry seems to be a talent for many on the spectrum. I read an article recently about a girl on the spectrum who completely spoke in rhyme even if nothing was said for hours when she did speak it would always be in line so that it rhymed with the last syllable of whatever it was she had said two hours previously.

Little man sometimes answers a questions etc in a rhyming manner, however this isn’t all the time and he certainly doesn’t remember the last word he said a few hours earlier… though his a firm believer that a poem sounds better when it rhymes with the last syllable.

As most will know from a few of my past posts. Little man has become a fan of Bruno Mars. After I brought him the album some few weeks back, it’s been played daily to a extremity! Day one he had memorized every single lyric for every single song (much to my delight) pretty amazing, but also a little annoying.

He started doing this really irritating thing that was driving me round the bend. Everytime I spoke to him he would turn, look at me, open his mouth and out would fall song lyrics, completely unrelated to the topic at hand! He didn’t sing… more like spoke the lyrics before turning and walking away. With a sigh of relief I can safely say that this phase has come to a magical end. Sadly the obsession remains and is now on a equal par with transport.

Little man has always loved to create poetry. I remember a world cup poem he created last year, it was full on awesome and definitely a one of a kind!

On Valentines day on collection of my daughter from school she handed me one of her beautiful handmade cards (she is quite the little artist) The words she wrote were full of emotion and I admit I shed a tear or two (real emotional mummy is me)

Little man made a few of these cards when he was in the early years at school and although they mainly consisted of drawings of trains, buses & maps with no words inside (unless the teacher had noticed and therefore helped him write something) Regardless I always found them beautiful. The last few years, mothers day, birthdays, valentines etc Alice makes the cards Little man signs them. I’ve been reading a lot that many children/adults on the spectrum are great artist, I myself have created the autism art page on this very blog! However Little man has never really been a keen drawer unless it’s transport, maps or another new invention. He hates to use colour and I’ve learnt that this is purely to do with his frustration with his own fine motor skills… he has problems keeping the colour within the lines and has difficulty maintaining his concentration so he just won’t bother trying anymore. Although his sister, like myself love to draw and create pieces of art I’ve come to learn that my little man is an artist in his own right. He loves to write pieces of art (well dictate or type seems more fitting, as writing pen to paper is his pet hate) His poetry is great… very deep and meaningful, I think it’s his way of expressing his emotions at times. Then there are those that are full of humour… Whatever the kind there always pretty amazing.

So once home from the school he went off to his room where he closed the door behind him and vanished for the next half hour.

Sat on my bed half asleep but conscious enough to know little man was now stood directly infront of me.
One eye open (the night before wasn’t easy) I asked him what he wanted to which he made an annoucement.

“Attention please, Attention”

he then went on to say at volume…

“Today is valentines day, and all I know is its all about love and that stuff” he pursed to pull a funny face as to say love and stuff was yuck. “Its also my Nan’s birthday on Valentines day”

He was correct but I still sat wondering where the hell this speech was going!

“So, as I’m to tired after a long days learning at the library. I’ve decided not to make my mum a Valentines card, But I’ve made a poem for you mum instead. It’s all about Love & stuff” Again he did that face to resemble a person that was feeling sick. (the facial expression programme was certainly paying off)

I sat up and took note, smiling I nodded and said, “go on then do your thing”

“Its not a thing woman” he said in a offended manner! (yep sounded like his father a little more everyday)

“it’s a poem!”

“Calm down, I didn’t mean it in a rude way, it’s just something u say” I explained before adding…

“Oh, and a little less of the woman! It’s mum to you”

He laughed, cleared his throat and held up the paper in his hand at eye level then began to read aloud…

For the best, a poem that you will never want to miss.

He was a man that you miss and want to kiss
Your her blood and flesh
and nothing will go to mess
unless a heart will be broken
a tick of a token
You will be gone
and regret the bet you set.

Hands together I clapped and went in for a kiss which he reluctantly excepted with a screwed up face, only to then wipe it from his cheek with his sleeve saying, “yuck mum, that was a wet one”

“Nevermind that, your poem was exceptional” I proudly annouced.

to which he repiled.

“I’m good at this” (so modest like his mum)

As he turned around to leave the room I asked him where he was going now!

” I like the word exceptional mum so I’m going to put it in my book of best words. It’s not as good as the word loath, that’s still the best word”

He then came back with his book and asked me to write the word and it’s meaning. Of course I complied.

I get the feeling that everythings going to be alright from now on. With the exception of the odd bump in the road, i’m sure things are on the up. I’m so proud of all three of my children, each one with their own special character and amazing ways.

Looks like little man will be writing poetry besides patroling London transport as a member of the transport police when his older. Time can only tell.

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