2

Kids Christmas gift ideas!

Christmas is coming along quickly and I know what it is like trying to figure out what to get the kids in your life, be they be your own kids, nieces, nephews, friends kids and all  the others in between. 
Here is a little gift guide that will hopefully help give you some ideas of what to get them including; board games, arts & crafts, toys, clothes & chocolate! 

First up are some board games that we got sent to see what we made of them. We always find it difficult to find board games that Amellia enjoys as she is so full of energy and very easily distracted that they never hold her attention for long, but some of these games were even enough to keep her entrained for a good period of time.


Polar Panic is similar to a game of snap and pairs. Spread the cars out and then take turns to turn one over at a time. When you spot cards with one or more common fish on you quickly place your hands on them both and we shouted out “panic” too to add a bit of extra fun. Most matches wins and gets to do a little winner dance.. or so Amellia thinks anyway! She loved this game, simple, quick and fun!
It costs £8.40 which I personally think is a great price for a gift and a fun game that the family can all play together. Perfect stocking filler price too!

img_2479-1This game has got a great concept behind it. Find an item in your house or use one of the cards provided and place it in the box, then others have 22 times to ask you yes or no questions about what is in the box. My girl enjoyed playing this game with the fun of finding objects to go inside the box and asking the most ridiculous questions like “does it poo”
This game costs £17.95, which isn’t too bad for what you get but you could also make this up with items you have at home for a quick and fun game to play.

img_2475-1This game has won two gold awards for Best Family game & Best Problem solving game, you have to memorize 12 symbols in 60 seconds and then they will swap and change around the board. My girl who has just turned 7 needed our help (game is suited to 8+) but the hubby & myself had great fun playing it, especially him when he won. Its £20 which I think is a great price for a game that gets very competitive and lots of fun for older ones.

fullsizerender-1Amellias favourite game that we got sent was this one! You have to scratch and sniff the card then guess what smell it is and put down a memory to go with it. Inside the box is loads of different cards with different smells on them so it’s a game you can play over and over again. Amellia is always asking to play this game again and it held her attention so much that she asked to play another round right away. It’s a lot harder than you think to place the smells without a picture! This game is currently £19.95, I think its worth every penny and would be a perfect present to get all the family involved, enjoying time together and laughing at each other!

img_2468-1Fingerlings are said to be one of the most desired toys of 2018, they cost £16.99 and make a huge range of noises, blow kisses and react to how you treat them. The dinosaur ones you can either treat them nice and tame them or keep them crazy and untamed. Amellia really enjoyed trying to tame the t-rex, but Dylan for some reason was petrified of them. They weren’t a huge hit in my house if im being honest and were quickly forgotten about after a very short time.

img_2486-1This chemistry lab is going to be so much fun! It comes with the majority of things you need to do over 100 experiments and the things you need to add are simple things to find like salt/water etc. We have had sets like this before and they have required you to buy some things I had never even heard of so when this one came with more or less everything you need I was over the moon. I have got this one hidden away for a day when Ad is off so that he can watch Dylan while we turn the kitchen into a science lab, but I just know she is going to just love this set! £24.99 is a bargain for all that comes in this set!

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I’m saving this one for when I’m doing the chemistry lab with Amellia because Dylan is going to go crazy for this! He absolutely loves Peppa pig, numbers, counting, colours and posting so this has it all in his eyes.. minus letters! What I really love about this is that it talks in the actual Peppa pig voice, I find that toys often  have completely different voices to what they sound like on T.V and this really upsets Dylan. He needs the familiarization and if it is meant to sound a certain way and doesn’t it can really confuse him. This is an amazing toy, teaching kids many essential things and at £19.99 its one I am going to be picking up for a gift too! 

img_1539What kid doesn’t love slime and all things related! I’ve featured these products before from Zimpli kids here. They are a perfect stocking filler price ranging from £2.50-£7. We cant wait to try out the snoball play closer to Christmas time!

Last but not least for this gift guide is Little Brian paint sticks! We absolutely adore these and make sure we always have them in our cupboard. Dylan loves painting but isn’t a fan of getting messy so these are just perfect for him and Amellia loves how bright and vibrant the colours are… especially on the day glow ones! The packs start at £4.50 which is a perfect stocking filler and you can get a set of 24 for £14.99 which would be an amazing gift for any kiddo! They also now do mini ones, fabric and chalk ones too, I cant wait to get my hands on the fabric ones and letting the kids go mad on some t-shirts! 

I hope you have enjoyed this gift guide, next week I will have another which will feature some smaller businesses with a range of products so you are sure to find something that someone you know will love! 

 

– These products were sent to me in exchange for a feature in this guide, all opinions expressed are my own honest ones.-

6

Understanding is impossible unless you have walked it yourself.

Having an autistic child is something that is impossible to understand unless you have walked it yourself.

The sleepless nights because they don’t sleep, and when they do your mind is going at maximum speed thinking of how to help them better tomorrow, what you can do that won’t cause a meltdown, if they will ever get a job, be able to live independently, cook, dress appropriately independently, tell you how they are, ask for what they want, say where hurts, if they will ever have a partner.. and many, many other things.

The worry when they won’t eat and have an extremely restrictive diet if they will be able to keep healthy on the select few things they eat. When they stop eating a certain food and you are left with even fewer foods, and they are losing weight and no one has ideas or provides you with help to get them eating more.

When they go into school in floods of tears clinging to you and you worry and stress through the day if they have settled, are they ok, will the school be honest with how they were, will they forgive and are they happy,

Buying new clothes entails turning the items inside out to see how they will feel to them and having to hunt out clothes that don’t have seams, and when they decide they like something and will wear it happily bulk buying them in every size to ensure that your child will go out with clothes and shoes on.

When you go somewhere they have enjoyed having your fingers tightly crossed so that nothing has changed and hoping it will be really quiet so that they can enjoy it and it won’t start a meltdown.

Will they ever make friends and have a proper friendship with even just one person. Be able to go to the cinema together, out for a walk, lunch, or even just have a conversation together.

How are you going to be able to cope with meltdowns when they are older if they are still lashing out, head butting, and how will I prevent them from self harming when they head butt the walls, hit themselves, scrab at their body, pull thier face..

Would someone else be looking after them better and providing them with better chances and helping them more than you are.

What happens if you end up in hospital and have to spend time there, how will they cope, who will look after them because no one knows them like you do and an even bigger worry.. what happens when you die, who will care for them like you do, love them and understand them like you.

The constant fight for help from services which are meant to want to help but show you the exact opposite.

The need to cuddle and protect them when they are sad, overloaded, having a meltdown but infact it just makes them worse and the only thing you can do is watch and ensure that they are safe and are not harming themselves.

Ignoring the stares, tuts and comments made when out in public and your child is having a meltdown and you can’t do anything to help them or stop it.

And the over whelming feeling of continuous guilt.

-WeeOhana

7

Halloween

I’ve never really celebrated Halloween before, the past two years Ad has took Amellia out to do some trick or treating but I haven’t really got in the spirit of it and left it up to those two to do together, but this year is different. I’ve decided for the first time I’m going to celebrate with them!

Time goes really fast, far too fast. It feels like this year has gone faster than normal to me so I want to embrace all the opportunities we get to spend together and if it means opening up to new things and trying them out well.. I’m going to give it my best shot for the kiddos! Soon enough she will be charging out the door to her friends rather than wanting to spend time with us, so time to make the most of the times we do have together and she wants to spend with us!

For her birthday party this year she has asked to have a Halloween party with her friends in the street so I said why not! I’ve been out and bought lots of decorations, a pumpkin piñata, light sticks, stickers, Halloween shaped crisps/chips/chicken nuggets and everything else I could find! These kiddos will not be leaving with an empty tummy or an empty bucket anyway.

I’ve bought us all matching jumpers which we will wear all the way through to January! The wonderful elephant bum and teequo worked together on them and I’m totally in love. I always buy jumpers from elephant bum and have only recently found teequo after getting these and they will be getting an order soon from me because they do Disney ones & I totally adore Disney! 😍 check out how awesome these ones are that we all got;

Anyway I’m off to decorate the house and get into the Halloween spirit 😀 how do you celebrate Halloween?

1

Squidgydoodle Craft box Review & discount code!

The weather on the weekend was absolutely horrible. If we had of went outside I think we would have looked like drowned rats in 0.2 seconds, so when the postman rang the doorbell and handed over a package for Amellia I knew exactly what we would be getting up to while spending a day hiding inside from the rain!

img_0261When we opened it up and discovered that it was full of arts & crafts supplies to make unicorn & rainbow things we couldn’t wait to get stuck in!
It came with a lovely little brightly coloured booklet that explained to you how to make the things & what I really loved was how simple they were. We have had boxes like this in the past and I have had to make half the things for her because they have been so complicated.
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We got stuck in making the first item which was a unicorn horn. Everything you need to make all the items are inside this little post-box friendly sized box, which makes it even handier as you shouldn’t have to run to the post office if you aren’t in when it’s delivered. Amellia particularly loved the rainbow crayon and being able to be a dabbing unicorn.. trust my kid!

Next up we got stuck in with the painting and cracked on with the next two things to make! One was a rainbow scrapping which is where you use a little bit of cardboard to cover over a stencil and then remove the stencil to be left with a coloured rainbow and the next was a rainbow rain unicorn. The rainbow rain unicorn was a lot of fun to make. We used the box to stand it up in and then you mixed a little water into the paints and sucked it up with a pipette and squirted it at the top of the page.. I thought this was going to be messy but by some miracle Amellia manged to keep all the paint on the page!

After completing these I thought that they were not going to be quite as pretty as we had hopped.. but after waiting for them to dry and removing the bits we needed too..

I was more than impressed with the bits of art we had created together!

The final thing was making rainbow slime which we decided to wait till after dinner to do this incase it ended up really messy. Amellia is generally pretty good at making any task messy, but for some reason today she was actually pretty neat with everything we did! She was very impressed with the rainbow slime we made as it was a liquid until you tried to pick it up the it became a solid. She had lots of fun playing with it before it was time for a story & bed!

img_0306We really enjoyed doing this box together and it kept her entertained all day as we spread out the arts and crafts during the day. They were simple enough that I could leave her to do the colouring etc while I played with Dylan and with me going away and coming back she was always very proud to show me what she had done.

I love that these boxes are all handmade & prepared by a lovely lady who also runs a blog where she shares other arts & craft which you can view here.
All the activities where easy, very enjoyable and left you with great pieces of art.
Intact we enjoyed it so much I have already ordered the Halloween & Winter Wonderland box!! My one complaint.. I wish they did monthly boxes!
If you fancy trying one out head over to the shop here and use the code LOUISE to get a 10% discount which is valid until the 9th of December.
You will find a range of different craft boxes, party boxes, mini crafts and seasonal craft boxes.

-WeeOhana

Disclaimer – *I was sent this amazing craft box free of charge to review; all thoughts and opinons are my own honest ones*

3

Something I’m ready to be open about..

Something I haven’t really been open about on here is Amellia, and I suppose it was all just due to coming to terms with it all. We knew she had her challenges and that she was a very unique child but recently more and more things are proving challenging for her.

We changed her school as her old one was just not supporting her at all. In her words “they would shout at me for getting things wrong but never show me how to do it right. I love my new school as they don’t shout and show me how to do it properly.” Personally I am all about positive reinforcement rather than putting a child down constantly because they can’t do something.

When she went to her new school for a trial they picked up on so much and were absolutely shocked at how little her previous one had been doing. I mean, she was in for two hours for her trial and they had already thought of ways to help her and have referred her on further. To say I’m a little pissed at her old school is an understatement, but she is now moved and it is the best thing I have done.

She started and they had an assistant in the room for another child so we’re going to sit Amellia beside them to try to help her until she could get her own one, but this wasn’t working out too great as she needed too much attention for the assistant to split her time. They then sat her beside the teacher and same story she needed too much for her to be able to teach properly so the school have now funded her own 1:1 until she is seen by Ed psychologist to get her own one funded by the education board. I am so impressed.

The teacher and Amellia sat down together and made her IEP with attainable goals for her to try to reach by January. When I got this home I realised just how much]she struggles in the classroom; Things like listen 3 times day and be able to sit still for 5 minutes made me realise.

I know that she will continue to improve and come on leaps and bounds with all the support she is receiving and as annoying as it is that we have had to wait this long for it, I can not wait to see how much this helps aid her in her learning.

As a mum, yes I feel extremely guilty that I didn’t pick up on this before and notice early on. Thankfully it isn’t too late and we will be able to put steps in now to help her for the future!

-WeeOhana

2

Ayesha Tania Crowned Winner of International Art Competition #spons

Budding 11-year-old local artist to have artwork displayed across the UK and Ireland

Following a public vote, eleven-year-old Ayesha Tania from Newport, has been announced as the winner of the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award 2018, which was developed to celebrate andinspire creativity from 5-11-year-old children this summer. 

After receiving nearly 1,000 entries from across the UK and Ireland, 14 regional winners were selected by a panel of experts to face off in a public vote between 27th August and 9th September. Parents and children then cast nearly 20,000 votes to crown Ayesha, the finalist who represented Wales, our overall winner

Finalists had their artwork displayed on billboards across the UK and Ireland throughout the voting period, and as the overall champion Ayesha’s artwork will be seen on a further selection of billboards from the end of September. She will also win a bespoke art party for her friends and family, courtesy of BIC®.

To be crowned nationwide champion, Ayesha entered an expertly crafted macaw pencil drawing. Ayesha’s success this year comes after the talented young artist was also announced as one of the 2017 winners.

Illustrator Phil Corbett, who sat on the judging panel for this the competition, said: “We’re thrilled to announce Ayesha as the 2018 winner of the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award. Her macaw drawing is technically outstanding. The bird itself is so vibrant and realistic but the background is also extremely well put together. The fact that Ayesha was also a winner last year shows that she really does have huge amounts of artistic skill.”

Rebecca Huda, BIC® UK and Ireland’s Product Manager – Stationery, said: We were incredibly impressed by the quality of submissions received and diverse subject matters tackled by young artists from all across the country. It was immensely difficult for our panel of experts to whittle the artworks down to just 14finalists in the first place, so to win the title of overall winner really is a huge accolade for Ayesha. 

We’d like to thank all of the participants and encourage everyone who entered to continue nurturing their artistic talent. We hope to see even more entries next year!”

9

Leaps & Bounds of progress!

These past few months Dylan has been slowly progressing, but over the past month it seems to all be coming together. We have many words now which is absolutely incredible seeing as every time he has been seen by his pediatrican we kept getting reminded that not all autistic children talk and not to get our hopes up. He can request things like his iPad, juice etc, it’s amazing to see and I have got a lot of hope for the future now and I’m sure his language skills will continue to develop and maybe one day we will be able to have a conversation with us! It gives us a lot of hope and really lifts spirits.

In school they have started to use pecs to help him move from one place to the next, his anxiety is brought down a lot with these pictures and I am now running about like crazy taking pictures of everywhere we go so that I can use them at home with him too. I am hoping it will help when out and about with him so that we can keep him calm and hopefully enjoying what we are doing rather than worrying about what is to come next.

He is starting to try new foods, well he has licked a yogurt and they are trying to encourage him to try new things in school via pictures and are going to get me some to try at home with him, which is a really exciting prospect. Dylan’s eating has always been a worry for me, as much as the dietician says it is fine because he isn’t losing weight it cannot be healthy for him and is not ideal. I would love to be able to just pick him up something when out and about but unfortunately at this moment in time that isn’t really attainable as he doesn’t eat very much at all especially for dinners and lunch. Maybe one day he will eat a sandwich, now that would be incredible!

He has also started to interact a lot more with Amellia and the other children he knows. He will ask them for races using his makaton that he is starting to pick up and what is even more amazing is that the kids around us are so great too him. They understand him really well and it is so great to see them running around together and enjoying each other’s company. Something again I wasn’t sure I would ever get to experience with him.

Something he has started to really enjoy also is playing mario, he is learning how to control him and enjoys walking him around the map. Before he just used to hold the button and laugh as he fell off the edge, which is funny.. but finding something he really enjoys doing and playing is great!

Obviously he still has his hard times, but I totally adore him and he is simply wonderful. I will continue to encourage his growth and I truly believe give a child the tools and encouragement they need and they will progress in there own time!