Sweet and Simple Parts of A Plant Craft

 

**This post may contain affiliate links at no cost you.  Please read my disclosure page.  Should you purchase from the links I provide our little family would greatly appreciate it!

Spring is upon us followed by longer days, flowering plants, and a long Spring Break for my son.  

I cherish the breaks from school.  I love planning for those days.  I try to make everyday as memorable as possible and keep the learning slide at bay.

Tomorrow we’ll start our Spring Break together but we have already begun learning about plants. The last few weeks we covered what plants need.  The next step was to learn parts of a plant.  PJ’s favorite plants are yellow flowering plants.  

What you will need:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Straws
  • Colorful fabric to pattern out leaves
  • Muffin cups
  • Glue
  • Gift packaging twine
  • Poster board or heavy paper

Ive seen some incredible spring crafts out there but I knew PJ would want to piece together his own creation.                    

Creating with familiar household items would help to make his craft become an ingenious work of art.  I asked him “What kind of  plant can you make with this?”

A yellow flowering plant of course!

PJ picked a green straw for one of the stems..after he picked a yellow muffin cup for the flower of the plant.

Peanuts and sunflower seeds are always a favorite snack I pack in his lunch box.  I knew he would munch on the materials for this craft.

Tasty!

After he finished eating he glued seeds inside the flower cups.

He needed help making the roots.  I helped him tie the packaging twine while he cut random sized pieces.  

For the sake of not having to run to the store for artificial leaves (my first thought) or using perishable real leaves (my second thought) I dashed to the closet.  I found an old hooded green sweater and cut small leaf like patterns out of the material.

PJ was curious and rubbed the leaves between his fingers while he eye-balled the holes in my old sweater.  I explained it was old so I found a better use for it.  We are recycling!

He shrugged and said okay.  Then he glued the leaves on the stems.

I love the textured look of his masterpiece!  He really took his time to create it.  So, we were able to label and talk about each new part of the plant as he added it.  This craft was the perfect extension to all the plant books we’ve been reading about!  I’m going to display it in our living room for him to reference while we continue learning about plants and next flowers.

For more helpful parts of a plant activities visit  Living Montessori Now. 

Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂

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How We After School: Why Do After School?

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links at no cost to you.  Should you purchase from links provided THIS LITTLE FAMILY WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT!  My aspiration is to school my son at home with an income from this site.

 

Thank you for stopping by here for the second day of my “How We After School” posts!

If you missed the First Post click the link and it will take you there.

Before I go any further, I wanted to talk about how long I’ve been teaching my son at home.  Though not exclusively at home it’s been 4 years now.  But he is only 7 and a half you say?  

Early Childhood Development

PJ was enrolled in a daycare by the age of 2 followed by sometime without daycare.  I was already noticing some things that just weren’t right in his early development.  Shortly after the age of three he received a diagnosis of Autism.  

A Mother Is A Childs First Teacher

Being an early childhood and title 1 educator both in daycare and public school I knew I had to help him as fast as possible.  There is a learning slide after the age of 5.  We didn’t have much time till his brain slowed in development.

That was the beginning of my wanting to connect with my son and still manage to help him learn.  He was a nonverbal severely delayed toddler.  Now PJ is a very inquisitive boy in a regular public school classroom.  

Passion For Learning

PJ now likes to learn.  At home he is confident and undistracted.  He loves books. He loves science, building things, and taking them apart…he loves all living things.  For the past 4 years his life has been about learning.  He now has a passion for learning even though he may struggle a little.

PJ routinely asks to be homeschooled but its not possible  yet being a single mom with fixed income.  Im planning on it by growing this site-for starters. Until then, we afterschool to help him catchup and keep his passion for learning. 

This post tells more about Our After School and PJ. 

You Don’t Have To So Why DO After School With Your Child?

  1. After School at home is a wonderful way to connect.  Build great memories, pass down traditions, and learn all the while the family has fun.
  2. It allows you to keep up do date with your child’s academic progress or regression….but let’s hope not on the last one.  Each time you work one to one with him in Afterschool, you are giving him an assessment.  You will know what he is able to accomplish without asking a teacher.
  3. Parents who are very involved in their child’s education are generally well thought of by teachers.  
  4. Communication between, you, your child, and your child’s teacher tends to be more open.
  5. You can teach your child a love of learning.
  6. You can help your child fill in learning gaps by focusing on weak areas of school tests- AT HOME.
  7. Your child will gain confidence, build knowledge, and have fun with you because you know them better than anyone. 
  8. After schooling on holidays and summer break helps prevent regression or learning slides.
  9. It can help a gifted student follow their interests or become self motivated.
  10. Can become an income if you open an After School- work with your child, build social/academic skills, and make a living at the same time.  It can become a way of living.

 

How We After School Series

How We Plan : Implementing By Skill And Subject  

Why DO After School ?   -You are here

Related Posts

Arbor Day And Over Coming Autism 

And now here’s the daily example of how we implement After School.

How We After School :Typical Tuesday

Tuesdays are typically a more productive day than Monday.  I introduced the major vocabulary of the topics we would be covering Sunday.  He comprehends better if he isn’t trying to process saying words in his head then trying to say the words out loud.  Vocabulary words were parts of the plant and what plants need: air, water/rain, soil/dirt, and sunlight.  We practiced those words several times Sunday. It sounded something like short articulation exercises.  I find this pre-step really helps his focus while we are learning about new topics.

On Monday, we went through the skills check list and used the resources he chose with me.  Today we used the same check list that we used from my post about Monday Implementing by Skill and Subject.

As promised I’ll take you through the new activities for Tuesday using the same check list.  This time we added the fun awesome science and spring learning!

Reading/Writing/Sentence Practice/some Speech

We first headed out to the library to find and read Gail Gibbons “From Seed to Plant.”  We also did his reading homework: 2 books for his reading log at school.  

While at the library I printed off a few copies of first grade comprehension passages for the next days reading-Wednesday and Thursday.  We also completed another writing worksheet from a great mommy website that I subscribe to.  This is where PJ put his knowledge about What Plants Need down in writing. He remembered all 4 needs. Happy Dance!

Life Cycle of A Plant Pack –  3 Dinosaurs

He took a short brain break while I searched for more resources and talked with Lisa my favorite librarian.

After about an hour and a half of reading writing and building robots we headed home for dinner.  My goto to fast at home dinner is some kind of salad creation which he devoured.  He also had corned beef and cabbage leftovers:)

Science/Math/more Writing

By this time it was cloudy outside.  PJ was dying to finally do the clock experiment. We used Kitchen Science by 4M that I gifted him for Christmas.  

He did a great job of connecting the pieces: a lemon(s), 2 conductor rods, 2 forks, and the digital clock provided in the kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He used just one fork, lemon, and conductor rod the first test. The clock flashed on and off as he squeezed it but wouldn’t stay on.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I encouraged him to use a second lemon to add more charge-charging, this he understood well.  I helped him add the extra lemon, fork, and connecting wire. 

Eureka! The clock was powered long enough for us to set it.  He journaled about the lemon powered clock and drew pictures by looking at the pictures I took of him performing the experiment.  And the clock stayed powered the whole time he worked.  It was sundown and too dark for pics of the journal.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Math was super fun thanks to the lemon clock – and a little sticky 🙂 We skipped a few pages to match analog to digital by the hour in his clock workbook from Monday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to search some arts and crafts earlier. We didn’t have the time to do anything PJ picked out but that’s up first chance we get.

Spelling

PJ picked out a great spelling activity.  We did have time (and tons of fun) to do the giant keyboard activity however the pics were too dark again. We may try it again this week and I’ll have pics then. I’ve included the link below.

Sight Words 3 Fun Activities for Kids– Lessons Learnt Journal

That’s a wrap for Tuesday.  I hope you will come back to see the awesome free weekly plan we’ve done in Afterschool for Thursday.  I’ll be talking about inexpensive resources, weekend planning, and Afterschool for mommy bloggers in the series too. Don’t miss it.

 

Thank you for reading

Crystal 🙂

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Family Friday Link-Up Party

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How We Plan After School: Implementing By Skill And Subject

 

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links at no cost to you.  Should you purchase from one of the links provided my little family would greatly appreciate it! Please read my disclosure and privacy page.

 

Truthfully, I had a hard time writing our weekly plans these past few weeks because my first grader couldn’t decide which things  he wanted to try this week.  He regularly visits other awesome mommy blogs to see what they have been up to and what he would like to try at our Afterschool House next.

The world of homeschool blogs has exploded with spring fever!  There are some terrific artworks, craft ideas, science experiments, and books to read..it’s no wonder PJ couldn’t settle on a few.

I do try to incorporate time relative printables and fun learning activities.

March Fourth Week Calendar Celebrations:

  • SUNDAY March 26 – Lenten Season Learning until Easter
  • MONDAY March 27 – No Special Observances (National Reading Awareness Month)  Books about spring for spring theme learning
  • TUESDAY March 28 – Circus Day
  • WEDNESDAY March 29 – No Special Observances (National Reading Awareness Month, More Spring Books and spring theme learning)
  • THURSDAY March 30 – Vincent Van Gogh’ s Birthday
  • FRIDAY March 31 – Franz Haydn’s Birthday, First Published Map of USA, Renee Descartes Birthday
  • SATURDAY April 1 – National Autism Awareness Month,  National Kite Flying Month 

 

Planning By Subject And Skill

For the most part PJ is picking out individual activities.  How about that?  We don’t have a curriculum, less Common Core. We make our own from a variety of sources: teachers, homeschool blogs, on-line courses, apps, you tube, DIY worksheets, the possibilities are endless now a days.  

Letting him choose is a big plus when it comes to avoiding struggles with practicing skills he needs to work on.  It’s almost a must. So, I gather up my check list of Individual goals and WE begin searching for fun ways to practice them.  

The Individualized Check List

(Our Individualized Check List)

MATH 

  • 120 Charts
  • Addition/Subtraction Math Facts up to 20
  • Learning to Tell Time (Newest skill) 
  • Word Problems have been sent home as homework

READING

  • Comprehension (both passages and literature)
  • fluency readers are sent home as home work

SPELLING and PHONICS

  • See it, say it, write it, and do an extra fun activity with spelling list.
  • Phonics is individualized at school using a program we practice at home as well.

WRITING

  • Formulating sentences
  • Using correct punctuation
  • Sentences in opinion, comparison, and retell pieces.

SCIENCE

  • Read about, report on, observe plats and animals
  • Know that plants and animals need air, water, light, and shelter (animals)

ARTS and CRAFTS

  • Theme (Spring) or book related
  • Artists Study

SPEECH

  • Pronoun usage
  • Phrase and sentence level practice of a variety of speech goals

 

Daily Planner and Resources

One evening a week I gather the fun activities we’ve picked out to do and schedule them in a daily typed plan.  I simply use my word pad for this as all through the week he spots new activities that I write down and keep until planning night.  It looks a lot like this without the pictures and includes the link to each resource.

 

SUNDAY

On Sunday we generally do bible stories.  It’s a laid back mix of writing, reading, and crafts.  This week we continue a study of lent and Jesus.  Thank you Lisa for all the sensory centered fun!!  PJ watched every single video plus we read 6 biblical books on one day:) 

Latticed Learning Jesus’ MiraclesL- Syncopated Mama

MONDAY

We are back at academics.  PJ mostly enjoys reading the first day of transition back to school.  We usually get a lot of skills done through reading and he just thinks he is having free time.  Math is a different story.  Breaking out a very quick drill worksheet works best.  Then after dinner he is ready for science; it’s his favorite.  We are both tired from Mondays so we try easy things like taking learning outdoors.  Tomorrow’s Monday plan:

READING/SCIENCE/WRITING

A Fluency Reader is sent home daily

If you are a teacher mom I highly recommend investigating ReadWorks.org .  It is a site for teachers that PJs teacher uses.  There are Comprehension Lessons with paired text and questions.  It’s free classroom only work made for and by teachers. I’ve seen PJs work from the site at a teacher conference.  It’s an excellent website!  They are or have covered “The Tiny Seed” very recently.  So I’d like to study the book a bit more at home with him.  However, this is only one of many books I plan on reading to him this week.

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

PJ will find vocabulary text and write sentences using the “Write a sentence about a seed.”page.

Life Cycle of a Plant PackL – 3 Dinosaurs

He will journal briefly about the carrot top he has been growing using these printables

Carrot Top ExperimentC- MPM Ideas

 

 

 

  MATH

For practice counting to 120, skip counting, and patterns with numbers I ask PJ to use a 120 chart printable.  I’ve used the printable’s from 123 Homeschool 4 Me and Playdough To Plato.  I ask him to color and name numbers divisible by 2’s, 10’s, and 5’s.  Then he will count 1 to 120.

Free 100 Charts And 10 Ways To Use Them– Playdough To Plato

11 Hundreds Chart Activities1- 123homeschool4me

 

I was SUPER excited to find this Judy Clock at a local thrift store.  It is the large teacher version of the Judy Clocks.  Perfect for telling time by the hour and half hour for my first grader.  2$!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well be using the clock and this clock workbook that has reproducible clocks.  I landed this on another thrifty shopping trip.  It also has enough practice for at least a week. 10 cents on Everything Half Off Day!

I plan on letting him make a paper clock for Monday.  Later I will post plans for everyday of the week. Page 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word problems WERE sent home for homework as I had guessed:). We are both home.  It’s Monday Afterschool.  And we’ve completed the above plans, ate dinner, and are resting:)

 

Today we are going easy for SPEECH.  He is practicing his pronoun sentences( He/She They have..) in the shower.  He also has articulation which we can do just before bed.  

SPELLING

Was laid back, too.  He simply wrote and read each of his spelling words.  We do have crazy fun with spelling though not on Monday.  You can read more on actively fun ways to learn Spelling words this week here on our site.

I read to him before bed every night that he asks (every night he doesn’t fall asleep early:)) This can be a great time for comprehension questions.

 

This is the way we make plans for our week together.  Today was a usual easy going Monday.  

I hope you enjoyed reading about how we Afterschool.  I’m going to write more on How We Afterschool this week.  Please join us for great Spring resources and hands on science fun!

 

Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂

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Introducing Michelangelo to Kids

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**This post may contain affiliate links.  Please read my disclosure page. **

Leading the Child

Our weekend was filled with exploration! 

It started with an announcement: “We are going to learn about the famous artist Michelangelo.”  

And then the questions:  “Michelangelo??”  “Ninja Turtles??”

I saw those questions coming.  Frankly, they were great opportunities to introduce key vocabulary like

  • Renaissance
  • sculptor
  • artists

 

We spent the morning watching kid friendly you tube videos about Michelangelo. I found some great biographies!

Letting the Child Lead

We also veered a tad to answer questions about the Renaissance period itself.  Christopher Columbus was mentioned. PJ has a wonderful pop-up book about Christopher Columbus that I read to him.  “The Voyage of Columbus In His Own Words” has quotes from the journal of Columbus.  It allowed PJ to see how people dressed and spoke during the period Michelangelo lived.


We searched for Michelangelo’s art work.  I focused on the works that most interested PJ.

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Pieta
  • David

Looking at various artwork by Michelangelo was extremely helpful in teaching PJ to recognize the famous artists artwork!!  This upcoming week we will most likely ‘play’ with pictures of Michelangelo’s artwork in a sensory bin, investigate pictures with a looking glass, or discover a tray filled with pictures of art…or maybe all three depending on how interested PJ is.

First, we talked about the various biblical paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  

On day two, we discussed the material (marble) the statue David was made of and how very difficult it was to carve out.  Day two was a Sunday so we recovered one of his favorite stories from the bible “David and Goliath” by pulling out his sticker book.

I told PJ how long it took Michelangelo to finish these three pieces.  PJ was very interested!

Since we are learning biblical stories for lent, I thought it would be a good idea to invite PJ to paint his own pretend chapel.

We learned that Michelangelo actually painted the Sistine Chapel standing up rather than lying on down.

To make a pretend Chapel, I used wrapping paper taped to our porch corner.  I made two walls and a ceiling for him to be under.  You could see the pattern right through the underside of the paper but he loved it!!

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I also made this paint easel out of heavy card stock for him to authenticate the experience of what it must of been like to be Michelangelo!

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Then I invited him to paint like Michelangelo!  

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PJ painted the ceiling of his chapel with acrylic paints.  He painted clouds (heaven) and the sun.

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He was experiencing what it must of felt like for Michelangelo to paint above his head.  After 20 minutes  PJ started to paint the walls of his pretend chapel.

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PJ surprised me by painting stories of the bible like Michelangelo did without my leading him to!  He painted the crucifixion,  Jesus walking on water, and the birth of Jesus.  Now I know what to focus on during lent.

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Although PJ will be doing extensions of homework and working on academic goals after school,  I’m thinking of ways to include Michelangelo.  

  • Formulating and writing complete sentences – Facts about Michelangelo
  • Addition/Subtraction math facts- using a printable the has fun art graphics
  • Speech- matching and labeling artworks, 
  • Fashioning a puzzle from magazine clippings of Michelangelos work
  • Making a time line of  Michelangelo’s life
  • Using the fore mentioned ideas- Montessori artist tray, a sensory bin, ect.

 

Im very proud of my son!  He has already learned the definition of  many new vocabulary words like sculptor and artist. Though he can’t pronounce “Michelangelo” or “sculptor” well he does a great job of describing both!!  In just one weekend he has asked dozens of questions like “Does this look like God?”  and “Michelangelo wear shoes?”

Are you covering Michelangelo this month?  Let us know how in the comments below!

 

Thank you for reading,

Crystal 🙂

 

 

 

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Money Math Activity for Presidents Day: Shake to Make 10

 

Money Math for Presidence Day

 

 

 

 

Shake To Make 10! A FUN Money math learning activity…

We are days away from celebrating Presidents Day, Feb. 20.  I thought I’d share a very cool way to tackle math facts for those kids that are also going to be learning about money this upcoming week!

This fun activity was another extension of my sons homework.  One afternoon he was sent home with a math worksheet – you know, one of those worksheets that have a child practice a variety of skills on a single page like mad minutes?

Inside a box on the worksheet he was to add coins and make their sum equal ten cents.

 PJ has struggled with addition math facts this year.  He also can not identify or add sums of money WELL.  We have worked on Math Make Ten math facts and other fun money activities but we haven’t put the two together until this activity.

This is totally FUN!!

What you will need..

  • unruled paper
  • 10 pennies
  • a marker, a pencil , and crayon for rubbing

You will need to make a DIY worksheet.  I simply drew a “T” in the middle of blank paper forming 2 columns in which to write math facts.  I used marker because this was not a plan ahead printable.

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Feel free to copy this template:). I will add a printable in later.

 

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We collected 10 pennies and labeled the pennies verbally.  “A Penny equals one cent.”  He already knew heads from tails so, “Abraham Lincoln is on the front of a penny.”

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Then, he gathered ten pennies and shook them to let them fall!  How fun!!  

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For the math of this, he sorted the pennies by heads and tails. 

 

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Sorting ten pennies gave him a math fact whose sum equaled ten cent! (7+3=10)

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I added extra coin identification practice (he remembers better with hands on visuals) by asking him to create a crayon rubbing of the head and tail math facts.  He used the rubbings as guides to help him know where to write each number since I hadnt made a printable.  This could be a whole other activity to do with all types of coins later!
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PJ counted all the heads and wrote the total for that category.  He did the same for tail pennies then added the numbers to reach a sum of ten.

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He kept going until he had all the different math facts that equaled ten cent.  After so many times of writing the same math facts he blew on the pennies for good luck at his missing math facts:).  I love this picture of him blowing for good luck!

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Are your children learning about money this Presidents Day?  Please let us know if you give this activity a try!:)

Thank you for reading!

Crystal 🙂

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Dollar Store Valentines Day Slime

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Valentines Day slime made from dollar store ingredients!

I don’t like the feel of slime and neither did my son!

For some reason he repeatedly asked me to make snow slime.  

My only guess is that he liked making things and mixing concoctions.  I knew if we made slime he wouldn’t want to play with it so I put the activity off, enticing him with other fun things to do.  Still, he asked to make the slime every week.

Pretty soon we started searching Valentines activities to do together.  We look for eye catching pictures of super fun activities from our favorite blogger mommas and their children. 

This time he spotted Valentines Day Slime from Little Bins For Little Hands http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/valentines-slime-sensory-play-science-activity/ .  

The pictures of the slime were AWESOME!  The mommy of Little Bins for Little Hands posted pictures of different colors!  She had the amazing idea of adding fun objects to add texture to the    stuff!!  AND there were pictures of kids just like my son PLAYING happily with it!  Oh, he was determined to make Valentines Day Slime now….even though he didn’t want to touch it.  OR did he?

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I credit and thank Little Bins for the AMAZING visuals that gave PJ a boost in courage he needed to actually play with the slime.  

I used her formula for the slime as a starting point but used a different brand of glue.  The dollar store version is much thinner than Elmer’s glue.  Here is a link  to her    slime recipe if you are using Elmer’s glue.  http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/liquid-starch-slime-easy-sensory-play-recipe/.   Sorry I’m having trouble with links again but I will fix it soon!

Our Slime required …

  • 2 Bottles of Imagine dollar store brand glue
  • 1/4 c. of water
  • 1/2 c. of liquid starch

Other optional dollar store ingredients

  • Foam Valentine counters
  • Glitter
  • Food coloring

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 I let PJ help make the slime just like he had seen from one of his favorite sites.  Glue then water and stir-stir-stir.  

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He added red food coloring. The swirls of red against the white glue were mesmerizing!!  (We really need to do a milk color mixing experiment of some kind soon.)

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I let him add all the glitter of his choice and he stirred again.  The color was beautiful!  PJ kept poking his finger in it half wondering if it was slimy yet and half  captivated by the shimmery glitter.

 

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I poured the water glue froth mixture into a larger container then we added the liquid starch.  This time PJ poked it with a spoon.

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 Then he stirred the blob of starch around a bit and left the heavy mixing to me.  Yukkk-o!  No wonder he didn’t want to mix it by hand.  It’s very stringy and sticky in the mixing stage.  After you let it sit a bit the mix becomes a whole blob of slime.

And sit it did.

The slime formed air pockets that rose to the surface.  This intrigued PJ so that he tried to pop the bubbles by throwing the foam valentine counters in the bowl.  He still didn’t want to touch the slime.

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I encouraged him, “Try popping it with your finger.” But slime bubbles are tougher than say soap bubbles.  He tried once then again and that was enough ‘grossness’ for him.  So I sat the bowl of slime on the kitchen table and started in making brownies.  PJ headed for his LEGOs and started building.  Oh well, we had fun making it I thought.

After a few minutes he came to the kitchen table and peered into the bowl.  Legos in one hand, he shook the bowl a little and walked away.  

10 or so minutes later he came and shook it again.  

This coming to explore the slime and leaving again went on for over an hour.  

Until finally he reached in and popped that bubble!!!  

He got a bit of slime stuck on his finger.  He rolled it around on his hand, explored the feel of it, and put his whole hand in the slime.  I was excited for him!

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PJ enjoyed playing with the foam pieces and pretending that the ladybugs could talk to each other!  He made them fly high in the air and splat back into the slime:)

He even went as far as to tell me to take pictures of the slime.  My future blogger?

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our experience making and PLAYING with slime!  Does your child like to play with slime?  Please comment below.  We’d love to read about it!!

Thanks for reading!

Crystal 🙂

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How To Support A Special Needs Family

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This past few weeks have been stinky for us.  Some days it seemed like the very people I thought would be understanding of my sons differences- have not.  

Most days like these I just laugh and ignore it.  Yes, i laugh: I refuse to cry.  This is one way to deal with it. Plus, there are so many more important things to concentrate on.  So, many more good things to let fill my head about my beautiful son than the judgement of others.

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But the past few weeks have unfolded several comments, looks, incidences all unkind and all concerning our little family.  It was enough to send me on a search to my favorite blogs post about special needs parenting.  

I read other parents points of view about this topic.  It helps me remember I’m not alone.  

As I read I began a list in my head of all the things that Parents of special needs kids wished for from family to strangers for their child.

  • Understanding
  • Patience
  • An extra helping hand
  • An ear to listen 
  • LOVE

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All the great posts, letters, and articles I read were basically about specific times a parent felt like their child(ren) were not accepted by another person for the BEAUTIFUL souls they are.

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I realize now more than ever I can talk about how the numbers of autism are rising, what the criteria for Sensory Processing Disorder is, how Auditory Processing effects the ability to follow directions,  or explain why PJ has trouble doing x,y,z…. til the cows come home.  Am I rambling??

The sad and maddening truth for me is Awareness is not enough!  My little Buddy needs to be ACCEPTED for the smiling, fun, active, HARD working kid he is. (.)

 

The majority of the time people do show acceptance towards him and me as his mother.  

But then there are those days like the days of the last few weeks.

We’ve both been met with judgement and ridicule. And I will leave it at that so as not to have to explain my parenting him or my sons difficulties in detail…one more time.

I’m not going to give up on humanity, though.

I’m bent on being proactive for his sake.  

  These last few weeks I had to believe people truly have had good intentions towards us.  And that they are only trying to help. If you are interested in making a difference on a special needs family’s life – I wrote this with my own experiences in mind.

 

 

Ways to Show a Special Needs Family ACCEPTANCE

1). Dont assume: There is nothing worse to a special needs parent OR a special needs child than to be expected to act a certain way when it is not possible.  When behavior isn’t possible but is pushed on or expected of the child,  the child can have a traumatic experience.  Sounds simple, right??  I can not tell you how many times others have assumed that since my son can talk and follow directions, that he can process or understand the meaning of any verbal direction. Wrong.  Many children with special needs have trouble processing direction for one reason or another.  It may be a problem with the exact wording of the direction,  the number of syllables in the wording, your tone of voice, over stimulation of their environment, processing time, physical handicap that you cant see, an experience that happened before you gave a direction, ect.  My point is that the possibilities are too numerous for even an “experienced” person to know and so one should NEVER assume.  

2).  Ask Questions:  Lately Ive read that moms would welcome your questions about their child. Asking questions is a the best way to get to know their child.  It shows you are truly interested in understanding.  Besides,  many moms would love the chance to chat.  It’s been hard for me to “stay in the loop” with friends and family.  In the past my loop has mostly consisted of Therapists, doctors, teachers, and support groups for parents just like me.   There was hardly time to talk on the phone with loved ones or go out for coffee with a friend.  Yes, ask questions.

3).  Loose the Judgement:  Again this sounds simple.  If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all, right?

I can say that being a special needs parent has its ups and downs just like being a parent of a typical kid.  (I should know, I’m both.)  So before you think to yourself a judgemental thought please remember this:  Our typical… is not your typical….

On a given day I may be proud of my son for sitting on the floor of the store and reading a book.  Books help him regulate (calm down) in a number of situations.  It’s a self regulation skill and I for one am so glad he has learned to do this on his own.  He is not hurting anyone/thing by sitting on the floor and reading something from the store rack.  Still, I notice your judgement of the tall kid plopped on the floor in the store.  He notices ,too.

 

4).  Be supportive:  There are a number of things you can do for a special needs family but how do you know what to do?  Honestly, every family is unique in what they need.  It may be that one family would love for you to visit with a hot meal and another may shudder at the thought of how their child may handle a visitor.  (I’ve been in both positions here,too.)  In this case you could leave dinner on the steps.  When in question you can always ask how you can help.  

More ways to help a special needs family:

  • Offer to give them a ride to a therapy or doctors appointment.  -I would be so thankful to have company to talk with me about my sons doctors visit or be able to organize my thoughts with less stress before hand.
  • Offer to sit the kiddos. –  It maybe super helpful to a special needs parent to have this time to clean, nap, or prepare for a doctor visit.  It’s an even bigger plus if you can sit in their home so the parent isn’t worried about a their child handling a transition outside the familiar environment of home.
  • Donate used clothing-  now you may think this is great for a needy family but this is AWESOME to a special needs parent who avoids shopping for the kids sake!!

There is so much to be said about ACCEPTANCE.  I for one could write a series on the subject.  For now, I sincerely hope that my words have touch someone’s heart out..Possibly warmed a few.   

 

Thank you soo much for taking the time to read!

Crystal and PJ 🙂  

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Places I may share:

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