Tag Archives: pocket money

#Win 1 of 6 RSPCA My Pocket Pets By WOW Toys

21 Feb

RSPCA My Pocket Pets are a set of super-cute collectable figure packs that are made by WOW Toys and suitable for pre-school children from 18 months +.

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Each pack contains one animal figure plus an RSPCA fun activity sheet. This includes fun activities such as dot-to-dot, colouring in, an RSPCA cartoon and information aimed at teaching young children about animal welfare. The RSPCA cartoon and information sections explain the importance of animal welfare by listing the 5 main animal welfare needs and the activity sheet’s cute cartoon details the story of Farmer Bill and Nasty Nick, a fun story clearly explaining how children can be conscious of animal welfare.

There are 6 animals to collect in this series: Pippi the pooch, Socks the cat, Clarissa the cow, Patch the pig, Wiggles the Dalmatian and Jenny the horse.

The RSPCA’s trading manager Cathy Snow said: “Pocket Pets perfectly brings together charming and fun toys that children will love with an easy to understand and appealingly presented message about animal welfare. It will not only encourage awareness but will also help to raise valuable funds that will allow the RSPCA to continue helping to care for animals. We are delighted to be working with WOW Toys in what we are sure will be a long and productive partnership.”

RSPCA MY Pocket Pets went on sale this month (February) and are priced at £1.99 per foil pack. The is stocked in a wide range of high street and online outlets including Waterstones, Tesco, WH Smiths, Tesco Direct and Amazon and participating RSPCA outlets. The toys will also be listed in independent toy shops as well as a number of post offices and newsagents.

Harley has two of these pets, ‘Socks the cat’ and ‘Patch the pig’ and loves playing with them either alone or alongside the rest of his WOW toy collection.

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The toys have no little pieces and are big and chunky for little hands.

The collection aspect of the toys is great fun though the packs are blind foil so although you have the fun aspect of a surprise you may end up spending a little money trying to make up the full collection.

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For each pack you purchase, WOW will make a donation to the RSPCA!

Would you like to win one of these cute WOW animals?

I have a total of 6 to give away.

To enter simply answer the question…

Q: What is your favourite WOW TOY?

For one extra entry tweet “I want to win an RSPCA My Pocket Pet with @Clairelouise82 & @WOW_Toys” adding the URL to this post.

Please then leave a comment with your twitter handle or link to your tweet.

Competition will close at 11:59pm on the 15th March 2013.

6 winners will be drawn at random.

T&C competition is for those in the UK only. Those entering must leave a contact whether email or twitter handle. Winners have 72 hours to respond to winning notification notice or prize may be lost and redrawn.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/one-6-rspca-pocket-pets-wow-toys#sthash.JudN7uCH.dpuf

Money Makes Little Man’s World go round.

25 Sep

What with the little man going on and on about money all the time I thought the Digital Coin Counting Money Jar would be an excellent review choice for him. Little Man used to be pretty awesome at saving but not anymore, his now terrible! As soon as money hits his hand his spending it. He seems to think that the hole in the wall just dishes out free money whenever you ask for it! Yer, I don’t think so!

The Digital Coin Counting Jar is a clever Money Box that counts each British coin as you feed it through the slot located in the lid. The digital counter keeps on running while totalling up the pennies as you save.

It’s a great idea as it really is a brilliant way to encourage children to save their pocket money. I love how visual it is, just being able to see the total going up is a really great feature for Little man. He doesn’t do guessing and not knowing how much money his saved tends to drive him a little loopy. The digital total also assures him its all a reality… This may seem weird but being able to visually see the total along with the money in the jar gives the child on the autism spectrum visual encouragement. Little man finds it incredibly irritating when people expect him to just appreciate something without the visual stimulation to back it up.

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The fact that its a gadget also contributes to its overall desirability for the Little man who is a totally gadget nut job (nothing’s to do with Aspergers, just a case of boys and their toys I think). He keeps this on his bedside table and cheekily checks it daily to make sure the pennies ain’t going down as opposed to up. Whoever he thinks maybe on the Rob is beyond me! Well it ‘s just myself and the toddler at home when his at school so this doesn’t speak high volumes of his trust in me. Not that he has any justifiable cause… I’m the one who gives him the money to feed the thing and his definitely the only one spending it, not me!

He used to have one of those cash machine saving banks. He loved it, only this love was short lived. Once he lost the card, had an almighty meltdown and I had no choice but to show him that actually the card was nothing more than a novelty. Yes, he was pleased I’d freed his cash from his little ATM replica but meltdown number two soon kicked in, what with the reality that his plastic cash card was just a toy and I’d been able to access it if I really needed to destroyed his love for it.

This money counting jar is something very different and much better suited to his needs. It’s a great size and its made of hard durable plastic as opposed to glass (wouldn’t last five minutes otherwise). The fact it’s clear is a real bonus as for the reasons I’ve already mentioned above.

The digital counter is very clever. It takes away the whole manual counting process and although this is fine as math provides one with great brain food, its also a top way to get out of penny counting. Silver and golds i’ll count all day if you like but the brown ones… These just get on everyone’s wick.

It’s a great way to reach a goal. They can see themselves getting closer and closer and this spurs them on.

Now this may sound terrible but its also a great tool for enforcing good behaviour. Normally if I just say to little man “you’re losing your pocket money” he doesn’t even react its like he couldn’t care less! But when you use something like this as a visual tool it can really swing things in the other direction. Now he does care as if he does lose it there will be no bigger coins to help his total rise and the thought of having to search down sofas for pennies for another week, really must be to much fir him to cope with. He really has had a better two weeks.

The ‘Digital Coin Counting Money Jar’ uses 2 x AA batteries (not included) and
Unfortunately the contents is not included.

The Digital Coin Counting Money Jar is just £12.99 Check it out for yourself over at Presents For Men.

Something Special For Mothers Day

15 Mar

Mothers day is almost here and if like me you’re a last-minute kinda girl, I suggest you get yourselves of to your nearest Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s are stocking gifts affordable to all budgets, including the pocket-money of those Little ones.

I remember back in the good old days (Yes, I say that like I’m not almost 30 but 60) I used to love getting my pocket-money and heading of to the shops with my grandmother to pick something special for my mother for Mothers Day.

Most of the time, this something special consisted of a box of black magic, a teddy with the words mum across its tummy, or some type of flower scented bath bombs. Now, although she would always eat the chocolate, the teddy normally sat collecting dust and the bath bombs… well, I suspect, she still has a draw full of them somewhere.

Admittedly a couple of pound doesn’t get you all that far, however, it would seem that a lot more retailers are budgeting for the mini spenders as well as those grown up shoppers.

Here’s an example of some lovely little pocket-money buys that Sainsbury’s have in store and online

    This Mum Plaque is a steal at just £1 and it actually taste quite yummy for a quid.

You can also pick up a pretty pink Net of hearts again for just a £1, makes a lovely additional gift or for those with not much to spare a thoughtful little token of love

For just under £3 your money will buy you this super cute Pink Satin style Handbag filled with truffles £2.69 I tried these and wow they are yummy, though it did leave me wanting more and sadly you only get about 4 per purse, but still we are taking pocket-money prices.

I Particularly love this Mini Cupcake Chocolate’s costing just £2.49, they are dead cute with a pink and white design and are chocolate all the way through. These were so pretty, I felt half bad eating them.

How about a pretty white heart-shaped cushion that displays pretty pink lettering, spelling out the words “Love you Mum” a very sweet little gift for £5

If it’s not chocolates your after, Sainsbury’s have plenty of beautiful fresh flowers throughout stores this week.

Again, there is something to suit all budgets.

There are pretty coloured bouquets and gorgeous plants to choose from, the perfect gift for a green fingered mum.

Bouquets are full of beautiful fresh smelling spring floral arrangements from Roses to Tulips all in a dazzling display array of shades.

One of my favourite has to be these beautifully scented lavender tree in Zinc tin £20. I’ve never really been a massive fan of lavender, though these do look pretty.

So, don’t panic! If you’re anything like me, then you’ll still need to grab ahold of a gift before Sunday and probably getting yourself in a bit of a state about it!

Just pop down to your nearest Sainsbury’s to check out these fantastic gift ideas, plus a great deal of others besides.

Thankfully for me, I have one right at the bottom of my road 🙂

The Hunt For The LEGO Minifigures Collection King

8 Mar

When a gold padded envelope dropped through my letter box, I will admit to a quickened  heartbeat and the thought that maybe I’d gone and won a holiday some place hot! The envelope contained no such thing, though what it did contain, gave my son, Little man, that same quickened heartbeat when discovering it was from LEGO and contain 4 foil packs of the latest LEGO Minifigures series 6!

Little man is more than just a little bit obsessed with LEGO, it’s now roughly boarding on the same scale as his transport obsession and he has much fun combining the two!

We weren’t expecting the Minifigures that LEGO sent, and for a child who doesn’t like to be surprised, this was an exception, he was extremely chuffed at their arrival. amongst the four foil packed Minifigures (which little man ran off to open) I discovered a letter which read…

This series, the sixth motley crew is on the hunt to find the UK’s LEGO Minifigure king collector! Email us an image of your impressive LEGO Minifigure collection and the most creative display will win an exclusive limited edition LEGO minifigure prize, Happy creating.

How exciting is that!

Little man just loves his minifigures and series 6 is packed full of new and exciting colourful creations. In this series you’ll find a funky green Leprechaun, a magical Genie, a groovy clockwork robot, a delightful Flamenco dancer, and a whole load more. Each foil pack contains a minifigure, special accessories, a display stand and collectors leaflet. There are a total of 16 Minifigures to collect within series 6. Remember packs are blind foiled, meaning you can’t see what’s inside so you may well end up with doubles that you’ll need to swap with your friends.

Little man was very impressed with his minifigures, which he has added to his growing collection. He seems most keen to get his hands on the clockwork robot, so I suspect we will be popping to the shops this Friday so he can spend his pocket-money.

As you can see from below, Little man likes to customise, chopping and changing their accessories every now and then, giving his collection his own personal touch.

Will we be entering this fabulous competition? Probably… Yes, through little man is quite adamant he wants to wait till his found his clockwork robot.

So, if your child is a Lego Minifigure collector why not join us by snapping a creative picture of your child and they’re growing collection?

Just email entries to sharday@nortonandco.com

I’m unsure of the closing date, though I am aware a winner will be chosen in the summer!

As soon as I have found out, I’ll be sure to let you all know!

For now I thought I’d leave you all with some really awesome LEGO Minifigure facts, that the Little man just loved.

Did You know that Lego Minifigures are the top-selling toy in the UK?

Minifigures have been around some 30 years!

If all the Minifigures in the world got together it would be the most populated country in the world!

Harrison Ford is the only person to have been immortalised twice as a minifigure!

Series 6 are on the shelves now and all 16 mini figured can be bought for a limited time only. Each pack cost just £1.99 and can be found at Argos, Tesco, WH Smith, John Lewis, Smyths, Toys R Us and a whole host of other popular retailers.

Bling for Scooters

26 Oct

For all you scooter goers 

 Now it’s the turn of the Scoobits, fashion accessories to bling out your scooter. 

 If your child has a scooter then please guys get in the know and make sure there’s one or two of these in your kids stocking

 If you don’t listen to my warning you can expect a big fat, I told you so from me on Christmas morning! 

 Scootbits are now available in a range of new bright bold colours that really will bring about some scooter envy! The best thing is these can be added to just about any scooter and even bikes if you prefer. 

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 They simply look great and with so many designs to choose from you’ll want them all!

 We have decided to buy Harley a Mini Micro for his Birthday in December after receiving a catalogue displaying all the fantastic neon colours and wonderful accessories, and amongst them accessories were some fab new scoobits that are suited to all ages. 

 I can’t wait to get his Mini Micro and bling it out with super brightly coloured scoobits so he can ride besides his big brother. 

 The scoobit we were sent for Little man is a fab red/orange colour with a bright green croc which I must admit looks super on the neon Green Maxi. 

 I’m discovering that I’ve got a bit of a thing for these brightly coloured gadgets and it’s not just the actual scooters but the bling you can dress them up with. I love the ribbons, bags, and of course the scoobits.

 With each scoobit you get some brightly coloured stickers you can add to you scooter too.

 What’s even better is again the scoobit has that collectors appeal that like little man many children on the autism spectrum seem to love engaging in. 

 Priced at from £3.99 we love them and I’ll be buying scoobits for both Little man’s and Little Harley’s stockings… Oh and I may even get a few for Alice-Sara’s bike

So it’s official, Scoobits are super-duper cool, & it’s not just the kids that think so!

You can design your own Scoobit and win Click HERE

The Bumpeez Giveaway

25 Sep

I recently contacted the guys over at Bumpeez to inform them that since writing the Bumpeez review the blog has gone a tad Bumpeez mad.

 Daily when I visit my blog I discover that many of my visitors have found the blog via google when searching the word BUMPEEZ!

 So, with this in mind them lovely Bumpeez lot sent me a Bumpeez album with an additional packet of Bumpeez, to review and share with you all!

Plus the bonus of an extra album set for one of you! Yep, you can win one right here!

 We, were pretty sure Bumpeez would be a big playground craze and a hit with children on the autism spectrum and its looking pretty much like we were right! I know that little man is now a tad mad about about these little funky chips, his really enjoying collecting the chips that come complete with their outer silicon case and has already began swapping with the neighbours.

 The Bumpeez album gives you a way to Keep all your Bumpeez chips in order! The album consists of 30 pages and contains a check list of all the Bumpeez and is a super collectors guide to playing all of the Bumpeez games. You can easily find where a chip should be placed by the picture and the number displayed ! This album is a really cool but entertaining way to keep your Bumpeez safe (Please note that you cannot display the chips when in their outer casing, this should be removed first. 

 The album pack also comes with an additional packet of Bumpeez that contains 2x chips and 2x outer cases (retail value £1.99) 

Special rare packs of Bumpeez contain Silver swirl (bi-colour) and Gold Bumpeez. Golden Bumpeez can win you an awesomw prize (ipods and more).

Bumpeez also have an online official website www.bumpeez.com where kids can access games and exclusive features.

To see the  original review and learn more about Bumpeez please do, by clicking HERE

 For your chance to win a Bumpeez Album with additional packet of Bumpeez simply…

 Comment below telling me why you would like to win! Please include a contact, whether its you’re twitter ID or an email address.

 For an additional entry click the tweet button below under the sharing options for this post, edit to add the words, “I want to win a Bumpeez album with clairelouise82 keeping the ULR the way it appears.

Leave me a additional comment from that of above telling me you have done so!

 For another additional entry, follow me on Networkblogs link located in side bar. Tell me u have done this via an additional comment 

 Finally for one more additional entry rate this post by clicking on the stars at the top of the post. Let me know you have done so in an additional comment than those above. 

 You must provide a contact email or twitter id

This Competition is open to UK residents ONLY, and will remain open in-till the 12th October 2011. You must be over 18 to enter, and will be given a week to make contact following the winner notification via the blog.

Are you ready for the next playground craze

19 Aug

 I’ve been seriously excited about sharing this review, but had my  instructions to hold of from posting till nearer the big launch date.

 Bumpeez are set to become the next big pocket money, playground craze  throughout the UK.

 Bumpeez are twin packs of fun collectable, pocket money toys priced at  just £1.99. These exciting new toys are all set to hit newsagents, toy  stores and supermarkets nationwide from the 24th August 2011.

 When I received the email back in the beginning of July, asking if the  children would be interested in giving Bumpeez a try, I knew these  would be an instant hit with Little Man.

 Bumpeez are aimed at both boys and girls between the ages of 5-11  years (though little man is 11 on the 1st of October, I think these  may appeal to those that little bit older too).

 Its fair to say that when it comes to collectable pocket money toys,  many children on the autism spectrum take to them like a duck to  water! Just look at Pokemon, (a game which is said to be created by a  guy with high functioning autism, likely, ‘Aspergers syndrome’) or  that of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, both have  been a hit with children on the  spectrum. This is not only for the appeal of forming a collection but  also the social aspect that surrounds these games,Just like Bumpeez  they offer the opportunities needed to better a child’s social  skills.

 Bumpeez go one step better! These are not cards but instead highly  collectable solid circular chips encased in a highly tactile removal  silicon ring that come in a variety of different shapes, colours and  sizes, (another appealing aspect for children on the autism spectrum  who may require lots of sensory/tactile input during play).

 The idea of the silicon outer ring is to allow the Bumpeez to bounce.  These can then be bounced against different surfaces to play tricks or  games. The different shapes of the ring mean each will require varying  degrees of skill to bounce.

 Bumpeez offer the child versatility in that they can be played both  with or without the silicon ring, either indoors or outdoors. There  are already a total of 25 games created, yet children are encouraged  to make up their own, improving the child’s imagination skills (an  essential tool for those with autism).

 Collectables

 Little man loved his packet of Bumpeez that contained the characters,  ‘Cloud’ & ‘Candy killer’ He loved how there were so many different  characters to collect, 100 in total. Bumpeez also have 10 different  colours to collect.

 The overall goal is for the child to collect all the coloured chips  with matching coloured rings. Each chip has its own character and  trading value. ‘Omar’ is the lead character therefore the rarest with  the highest trading value. Other characters include Omar’s friends,  Robot, Pam and Johnny-Q.

 Little man loves the whole trading concept that surrounds Bumpeez. He  told me that the fact you don’t know what bumpeez you’re getting makes  the collecting aspect more exciting.

 From a parental point of view, I found Bumpeez to be great value for  money. The fact that each pack contains two bumpeez is fantastic. I  have known other products aimed at children labelled as “pocket money  toys” priced at anything but pocket money prices. I can honestly see  little man collecting these from the time they hit the shops next week  till the day they disappear! I can easily vision my 8 year old daughter  following suit much to little mans “delight” (yes, that was good old  fashion English sarcasm)! Since early July when little man first  discovered Bumpeez his continually asked, “Mum, how much longer till I  can get some more Bumpeez?” I’m being driven loopy with anticipation.  He has already taken these into school (an autism special school)  before the end of term and told me his class peers showed a keen  interest his new toy.

 It seems that the fun that can be had with Bumpeez is limitless. What  with the chance to acquire special rear addition packs containing,  silver, swirl (Bi-colour) & golden chips resulting in the child  winning a fantastic prize makes the purchase of a packet of Bumpeez  even more exciting.

 “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!” Bumpeez have an interactive  feature. The online element means kids can access cool game, tips and  tricks, plus lots of new and exciting features at the official website: http://www.bumpeez.com

 So, parents be prepared… in just 5 days from now Bumpeez will hit  the shelves of your local store, how cool will you look when your  child asks, “Mum, what’s these?” and your able to tell them with  confidence!

 Bumpeez will be available to buy at all good newsagents, independent  toy stores, (such as the entertainer) national supermarkets and high  street stores including WHsmiths & Toys R us from 24th August priced at just £1.99

Alice reviews the new Zoobles

16 Aug

My little girl is loving her role as one of the three Santa’s little helpers. She is very keen on toys, the littler the better. She has collected everything over the years, from Polly pocket & puppy in my pocket to the littlest pet shop. Can you imagine her excitement and delight when Blog Match offered her  the chance to review the brand new Toy ‘Zooble’ a funky little ball that springs into a magical creature

We received the Zooble called,’Icetasia’ while Alice was away with her Grandmother getting a much needed break from a very demanding Little man. She was delighted to discover her Zooble on her return back home.


Zoobles by Spin master are one of the latest collectible toys to hit the toy market, they are aimed at little girls aged 4 years and above, and come in at least 250 different designs.

Alice-Sara loved her Zooble Icetasia  so much so, that the following day, having opened her Zooble less than 24hrs before she had decided she needed another Zooble ! This resulted in her roping me into taking her on a trip into town where she brought Zooble number two with her packet money.

 Zoobles come in lots of colours and designs, no two are ever the same meaning you are able to a keep adding to the collection without the disappointment of accruing doubles. Alice described the New Zoobles to be ultra cute, fun little magical creatures. Each Zooble comes with its very own habitat and once you have placed your Zooble on its habitat you will see it spring open converting itself from a coloured ball to a funky, yet magical little character. As if, Alice didn’t find this bit fantastic enough she also told me about her joy at discovering that the Zooble contained a hidden but welcomed surprise, a “mini baby Zooble” that is can be found in the Zoobles tummy when popping open. The mini baby Zooble can be removed, joining its mummy on her habitat. Zoobles also have other cool features such as the ability to wiggle their ears, blink eyes and wag their tails when petted. Icetasia had little moving feet enabling  her to stand alone. Alice gave Zooble a very respectable ranking of 9/10

Parental overview

It’s hard  as a parent to keep up with what your children are into as their interest are forever changing (unless your like little man). It was clear to see from the onset that Alice-Sara would love zoobles , as stated she has since added to her collection by getting another Zooble with her pocket-money  which highlights just how much she likes these. Zoobles are new, yet very affordable starting at around £5.99 The fact that the collection is quite extensive means that I can now buy some other designs for both her birthday and Christmas helping her form a collection. Parental ranking is 9/10

Conclusions

Zoobles are available to buy from a range of toy stores including Argos and are on sale now. Spin Master have brought us a very nice little addition to Alice’s toy collection. All Zoobles are very affordable making it a great stocking filler at christmas. I predict that we are going to witness many little girls becoming Zooble crazy this christmas!

Quick note

Zooble have a cool fun site for kids to visit as well as a Zooble fan page on Facebook. The website is very magical with music and videos, Children can visit the different lands to discover what creatures come from where. Facebook fans can gain all the latest information on Zoobles.

Check out some other Zooble reviews from fellow mum’s…

Me and my Kiddy winks

Mummybird

Seasider in the city 

This review was done as a member of blog match the site that brings both bloggers and brands together. Alice was supplied with a Zooble free of charge for the purpose of the review

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Cost-free effective ways to help your child on the spectrum

29 Jul

There are so many parents with children on the spectrum that spend thousands of pounds on the new latest therapy said to improve a child’s communication difficulties or their sensory processing needs. Not everyone has the funds for this or any other therapy besides, whether that be speech and language (SALT) or occupational therapy (OT)

So, here are some tips of things you can try that are cost-free and effective. Yet you should note that, 1) Here, you wont find any freebies,  just my little old  tips. 2) I’m not sharing a cure (there isn’t one)!  3) Nothing is a quick fix and finally… 4) Everybody is different, the difficulties mentioned in this post may or may not even affect your child like it does mine. Remember, somethings work better for some then they do for others. 

 Note: You may want to discuss some of the methods below with your child’s doctor to ensure their suitability.   

Roll play to enhance imagination and improve social skills: Play games that require imagination. Shops, is the type of game children love to play and my daughter has shown her brother how to play shops in a non repetitive way. (well, his getting there)! Little man has the mathematical brain so he does all the pricing up and change giving etc…This also teaches important ‘Life skills’ essential to children with social skills problems and difficulty with social interaction. There are other games you can play, like,  Schools or emergency services. Little man always pretends to drive a bus through the game is often repetitive it has still required a certain amount on imagination, which is what we are trying to achieve.    

Body brushing for tactile sensitivity: Body brushing helps children on the spectrum who are sensitive to certain forms of tactile stimulation that can come from a range of different textures. Little man is tactile defensive and has issues when wearing certain items of clothing due to the materials they have been made with. Body brushing is a technique that would normally be carried out by an OT and Little man currently has it  done during his OT sessions at school. However this can be done in the home in addition to an OT programme. (You may wish to get your OTs advice first.) If you’re not in a position to get your child on an OT programme due to funding or because of an inadequate statement of special educational needs, (SEN) but you are fully aware that your child’s over sensitivity to touch, this is something you could do at home on a regular basis. We just lightly brush Little mans arms and legs with different objects of different textures that each give off a different sensation. Good items to try are, body brushes, used for showering and different types of sponges. Body brushing a few times a week for ten minutes a time could make a huge difference to how you child copes and responds when dealing with different tactile experiences.

The guessing game: Another way of helping a child who has tactile sensitivity is again though play! Placing a range of different objects into a large paper bag and getting your children to place their hand in the bag and without looking ravage around and fill for an object. Before pulling the selected object out of the bag, ask your child to describe what it is they can fill out loud so you can hear, e.g… it’s smooth, quite big, round etc…,  etc…. Then continue on by asking your child to guess what it is that they think it is that they are holding. This again gets your child used to different textures while helping them think outside the box. 

Special interest: Encourage your child’s, “Special interest” embrace and celebrate their interest no matter how unusual or strange they may seem. Most people on the spectrum have interest that are somewhat,”Obsessive and a little over powering! If it really is becoming too much and completely dominating their time to the point it affects sleep, school or any other important events then try to limit the time spent on the activity, coming to a compromise! For example, “You can play buses or memorise bus destinations for half hour, then we will bake cakes!” The secret here is to make sure the compromise involves something else they enjoy (Even though it isn’t going to be something as important as that of the, “Special interest” it can still be extremely effective, so…  It’s Worth a try at least! )

Praise: Use lots of praise, if anything, “Over Prise” Catch them doing something good and praise them for it! If your child closes a door as opposed to slamming it as he normally would, praise him at that exact moment, not later but straight away! Trust me it helps!

Social stories: Write social stories to prepare your child for the unexpected or  just  those situations/events that worry them. There are plenty of free resources on the web and there are sites tailored to help you create your own social stories. Taking pictures is always an idea. If writing a social story about visiting the dentist for instance, you can take pictures of the dentist room and even the dentist if he agree. Use them in your social story, helping your child to familiarise themselves with the surroundings in-which you wish them to visit. 

Visual aids: Use visual aids to help your child follow a routine, whether that routine is for the whole day or just part of it! (Bed or bath time.) It can be expensive to purchase  pre-made visual aids so why not make these yourself? Again there are sites that are designed for this, ones that provide free images that are designed for this very purpose. You can also look for your own images by googling, “Free Clipart” be sure to check the terms of download and do not use any images protected by copyright laws. If you are a creative person you could draw your own symbols (this doesn’t have to be anything complicated, draw a bed for bedtime etc…. put the word, “bedtime under the image and cut out in the shape of a square) As with the social stories, you can always take your own photographs, e.g, a TV for telly time, their bed for bedtime the bath for bath time. We didn’t use real life images but a mix of downloaded, printed images and symbols that I drew and photocopied as spares. We used visuals to help maintain a bathroom and bedtime routine! After a while we changed from pictures to words and this works just as well.  

Energy burning exercising for your child: Bouncing, “Yes” Bouncing! Its great fun and takes a lot out of a child. If you have a garden that happens to have a trampoline, then of course this is perfect. I like to get little man jumping on our trampoline, sadly as the novelty wears off over time, he is less keen as he once was! Yet it’s not all about trampolines but about burning your child’s access energy so they are more restful at the times you want them to be, like, “Bed Time” I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a trampoline (that cost money and this post “Isn’t” about money, it’s about doing things to help your child that don’t cost a penny)! With that in mind, why not let your child run out their energy at the local park; go on a bike ride together; if your child does enjoy sport, (some kids on the spectrum do) then play a bit of your chosen sport after dinner. These activities can give the same effects as jumping on the trampoline and there all free!

Art for improvement of motor skills: Try to get your child involved in art, whether that be a drawing, painting or a creation of a “Double Decker Bus” (Yes I’m referring to my own child and his special interest. You could actually use your child’s interest to encourage art!) Art helps with a persons fine motor skills and that of hand-eye co-ordination and is great for all child not just the child on the spectrum. 

Memory games: Some children on the spectrum have poor short time memory (Like remembering an instruction, but more the order that the instruction should be carried out)! Little man has an amazing memory for remembering bus numbers and their destinations. He also has the ability to remember song lyrics very quickly. When it comes to fetching something, like his shoes or something else I’ve asked him to get for me that’s upstairs, you can bet your life on it that his forgotten by the time his reached the third step. Good memory games include, “Go fish” which is a card game and, “Pairs,” another card game. One of the best games we have played is one where we take it in turns to hide two or three items around the house and garden ( you can build up to more items with practice). Then the other person must find them by way of following instructions and clues. The person who has hidden the objects must remember where they have chosen to hide them while giving out instructions on how to locate them to the other person. This not only helps with memory but social interaction and multi-tasking. When your child is taking the turn of the person looking for the objects, they will improve the skills needed to follow a sequence of instructions. This is a game that helps children of all abilities, develop and improve some of our most needed skills ready for adulthood. 

Tracing: We have a light box that both Little man and his sister use to trace pictures on. Yes, Little man just wants to trace buses, but who cares, like I said before, “Embrace” their interest! To trace a picture does wonders for a child’s fine motor skills and can be done without a light box,  just a few sheets of good tracing paper alone. 

Money box: Help your child get rid  of the unwanted language/behaviour for good! Do this by, deducting pennies from their pocket-money. The trick here is to make your own simple money-box by using a clear container, slitting a hole in the top to drop the pennies into. They are then able to see the pennies mounting and it’s likely to make a bigger impact. If I tell my son his lost a £1 of his pocket-money on Friday, it just doesn’t sink in! Why? Because it’s just words! Like many kids on the spectrum, Little man needs things, (even sanctions) to be visual and this is! This is only our first day trying this out, but I’ve heard it works for some and I’m taking this approach with Little man and his sister as I know it will also have some benefit on her too (I must add she doesn’t swear but lately hasn’t been too worried about giving mum a little attitude)! There is also the option in allowing your child the chance to be rewarded with pennies being redeemed from the box for behaviour that is consistent with your expectations (The trick here is not to make it an easy solution as this may seem like you’re giving in to their demands)! I will report on our process over the coming months.

Sensory seekers: Make your own play dough as many children with autism seem to love this stuff, not only is it fun creating stuff with it but many kids like the texture, the way it feels when playing with it. Note Be careful they don’t eat it, Little man once did! (Though home made dough is non toxic so don’t panic if they do)!

Record and Monitor: Create your own diary as to record the foods your child is eating. Analyse the graph and try to establish if there are any patterns that give clue to any triggers for challenging behaviour, anxiety or sleep difficulties. There are many food ingredients in our everyday diet that can send a child on the spectrum spinning out of control. This form of documenting can be applied in other ways like, the recording and monitoring of meltdowns to establish a trigger(s). Over a period of time this could potentially reduce the number of  blow ups your child engages in!

Adjust your language: Its simple and effective! Avoid the use of ambiguous language! Speak clearly saying exactly what you mean! This avoids misunderstanding. Metaphors are a big No, No in our house, (when they slip out, I pay dearly).

Reward: Positive behaviour should be rewarded continually! This can be given in tokens allowing your child to collect and work towards something special (like a game they have wanted for some time, etc.). This is something we have done with Little man and his new school continue to do this. So far so good! (Just look at last weeks post, A little inspiration’) 

Offer alternatives: If like little man your child has a tendency to use fail language to the point it’s extremely worrying and not to mention embarrassing then try this! We have told Little man to use alternative words like, “Duck Off” or “You Witch” (‘Duck’ in replacement of the “F” word and ‘Witch’ in replacement of the “B” word) Yer, yer, I know it sounds silly! That’s what Little man said! But you see, Little man can be very grown up or very immature, every time he said Duck off, he would burst out laughing making him want to use the Duck word more! We still have a very long road ahead. Swearing has been a massive issue with little man for a long, long time now! 

 Independence: Remember your child will grow to be an adult just like all children do. Allow your child independence as they grow. Small steps that gradually increase to bigger ones, “Yes it’s harder when your child has social communication problems” but that don’t mean to say you should stand over them all of the time! (Of course this statement depends on the degree of autism your child may have.)  

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