Tag Archives: fine motor skills

Look What I Found!

12 Feb

Little man has always had a very keen interest in transport from around the age of two. His now 12 and is still studying the ins and outs of trains and buses, though he also now loves WWE wrestling just as much!

Sorting through some papers yesterday I came across a card little man had made me when he first started school (mainstream year 1). He was around 5 or 6 years old at the most! Here it is below…

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He doesn’t really like to engage in art as he struggles with his fine motor skills so does almost everything on a computer. That’s why the above card is even more special to me. He has even coloured his picture, something he now refuses to do in fear of not being able to keep the colours within the lines of his drawing.

And look whats inside this cute train card….

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A lovely message to mummy (that’s me) though I think looking at the handwriting, it wasn’t little man who wrote it! Plus there is a very cute picture of the little man himself in the school playground.

Here’s a close up…

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I love unearthing these little hidden treasures. Children provide us with the most wonderful memories. This ones definitely going in the scrapbook!

A Back To School Special

2 Sep

Oh my goodness can you believe how quickly the holidays passes by. I just cannot believe that they’re going back to school already.

Ok, admittedly there have been certain days, weeks even, when I could be heard asking “When do they go back to school already” But on the whole, the holidays have been relatively good (and thats regardless of them good old meltdowns)!

Yes, I’m pretty nervous about little man’s return to school! Although he went up to the secondary school a few weeks before the breakup, as to allow him some time to get used to the change, I’m guessing there will still be problems. Now, I’m not a pessimist, just a realist, a mother who’s now been parenting a boy with Aspergers for almost 12 years!

These last few weeks of the holidays I’ve been doing certain things to prepare little man.

I’ve got him to wear his new shoes on a daily basis as to wear them in.Then there’s his new uniform that I’ve had him sit around in for 15 minutes each day.This is all in the hope that it helps him to avoid any sensory related difficulties or induced meltdown, on the day that he starts.

My daughter has her uniform all hung up ready for her return to school on Thursday. I admit to getting this really last minute (Saturday, that’s how last minute)! Luckily ‘Matalan’ had fresh stock and saved the day. You can catch our review here tomorrow.

As for stationary… This year I’m over organised, taking no chances whatsoever!

Many will know how little man has poor fine motor skills a trait of his Aspergers Syndrome. As a result he stopped writing for a few years of his life. He would only write using a computer and as a mother who still believes in the benefits of good old fashion writing, this upset me!

He completely lost all his confidence when it came to putting pen to paper but since leaving mainstream and starting at his independent special school where his undergoing weekly OT sessions, this is all history now as his writing and enthusiasm to do so, is improving with each passing day.

My daughter Alice-Sara who like myself, loves to write and is also actually very creative, has her own difficulties. However these are more so with her letter formation, and writing style. She is finally just in the process of being tested for Dyslexia. She is left handed like myself and for many years did mirror writing and at times still does. (This is where letters and numbers are written back to front)!

This is why the right stationary is important to us. For many a pen is nothing other than simply that… “A pen” but it’s important for my children to use pens and pencils that they are comfortable using.

This year the lovely PR for STABILO offered to help us find some stationary that the children could really benefit from.

Here’s a selection of what we tried.

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The Double ended pen is available in sets of 10 and are targeted at children 6 years and above. The pen feature stackable lids to encourage good organisation skills. This double tip pen has a fine tip for writing and sketching and a broad tip for colouring in. What’s more each end has an ergonomic triangular grip zone which helps the child to hold the pen correctly. Perfect for little man a child with poor fine motor skills.

Other great features to the STABILO Trio double ended pen is its washable ink! A must have feature unless you enjoy trying to remove ink from white school shirts? Mmmm… I thought not!

This is a great pen for both my children and Alice-Sara loves how this allows her to switch quickly between writing and colouring. Little man liked it’s fine tip, the fact he could write in colour. He especially liked how it felt against the paper, commenting that it writes really nicely.

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The Cappi Pen is targeted at children aged 6 years and above. I love these pens as the caps can be easily threaded onto a cap ring making them less likely to lose (that’s unless they lose the entire cap ring with all the lids attached or worse the pens them self). Again these are great for both my children as both have issues with organisation skills and are forever misplacing things.

Like before the STABILO Cappi pen features that all important ergonomic grip zone that allows children to hold their pen correctly, giving them a better grip and prevents little fingers from slipping. Another feature is its unusual tube shape that has been designed so the pen doesn`t roll away and can be easily picked-up. Oh and if you do happen to misplace your cap ring when using a pen then don’t panic you have plenty of time to look for it as these won’t dry out for at least 24 hours.

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Alice-Sara, my fellow lefty was lucky to get her hands on the STABILO EASYOriginal pen. I say lucky as this has been a godsend and I can’t see her using anything else again.The pen is targeted at children learning to write as well as school age children over 6 years. There are two kinds of EasyOriginal available! Those designed for left handed children as well as one designed for the right handed child.

Features… A new interpretation of the fountain pen but instead an ergonomically designed rollerball. This is the first rollerball especially designed for left- and right-handers.

The pen has a specially formulated grip zone made from non-slip material which gives children far better control over the pen.

I loved the easy no mess solution it provided when it comes to refilling your pen. Every refill has a new tip which means that children are not exposed to the ink itself avoiding spillages.

Alice-Sara loves the pen and we are going to seek permission for her to be able to take and use the pen at school. She’s currently at Primary school and as standard they can usually be found writing in pencil (unless given pen licenses which means obtaining a standard handwriting pen)! I can’t see why it should be a problem what with the been being praised by teachers, approved by parents and loved by children.

I’ve since brought a right handed STABILO EASYOriginal pen for Little Man as STABILO report how children using an EASYOriginal pen, are given a more relaxed hold whilst writing! This in itself prevents muscle fatigue which is great news for my son.

I’ve even tried my daughters left hand pen and can comment on its ease of use, comfortable handling resulting in my improved neat and tidy handwriting (even when rushing) For me the fact that it doesn’t blot or scratch is a real bonus!

Available with royal-blue erasable ink, document-proof black ink or red ink.
All colour combinations feature a space for a name tag.

The STABILO Trio Scribbi is targeted at artist who want to get to grips with a pen for the first time, as well as children who have difficulties with using pens because of motor skills (like Little man). So… Why is it different? Well, this is a pen that is said to be almost indestructible thanks to its push-resistant thick tip. Its clever triangular design helps children get a secure ergonomic grip. Its great for kids like Little man who tends to get more pen on his hands than on that of the paper as its super-washable for problem-free cleaning of hands and even clothes.

Little man used it but states that he still couldn’t colour correctly with it as he still coloured outside the lines of his drawing. I think his looking for a pen with a Miracle solution to the problem.

The STABLIO Woody 3 in one was for Alice-Sara as its a pencil that has been designed for the child who loves to draw. The pencil has a unique feature that acts as a colored pencil, watercolour and wax crayon all in one.
It has XXL break-proof lead ­that is as thick as 8 standard coloured pencils. It’s designed to be highly pigmented with high opacity and colour intensity, even on dark paper! Better still this is a pencil that writes on smooth surfaces such as glass, metal, leather etc.

This is ideal for Alice-Sara as its unique versatility supports her every expanding creative development.

This awesome 3-in-1 comes in translucent colors (red, green, blue).

But it’s not just stationary we needed to think about. I still had the issue of little man’s hygiene. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that he just don’t want to wash, his just extremely tactile defensive. The way his skin feels once its absorbed water Is something he finds hard to tolerate… “You know that squeaky clean feeling or worse the one where your fingers wrinkle?” It’s so hard as this tactile defensiveness affects many areas such as nail cutting and teeth brushing. Every single day morning and night without fail it remains a battle. This means that getting little man to wash his hands before eating or after using the toilet is just plain handwork that I’m losing the energy for.

Little man is at an age where I should no longer need to follow him around demanding he does these basic acts of hygiene.Then there is the issue of school! I don’t want staff to have to constantly ask him to wash his hands. As a solution I’d just have him keep a small tube of hand cream (though he still found it hard to overcome the anxiety about the initial task). We also tried hand sanitiser, only these created there own problems. Not only did some bring around the exact same problem as before but the smell would make him feel ill. One or two even caused him reactions due to there harsh ingredients.

We were sent a bottle of my pocket buddy on-the-go hand sanitiser to review. Our problem was detected in a tweet and the lovely social media team behind the brand, got in contact and as a result, shipped one of these to the little man pretty quickly.

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Here’s what this pocket buddy claims to do…

“My Pocket Buddy® on-the-go hand sanitiser has been scientifically formulated to kill 99.99% of germs, whilst still being kind to your hands. Our product range includes an 8ml pen spray for children, a 50ml foamer for adults, and a 500ml foaming dispenser, ideal for the home, nursery, or your place of work.

Not only is My Pocket Buddy® alcohol free and made from 100% natural ingredients, it’s effective in seconds, helping reduce germs, bacteria, viruses and fungi on the skin. There are no chemical nasties in any of our products, ensuring safe protection for your hands, and giving you peace of mind that your loved ones are protected too.”

For us the thin pen design is the perfect size for little man to carry around yet big enough for him to find in his pocket without getting stressed (the little man hates losing things and having to look for them)! The fact that it’s also a spray makes it so quick and easy to use.

Most importantly and I say this with a huge smile on my face… He likes it, there is a massive reduction in the uncomfortableness he would normally feel when using water or another alcohol based sanitiser. What’s more it doesn’t smell as potent and his therefore coping well with using it.

The only issue we are left with now is ensuring we have enough and don’t run out as his built up a routine and as Little man will tell you… “Routines were not designed to be broken!”

Those who have similar problems can find out more by visiting the product page online

This is not a sponsored post and no payment has been made by those brands mentioned. I didn’t have to write and review any of the products discussed within this post, as I was not asked to included them here. All words are my own and not influenced from anyone other than myself.

Crafting with kids – Glass and Porcelain Painting

29 Aug

Over the last week I’ve been doing some really fun craft projects with the children.

And guess what? Even the Little man has been getting involved!

I wanted to do something that each child would find both interesting and fun, something we could do together as a family regardless of everyone’s differing interest. I needed the activity to apply to each child’s interest, something they really love therefore needing little if not any encouragement from mum! Basically participating because they want to.

Little man is by far the hardest of my children to engage in any type of activity, especially that of arts and crafts.This basically means that when thinking up an activity I always need to think outside the box! More than not my ideas are inspired by little mans overly intense interest (aka, special interest). This used to be just transport, however, WWE (wrestling) and Lego have now been added to the list.

The idea I had was one that meant little man could incorporate anyone of his interest (all three if desired). It was important for me to have him involved. Throughout this years summer holiday little man hasn’t shown much motivation towards anything we’ve done.

Alice-Sara would also love this free style idea as she’s naturally very creative and engages herself well when drawing or crafting.

So… Just what was my idea for a fun and engaging art project?

Plate Decorating: Yep, that’s right! Having done something similar as a child as part of a school project (using a much more complicated process mind you) Plate decorating is actually a lot fun!

I’m not taking about drawing a picture onto a paper plate… Oh no!
I wanted the children to have something of a keepsake. I wanted them to have something they could keep for a long period of time, looking back on their creative flair with pride. As mentioned I did something similar at school (well, it was at nursery actually). We were given a special type of paper to take home. We were instructed to draw our design on it and then bring it back once complete. They then sent our designs of to have some company transfer them onto these plastic plates. I was 4-years-old and remember that activity like I did it just yesterday. My Grandmother had my plate displayed on her living room wall up In-till the day she died.. I think my father has it now!

The above was the inspiration for my idea, though I wanted to do things a little differently from back in the eighties so went shopping for some plain white dinner plates which I found easily enough in a local pound shop meaning I got a total of 4 for the bargain basement price of £4.

Later that evening myself and the two eldest children sat down ready for work. Little man was reluctant to begin with but once I’d explained there were no specific designs, he could design as he liked he was more willing to try. He doesn’t like colouring because his a perfectionist and finds it hard to stay within the lines of his drawing. This is due to his poor fine motor skills and often causes him problems.

As we were drawing our designs directly onto porcelain plates we need to use some special types of pen (normal felts would just rub away). For this we used Brilliant Porcelain Paint Pens, Acrylic Deco Pens and I also used on mine PicTixx 3D Glitter Pens all from the fabulous Baker Ross.

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The children had fun and even sat by one another for a full 10 minutes before bickering (believe me thats a long time)!

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Little man’s design was focused around his interest in wresting and this mostly consisted of a selection of different words written in different colours. As some of you may know, little man stopped writing for a good year and a half of his life, only doing so on a computer. To see him now writing and of his own free will, is most pleasing.

Little man didn’t spend a great deal of time adding his design to his plate. He did lose interest pretty quickly! As I’ve previously stated, his very hard to engage. Nonetheless, I’m dead proud of his contribution to the project and love his wrestling plate.

Alice-Sara designed a Monster High plate. This consisted of the monsters high logo with a couple of funky eyes placed on either side. She then added some funky lips and fangs before finally adding lots of different coloured speckles to finish off.

I absolutely loved it.

The pens are really easy to use as opposed to using paints and brushes. By using the pens the children have a greater control over their design. Alice and Little man mainly used the Brilliant Porcelain Paint Pens on their plates. The only thing you must ensure is that they don’t press down to hard as then too much paint gets released and the design will run. Once the children had both finished their plate I sealed their designs in the oven at 160’c.

I also got in on the action and having no idea what I wanted to do, I just messed around a little. I ended up with this funky enchanted forest design that I doodled around my twitter handle.

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I also used PicTixx 3D Glitter Pens that can be applied to almost any surface and even washed at 30 degrees (I’m also currently using these on a pair of jeans I’m customising for my daughter) in this case I used the PicTixx to add a little sparkle to my plates finished design.

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We also decorated some glass with Deco and Porcelain pens and though we haven’t quite finished yet here’s a little taster of how it’s going.

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This made a lovely evening of crafting and the project is easy to do with really effective results.

You don’t have to buy new plates to personalise, you could always up cycle old ones you already have. I’m currently doing the same with some old jam jars and a vase thats seen better days (I’ll be sure to share with all once I’ve finished).

Recap; What we used for both our plates and glass painting.

Large white plates from pound store (£1 each) (brought 4 so total £4)
Old jars and glasses we already had in the cupboards
PicTixx 3D Glitter Pens from Baker Ross (5 pack) £9.99
Brilliant Porcelain Paint Pens from Baker Ross (6 pack) £10.99
Acrylic Deco Pens from Baker Ross (6 pack) £10.99

Baker Ross online store can be found on line. Just click Here

Welcome to the world of little card people

25 Apr

It’s fantastic when you receive an email inviting you to try out an exciting new product and exciting is what I’d describe Carddies to be.

I had seen Carddies floating around on twitter so had popped over to their site to see what they were all about. The product itself is really simple but the idea a clever one that combines both creativity and play.

So what are Carddies?

Well, basically Carddies are a series of colouring kits that consist of card people who live in a box. Each box of carddies comes with its own theme and consists of hand drawn card people to colour, colouring pencils, hand drawn background scene to colour and little plastic stands so your carddies can stand upright and be played with.

Carddies are designed for children 3+ though the toddler who is 2, has also has been having lots of fun playing with his sisters finished set.

I love the idea behind Carrdies and feel they would be brilliant for creating social stories for a child on the autism spectrum while encouraging creativity and improvements in fine motor skills.

Carddies were kind enough to send both Alice-Sara and Little man (aka A boy with Apsergers) a pack each to try. Now Alice-Sara is very creative when its comes to arts and crafts where Little man has always had difficulties with his fine motor skills and therefore will normally give up very quickly on anything that requires any colouring.

The fact Little man was sent a football theme box of Carddies made all the difference and he had fun actually designing the kits for the players. It was a great way to unleash some inner creativity that he has and he remained on task for a little longer than usual.

What was great about the above kit was the fact this one even came with its own plastic little ball so once the players were fully customised and connected to each of their stands you could engage in some imaginative football play.

OK, Little man still hasn’t really got the who concept of imaginative play but he has recently developed a bit of an obsession in WWE and for the first time ever has asked for some play figures. We got him some and his play revolves largely around him pretending to be a WWE wrestler fighting his 10 inch figures (a little strange and creates quite a lot of noise)! Little man has asked me to tell the makers of Carddies to draw some WWE wrestlers and they will make a lot of money… Bless him!

Alice-Sara was sent a family 1 box of carddies. She had loads of fun colouring them in and giving each a name. The lovely people at Carddies even popped a few extra people and animals in with the delivery for Harley my 2-year-old toddler to play with and he loves them so much his also been happily playing with Alice-Sara’s finished family members.

As mentioned, each box comes with its own background scene to colour so it provides the children with lots to do. Little man hasn’t completed his scene yet though I’m sure he’ll find the motivation soon.

There are currently 10 sets of Carddies to choose from and many more on the way.

I love how Carddies is a family owned business. The brand is owned by two sisters, Raquel and Esther. Raquel started drawing and making little card people out of cereal boxes for her three daughters during rainy house bound holidays. Since then Raquel has drawn lots of little card people for hundreds of children.

Raquel joined forces with her sister Ester and made this lovely idea into a business that has now been nominated for many awards and loved by thousands.

Check out the Carddies site where children can join up to the special Carddies club which is packed full of exciting games and treats.

Disclaimer: This is a review post, all opinions are honest and those of my own. We were not paid to write this review but did get provided with a sample so we could share our opinions.

Giant Jenga

9 Nov
A Jenga tower falling down

Image via Wikipedia

Little man has a bit of a thing for the game Jenga, it all started when he first discovered it at his new special school for children with autism and aspergers.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to review the ‘Giant Jenga Game’ from Garden games. Ok, it’s not exactly summer outside but Giant Jenga can be played both indoors and outdoors.

The Giant Jenga that goes by the name of ‘Mega Hi Tower In A Bag’ consists of 58 mega blocks measuring 34x 70x 207mm and comes in its own waterproof carry bag.

Little man was extremely excited to be sent the Giant Jenga and within five minutes of it arriving it was already out of the bag and well on it’s way to becoming a mega high tower right there in the middle of our living room.

Jenga is a great game for children on the autism spectrum as it helps them to “think outside the box” problem solve, helps aid the development of both fine and gross motor skills, as-well as teaching the child patience and how to deal with competition (a vital life skill for any child).

The children had great fun with this game! It was actually quite nice to see my two eldest playing nicely together, as little man tends to push his sister away preferring to play alone (obviously, playing Jenga alone isn’t much fun). Even the youngest member of the family, 23 month old Harley observed his siblings in play mode before going in for the kill.

I do recommend that you stay close by if younger children are playing, this falling tower will hurt! Another recommendation would be to ensure all children are wearing appropriate footwear, as a tumbling tower will no doubt hurt little toes.

A massive advantage to playing the extra-large vision of this much-loved game was the fact it was much less fiddly  for the little man! Yes, you do still need to take extra care not to remove the wrong piece of Jenga and make your tower tumble, but it’s much easier to remove the pieces if the child has poor fine motor skills like Little man. The Giant pieces are defiantly a bonus in this respect.

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All in all, Giant Jenga provide us with a lot of family fun, though it will be that much better come the summer, played in the garden with a BQQ going.

Giant Jenga could also prove a good game for the adults, as I can see myself pulling this one out come Christmas Day when a few of the family join us. It will provide lots of laughs especially after a few glasses of bubbly, that’s for sure.

At £49.99 I did consider it a tad pricey, though if I’m honest this is a well made game, so its bound to last for years to come.
An awesome 4 stars from us.

****

Click Here to order yours

The KRE-O Bumblebee construction set from Argos

6 Nov

As mentioned last week Argos have come on board and are now taking part in our, ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’ feature. Last time, I introduced you to the, ‘Fab 15’ (Argos top toys this Christmas) and with the help of Alice-Sara, my very willing 8-year-old daughter, we shared with you our review of the fabulous new baby Annabell.

This week it’s Little man who takes the rains when testing the ‘KREO Transformers Bumblebee’ construction set by Hasbro.

This construction set is a cross between LEGO & Transformers. It was launched a few months back and has already been hailed as one of the biggest boys toys this Christmas.

The set was delivered well boxed and contained some 300+ pieces, plus 3 Keron figures. The contents allow the child to build in two modes, giving them the chance to either build a robot (Transformer) or vehicle (Sports car).

Yes, there are lots of pieces to put together, but given to the right child this is an awesome toy. The instructions were not overly complication but maybe a tad advanced for a 7-year-old but also had lots of images to help your child along the way. Little man was really pleased with the ‘KRE-O Bumblebee’ his a big fan of LEGO and when I first told him he was being sent the KRE-O, he insisted he wouldn’t like it as it wasn’t “LEGO” How wrong he was, he honestly loves the set and a few more have been added to his Christmas Wish list.

What’s really fantastic about the Hasbro KREO Bumblebee construction set is the fact it’s prices are compatible with all your other major brands such as LEGO. They fit together perfectly and can be used together with ease.
On arrival of the KER-O Transformer bumblebee, Little man set about getting to work almost instantly having decided to construct the vehicle first. He enlisted the help of his father and in a few short hours they presented me with this…

That was it for one night. It was the following day the boys started up again and it wasn’t long till it was finished and here it is the end result…

Pretty impressive, don’t you think?

The doors open and close which delights my Little man (it’s the little things that count isn’t it)! You can also take two of your three keron figures for a test drive!

Little man has refused to take this apart to make the transformer which is father is dying to do (boys & their toys)! He told me he hasn’t yet had enough fun with his sports car, which is fine, bless him! What I can tell you is that once in Robot mode the wings can be converted into gliders for your Keron figures to take a ride on.

Little man really loves this set and despite his difficulties with fine motor skills, he has no issues, even with the smaller pieces.
Little man gave it a high 5 awarding it the full ***** stars

Parental perspective

Yes, I’ve stepped on one or two pieces of KRE-O… Ouch… they resemble LEGO in every way, including the pain they provide to your foot when trod on. I really couldn’t tell the difference between the two, so would defiantly recommend to all LEGO lovers, you wont be disappointed!

The recommended age of 7+ seems about right, although I would advise that younger children may need a little help to follow the instructions as may those who are on the autism spectrum as did Little man.

Lots of small (I mean very small pieces) so make sure this is done away from toddlers.

Provides a great bonding experience. Little man and his father had hours of fun building the bumblebee car together.

Pieces are fully compatible with other leading brands, your child may not want to build the vehicle or the robot! KRE-O helps to enhance your child’s creativity offering a multitude of play scenarios.

Once desired mode is assembled (vehicle or robot) your child is left with a great toy with lots of playability

Only disadvantage for me was that fact it came with no plastic storage case! What with the amount of pieces, I would have really liked there to have been one. However if your child has many sets of this kind the chances that they will already have one is pretty high.

Recommend: Yes

**** 4 stars from mum

Price: £29.99 ON SALE FOR £22.49 25% OFF

You can get the ‘KREO Transformer Bumblebee’ construction set from Argos stores nationwide or online
Click Here for yours.

It’s all fun and games with Ka’lide

12 Oct

Another day, another Santa’s little helpers and blog-match mission.

The guys at blog-match have matched us to the guys at imagination games, who sent us the game Ka’lide.

AIM OF THE GAME:

Score points by flicking, bumping and sliding your magnetic pucks onto you’re scoring side of the game mat!

WHAT YOU GET!

One large mat

Magnetic pucks

Note: You will additionally require a pen and paper (not included) to record the scores.

SET UP AND ORDER OF PLAY:

Set up in a room that has lots of space being careful to remove any breakable items away from the playing area.

Establish who’s first by engaging in a “Flick Off”

Closet to 200 point circle wins the “flick off” and therefore goes first.

MAIN GAME:

Each player sits at either end of the playing mat facing one another. Both ends of the mat are colour coded red or yellow. Each player has a total of six pucks each and take it in turns to carefully flick pucks across the mat aiming for the points circles (highest being 200)

IMPORTANT RULES:

If a player overshoots it becomes a dead puck and must be left where they have fallen to the end of the round.

A player can knock or magnetically push another puck into the scoring zone.

For these reasons scores should only be recorded at the end of each round.

Three rounds make up one game of Ka’lide.

WHO PLAYED?

Here comes a heart attack moment, Little man and his sister, my daughter Alice, actually played this game together. They just about managed it without actually killing one another.

VERDICT:

**** We award 4 stars to the imagination game Ka’lide

LAST THOUGHTS:

Ka’lide is very entertaining and is worth adding to your Christmas list.

The game is good at helping aid the development of motor co-ordination as-well as fine motor skills, concentration and hand-eye co-ordination.

The children engaged in a little bickering, but hay what’s new?

As mentioned before Little man tends to be overly controlling a symptom of his Asperger’s syndrome. When his sister scored he found it quite hard to take, with the lack of control over the game and the fact his a sore losers did prove difficult some of the time (though I guess his sisters slight smirk doesn’t help either)!

Over all a fabulous game.

Give it a go and have some fun.

Note: If more than two players are desired this can be done via a knock out game or a team game, full instructions for this are given in the instruction booklet provided with your game.: 

Imagination games: Ka’lide at Amazon

Age 8+ £19.99 RRP 

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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

Back to school with Matalan

6 Sep

Some weeks back, I wrote a post giving some, ‘Back to school tips’ to fellow parents of children on the autism spectrum. One of these tips related to shopping and the common issues experienced when having to shop with a child on the autism spectrum. With these issues in mind, I made the suggestion of purchasing your, “Back to school necessities” online, and to do so within good time!

Well, I must admit, that I myself failed, “Yet Again” to follow my own advice. Last week I still had school shoes, lunch boxes, PE kits and more to buy!

Well, thank you Matalan for saving me from what may have been, a shopping nightmare! Little man has been known to have some almighty mid shop meltdowns and I didn’t fancy another!

Yes, the lovely people at Matalan sent me an email setting me a challenge. I’m pretty used to challenges, but in this case it was the welcomed type!

The Challenge

Matalan online sent me a £50 voucher,  all I had to do was spend it carefully, getting as much for my £50 as possible. Lastly, I was to share my bargains here with my readers!

No problem, I’m not only a mother but a woman who loves to shop!

Bring it on!!!

So,  from the comfort of my sofa, with no meltdowns, anxiety or tears, I went shopping at Matalans online store.

On loading the site, I discovered that there was a sale showcasing items from just £1, (Oh yes, that’s my type of sale)!

So, voucher at hand, here’s what I got…

1) Girls button shoes (Black) Price: £8

2) Boys black trainer (Black) Price: £7

3) Black slash design leggings, Sale Price: £1 (reduced from: £6)

4) Back to school wheel design lunch bag, Price: £5

5) Back to school wheel design drinks bottle, Price: £2

6) Girls red school cardigan, Price: £4.50

7) Grey baker boy girls hat, Price: £3

8) Red Pump bag, Price: £1.50

9) Black Velcro Plimsolls, Price: £2.50

10) Girls five pack of briefs, Price: £3.50

11) Girls Hooch studded biker boot, Sale Price: £3.75 (reduced from £15)

After having added all the above to my trolley, I discovered I still had £8.25 left to spend, and what with having already got all I needed, I decided to get…

12) 3 Price red pan non stick pan set, Sale Price: £5.50 (reduced from £22)

13) Non padded Balconette bra, Sale price: £2 (reduced from £6)

14) Daisy white D plus bra, Sale Price: £1 (reduced from £6)

Total £50.25

Ok, Ok, I went 25p over, though I think that’s good for me.

That’s 14 items listed there, didn’t I do well?

Red pump bag £1.50, black plimsolls £2.50 and 5pk of girls briefs £3.50

Girls Baker boy hat, £3

Left: Boys wheel design lunch bag £5 and right matching bottle £2 

Red girls Cardigan, £4.50  

Delivery

delivery was super fast, arriving at my door with a smile just two days after I placed the order. My delivery was free as part of the challenge, however, Matalan are offering all customers spending £40 or more a special delivery rate of just £2 for a limited time.

Exclusive

I also received an exclusive reward, ‘A boredom busting voucher booklet’ entitling me to a discount of 20% of at ‘Yellow Moon’ as well as lots of other offers to keep the kids smiling such as, Kids bowl free, kids go free to Merlin attractions, (Legoland, Chessington and more) 2 for one on visits to Merlin attractions and many more.To little man’s delight the boredom busting booklet also contain a 25% off City sightseeing bus tours (yep, we’re going next week).

I am unsure if the promotion is still active. To find out, or check for any other offers, check the Matalan site or the blog (URLs at the bottom of the page).

Sale

The Sale is currently still on and is offering some items at a massive 75% off  As you can see from the above, it hosts some great bargains!

For me my best buy has to be the Hooch boots that had a fabulous £11.25 saving. These will do Alice-Sara proud in the winter I’m sure! They look really well made, as-well as being bang on trend.

Leggings £1 (were £6) Girls biker boots by Hooch, £3.75 (were £15) 

The non stick pans, well, how can you resist a price like this? £5.50 is a steal.

Non-stick pans in Red, £5.50 (was £22) 

The two bras are a bargain at £6 each but getting them both for £3 is super, and was simply my little teat to me! (Sorry guys I haven’t posted a pic of these but you can check out the underwear range online)

We decided that the leggings were much to nice for PE and having only cost £1 we are very pleased with them.

Even the items not in the sale were a steal. Little man has problems with his fine motor skills, making laces a problem! His black trainers with velcro fastening are ideal and a great price too!

Girls Black button shoes, £8 

Boys black trainers, £7

Autumn range

I was sent some fantastic books showcasing the new women’s and homeware range for the Autumn. The books were super posh and came with CD-ROMs

It’s clear to see that Matalan’s have had a redesign and I was pretty  impressed and excited at what was on offer throughout both of these books.

Looks like its going to be a fantastic Autumn at Matalan this year.

to shop at Matalan just click HERE

Visit the Matalan sale Here or the blog HERE

Like Matalan on Facebook Here Twitter heads, follow Matalan on twitter by clicking HERE

Toys that are simply WOW

4 Aug

Our mission to create a Christmas list of must haves for pre-schools, young boys and girls and not forgetting those on the spectrum is coming together a treat.

 Harley recently reviewed some WOW toys and despite the review being carried out by Harley as opposed to little man, the toys are in my opinion fantastic for children on the autism spectrum.

WOW toys are designed for children aged between 18 moths 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 where us parents all over the world buy them for our little ones to open on Christmas and birthdays. What’s great about WOW toys are the developmental benefits each carefully designed toy has to offer. These toys are great for pre-schoolers and especially those children with autism spectrum conditions because not only do they help feed a child’s imagination but help develop basic motor skills to advanced social interactive role play. There are many developmental benefits when giving your child a WOW toy. The early development of Gross motor skills, social interaction with adults and siblings, advanced sensory stimulation and improvements in fine motor skills, discovery and learning and that of imaginative role play. The toy and your child grow together making WOW the perfect name and seriously great value for money.

Harley’s face lit up when I gave him Robins Medical Rescue (from the emergency range) and George’s Dragon Tale, (from the fantasy range) to play with.

Lets start with Robins Medical Rescue! A speedy ambulance complete with, Paramedic Nina, Mother Pearl, Sandy (boy figure), one removable stretcher and one removable wheelchair. This toy comes with ten features, two being WOW magic features (wow button to release hatch allowing the wheelchair to roll down the ramp and an xray machine that reveals a cool image of Sandy’s broken leg). Other features include a sliding door with clicking sound effects, realistic engine sound and friction powered motor. All this without batteries! That’s right all WOW toys are designed to be fun without the use of batteries much to a parents delight.

This is the first toy I have known to hold my toddlers attention for a seriously long period of time. He was completely taken by it and truly loved it! We had to take it away in- order for him to eat his dinner (not without him demonstrating his tantrum skills which he now has to a perfection)!

The toys are chunky and so are the additional pieces that make up each set. Harley was able to comfortably hold the little people, fitting them into the wheelchair and drivers seat. Harley did have a bit of a thing for popping Sandy in and out of the stretcher bless him! Once I had shown him the little WOW magic features he was able to continue using them without any issues at all. He loved the clicking sound of the sliding door and was amazed at how the ambulance continued to move along the floor without him touching it (friction power)

Harley liked this toy so much he started to put some of his other toys in robin the ambulance taking them for a high speed ride around our dinning room.

Without a doubt this is 10/10 from Harley.

George’s Dragon Tale

A very cute toy consisting of a push along chariot, one removable boulder, George the knight and one removable dragon. Features include realistic sound effects, removable pieces and a working catapult much to Harley’s delight.

Harley had fun with this one, yet I gave it to him with Robins medical rescue making it harder for me to assess his likes and dislikes. He seemed to take George for a ride in robin more then the chariot, but that’s the great thing about this toys, all pieces are made in the same way so you can! Despite this it was clear to see that he found the catapult an interesting feature as he launched the boulder under the sofa on a number of occasions. This was followed by his giggling and jumping up and down. He enjoyed the fact that all pieces were removable and seemed to have fun with this one, though his love for Robin would return quickly taking over ten-fold. 7/10 (Though this may have got more if Robin wasn’t so distracting)

Parental views

I can clearly see why these toys are appealing to children and although they are marketed at 18 months to 5 years, Little man was found to be playing with Robin a number of times as Harley slept (what with his obsession with transport and opening and closing doors it made perfect sense). surprisingly Little sister was found playing with both and openly stated that these toys should be for 8 year olds too. I think Harley has found his new best toy in Robin’s Medical rescue which gets a 10/10 from mum for it’s developmental benefits and the length off time it held a 20 month olds attention. George’s Dragon Tale was also a great toy with fantastic developmental benefits, that will be a great addition to a child’s collection 8/10

 Visit the WOW facebook page for lots of fun competitions and info on WOW toys.

To find a stockist please click HERE to visit the WOW official website where you can also see some other amazing WOW toys on offer!

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