Tag Archives: Sensory seeker

Sensory Fun with Crazy Soap

26 Jun

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We have massive issues trying to convince Little man to jump in the tub.

His very tactile defensive which can make the whole malarkey of washing something of a battle.

I use sensory play to help the little man get used to certain textures in order for him to cope with them on a daily basis.

Sensory play can also be really fun for the whole family especially pre-schoolers. I’m forever looking for ways to bring sensory fun into the bathroom, especially for the little man (no mother wants bath time battles after all).

This year I was really excited to discover that Crazy Soap would be the main sponsor of the inspire category in the Mad blog Awards. The guys at Crazy Soap have some really fun sensory bath time products that kids and grown ups alike love.

I’ve tried all the products out with the help of my three children, it was really important for me that this sat well with little man because as mentioned bath time is still a struggle for him.

Before letting the children loose with some crazy soap in the tub, I filled a huge bowl with water and with the children tried out the crazy selection as a team.

We did have some really good sensory fun with all the products we tested and each one has become a regular addition to the bathroom cabinet (especially for Little Man).

For Little man in particular the Crazy Soap bath time fun soap was really enjoyed. This pliable foam soap can be shaped and even bounced (no seriously this stuff does actually bounce). As we are a family who engages in lots of sensory activity we would normally use shaving foam for this type of play. However Crazy Soap has a much firmer texture and is more easily moulded into various shapes making it much more fun to play with. Plus this has a PH balanced formula to gently cleanse and moisturise delicate skin which all of my children have. We tried the Glorious Green and Original White which for me smelt very fresh and clean. Some wash products are far to over powering for little man but this was just right.

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Next up we tried the fabulous Crazy Soap bath paint which i thought would mean I’d be left with lots of mess to clean! So, I won’t lie… I wasn’t wrong, but it was mess that was easy to clean. The paint comes in a squeezy tube with a sponge on the end (perfect for little hands which meant my toddler of two had lots of fun). Children can paint pictures on the tiles around the bath to keep them entertained or even paint themselves (this counts as washing without actually realising it, great for kids with sensory processing disorders or autism). Again the product has a PH balanced formula to gently cleanse and moisturise delicate skin it rinses off the body and bath easily and is available in the colours Red and Blue.

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Crazy Soap Bath Goo… I loved this stuff! Thick scoopable bath gel that once added to water creates thick long lasting foam bubbles. This isn’t like other goo, it has an incredible texture to it. As mentioned Little man is mainly tactile defensive to lots of different materials and textures. However when he does find a texture he loves he becomes a sensory seeker. He absolutely loved the texture of this goo and we ended up going through one pot in just a couple of baths (Little Sister wasn’t impressed). Bath goo is therefore fantastic for any little sensory seeker and is a great way of making bath time fun. Bath Goo has a PH balanced formula to gently cleanse and moisturise delicate skin.

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So there you have it. At long last some fabulous bath products that are really great for all children including those that have difficulty with sensory processing.

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Crazy Soap isn’t the cheapest of kids bath ranges available but in my view there are certainly not the most expensive either. Crazy Soap Products range from around £2-£3 and are available in most big name stores and supermarkets such as Tescos and Sainsburys.

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Visit the Crazy Soap website to find out more or find them on Facebook

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This is not a paid review but I did receive some product samples to enable the children to try these out and for me to share our honest feedback. Crazy Soap is now a product I buy on a weekly basis.

Mummy burnt the cakes again!

2 Nov

Guess what me and the kiddies have been up too?

This non domestic goddess has been in the kitchen again and guess what? I didn’t burn it down 🙂 I long to be able to bake amazing home-made puddings, ones that don’t come already part prepared… You know boxed sponge mix, the type you just add an egg to! Not very exciting I know. I want to be able to get mega creative and make my children beautifully iced birthday cakes instead of paying a small fortune for them! I’ve discovered that actually what I want to do most is unleash my creativeness and decorate cakes perhaps that bit more than I actually want to prepare and bake them. Maybe that’s my problem, I’m always that bit to keen to get to the whole decorating part of things done, resulting in me wrecking the cake.

As mentioned in a post at the beginning of October, Little man has been doing cookery in school every Tuesday and honestly, his baking skills are way better than mine, his made some great progress within certain areas of his education since attending his independent special school, It’s lovely to see, though I am a bit jealous at the sons sudden skills in the kitchen, something he undoubtedly acquires from his father and the Italian within him. It’s not that I can’t cook, I really can, I’m just no dab-hand when it comes to knocking together a cake, tart or anything sweet for that matter! Would you be shocked if I told you that I even had issues getting a pack of ‘Postmen pat’ cakes to rise, which of course I blamed that “Useless oven of mine” 

So when the lovely lot at Renshaw said they would send me and the kids some products, we couldn’t wait.

WOW, I was mega impressed with the items we were sent

 1 x Cool coloured sugardough

2x Funky flavoured sugardough

1x Topical magic melting icing 

1x Raspberry magic melting icing

3x icing spreading knife things (yes baking virgin hasn’t got a clue what these gadgets are called)

 This sugardough was the business, I’m telling you now, if you have children who are sensory seekers this is the perfect thing for them.

I’ve mentioned the benefits of clay and play-dough for children with autism and sensory processing disorder more than onces on this blog! Now you can go ahead and add sugardough to the list it’s fantastic! 

 Extremely tactile, mould it, play with it, eat it! 

This stuff can be rolled flat to ice a cake, used to create birthday or even cupcake decorations, the possibilities are endless…

Sugardough comes in some really funky bright colours, providing loads of visual stimulation, the sensory seeker wont want to put it down and maybe disappointed if you actually ate it! 

That’s not all, its yummy too, the funky flavoured dough comes in a range of colours and is the perfect icing for those who have difficulty using piping bags and all that other stuff! Yes, anyone remember my attempt at icing cupcakes? The bag exploded and I ended up with a bright yellow face (so, wasn’t my best look)

Little man is tactile defensive, but loved the texture of the Sugardough! All three children, including my 23 month old toddler had hours of fun making Halloween cake topper’s (well, the toddler just bashed at it for a bit before demolishing it) I was busy making chocolate sponge cake and all seemed to be going pretty good, well… it was! You see I got a tad distracted, I confess, I got a tad carried away helping create some savaged fingers to add to the spooky chocolate cake, only there was no chocolate cake because I burnt it! I actually cremated the hell out of it! However, please take note… I didn’t start a fire which is a slight improvement from the last time I made cakes, which I would rather actually not go into thanks 🙂

 So, here is our spooky toppers, minus the cakes for them to top

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Magic melting icing

Lucky for the whole family daddy made cakes with the melting icing. It was magical but everything is when he gets in the kitchen and don’t he know it. The icing has to be heated slightly in the microwave (be careful not to over heat it or worse if your anything like me, be careful not to set fire to it). It can then be spread over cupcakes, cookies and anything else you fancy… Roast Chicken, bacon sandwiches (I’m kidding)! But if your good with a piping bag you can use it to create some pretty decorations like hearts or stars. 

Well, these were so lovely there was no time for taking pictures, if the truth be told, my diet went out the window again (get some willpower woman)! Yes, I ate them, well with the help of the kids of course. 

Ranshaw baking products can be brought from all major supermarkets. I actually brought some more of this stuff today which was on a 3 for 2 deal over at Tescos!

I highly recommend both products, however the Sugardough is fab, and I highly recommend for children with or without autism. It provides hours of fun, encourages creativity, gets your children in the kitchen helping mum and has a ton of sensory benefits. 

You can check out the “Renshaw My Bakes” website, where you will find the products above mentioned and a host more. Plus there are some amazing recipes to provide lots of inspiration as well as tips and advice which I know I need!

So… Fancy joining me? Then just Click HERE.

A step in the right direction for autism thanks to Anna Kennedy

21 Oct

I recently contacted Anna Kennedy as I read about a new dance DVD she had developed for children with autism and aspergers syndrome

 Anna’s DVD, ‘Step in the right direction’ has been produced in association with the world-famous, ‘Pineapple performing Arts school’ in London and a selection of children from the Hillingdon Manor school who each have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

 Anna was kind enough to send me a copy of the DVD to review with my Little man.

 Little man used to love to dance but as his grown older he does it less and less. I thought it would be great to try to encourage him to give it another go.

Little man is a child who requires a certain amount of Occupational therapy (OT) due to his difficulties with both his fine and gross motor skills, including varying areas off his co-ordination. 

 Once I had received the DVD I decided to watch it while little man was at school, just so I could get a taste for what it was all about before finally introducing it to the Little guy himself. 

 This DVD has been broken up into manageable pieces allowing you to skip between sections.

 Part 1

Introduction by Anna Kennedy

Anna Kennedy


 Anna Kennedy, founder of Hillingdon Manor school, kicks the off  the DVD with an introduction that sees here shop for pineapple dance wear for the children before heading off to the Pineapple performing arts school in London’s Covent  Garden.

 Part 2

Interviews

 Once here she introduces the viewers to some of the dance instructors at Pineapple including, ‘Maggie Paterson’ (Senior teacher) ‘Jade Flannagan’ (Senior teacher specialising in Street & Break-dance) as well as the schools founder, ‘Debbie Moore’ Anna interviews Maggie & Jade about working with the children and what their expectations were before meeting them.

 Anna, then goes on to interview Debbie who tells us about her incredible journey in fulfilling her dreams when opening what is now the world-famous school of performing arts, while taking us on a trip down memory lane.

Debbie Moore

Lastly all the children introduce themselves alongside Anna who then goes on to get them all warmed up in the third chapter of this dance DVD

 Part 3

Tutorials

This is where we get down to the business and following a great warm up section with Anna and the children, Jade steps in to show us some poppin’ lockin’ & tuttin’ (some really “cool” dance moves). Jade starts by teaching us at home the routine, he does this in easy to follow bite size pieces repeating each section a number of times before finally putting it all together and joining the children where they go on to perform the routine, incorporating some really cool freestyle dance moves, which for me was the highlight to this DVD. 

 It was great to see the children dancing, the enjoyment was clearly shown on each of their faces in the form of a massive smile! 

They are all clearly delighted to be taking part in the making of the DVD and should be extremely proud of themselves and one another for the fabulous routines they participated in and awesome freestyling they displayed. 

 The tutorials are finished off with a cool down with Maggie and the children.

 Section 4

Special features: Britain’s got talent finalist-James Hobley

Anna with James and his mum Sheila

Here Anna meets James and his mother, Sheila Hobley who tells Anna about what life is like for James (how he overcomes many off the difficulties children with autism experience, while fulfilling his ambition and dreams to dance). We learn about the barriers James has overcome and  difficulties he faced while participating in the ‘Britain’s got talent tour’ as-well as his hopes and dreams for the further.

 James goes on to show Anna some of his moves, to which she has a little difficulty keeping up with 🙂

We then get to see a delightful recording of James Hobley’s own routine.

 Lastly Andrew Stone (Star of sky 1 Pineapples dance studios with over 30 years of experience in dance, music and television) works with the children of Hillingdon Manor school on a small and final routine bringing the section to a close. 

 Section 5 &6

Useful Information & Additional Materials 

 In the last two sections 5 & 6 you can discover a little more about two of the sponsors behind the DVD, ‘MedicAlert’ (who Anna helped create the AK autism band) and ‘Childline’ (the UK charity backing Anna’s anti bullying campaign). 

We are then provided with the website address for “Anna Kennedy online” where we can read and download a number of fact sheets about the benefits of autism and dance.

These can be found at Anna Kennedy online.

Click HERE

Our Verdict

 Little man did have a go at the DVD and seemed to enjoy doing so. (He did however get a little upset when I tried to film him so we gave that a miss.) 

 His sister, ‘Alice’ who isn’t on the spectrum also enjoyed taking part, although she did spend half the time catching a glance of her self in the mirror. 

 In my opinion the routines are great! They have been put together in an easy to follow way and are not overly long, resulting in the children actively maintaining concentration throughout

 The music was fantastic, some really great tunes that made me want to shake my bootie too. 

 Anna engages the children in a great warmup routine that both myself and the Little man followed together.

 Jade Flannagan is the perfect choice for the main routine as his young and hip and the children really seem to relate to this guy.

Jade works with the kids really well and keeps them motivated with lots of positive praise and encouragement. One thing I did pick up on was there was no use of the word left and right within the choreography! Instead Jade used visual clues alongside instructions, like, placing a hand on his right arm along with the instruction on what to do, indicating that the children and viewers were to use the right arm. For me, I think this was a good idea, as the children did not become confused at the use of to many instructions at one time.

 The freestyle was the best part for me. I just loved seeing the children demonstrate their moves as their confidence was beaming throughout!

 I would highly recommend this DVD as an introduction into dance for children on the autism spectrum and even those without! I think it’s especially beneficial to those who seek lots of sensory stimulation. Children on the autism spectrum who discover an interest in dance, would benefit both physically and emotionally from such an activity. Such benefits could include, improved co-ordination skills and overall fitness and stamina, improved social interaction skills and the ability to follow more complex instructions, and importantly, development of their self-confidence which may be pretty low for those who have experienced incidents of bullying or isolation. Another excellent benefit that I found was, your child is more likely to sleep better if they follow the routines on the DVD in the evening. I know that Little man slept better on the evening we reviewed the DVD so this must be a great way to get rid off some of that excess energy our children on the spectrum always seem to have.

 The interviews were fantastic but are mainly aimed at the parent, though many children wanting to get into dance could really find themselves inspired by watching Anna’s interview with the fabulous talented James Hobley.

 Thank you Anna Kennedy for providing us with this great DVD.

We loved it!  

You can get a copy of this excellent DVD from Amazon priced at a reasonable £7.99.

Just Click HERE

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