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How to make your own Sensory Squishy Balls

While having some sensory fun with Orbeez I was pondering what else we could do with them to keep the fun going. I had a nosey around and found some balloons and decided we would try and make our own Sensory balls. Simple, fun and something that they could feel accomplished after making as they then got to play with them.

What you will need;
– Balloons
– Orbeez
– Top of a bottle

Steps

  • first step is to leave the Orbeez in water overnight to expand, as it does take several hours for them to soak in all the water
  • Blow the balloon up and let it go down again several times to stretch it out a bit
  • Cut the top off a bottle & place the balloon neck around the opening
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  • Now is the fun part, scoop the Orbeez into the homemade funnel and keep pushing them down until the balloon is full
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  • Then tie the balloon up and trim the end a little and you have your own homemade sensory squishy ball.

The kids really enjoyed making them and ended up creating several each!
They played with them for ages afterwards and they are still going strong now.

-WeeOhana

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Sensory Screening Cinema Experience

The last weekend of the Easter break for the kids from school and the rain started to pour. I didn’t want to spend the weekend stuck in the house so while pondering what to do I thought I might take Amellia to the cinema if anything was on. While I was having a nosey I noticed a movie that looked like she would enjoy and my heart ached a little as Dylan had never experienced the cinema before, when I came across a sensory screening of the movie. I had a quick chat with the hubby and we decided to go for it, and if Dylan really couldn’t stand it one of us could stay with Amellia and the other head home.

With it being a rainy day I was then worried that others who didn’t really need to go to a sensory screening may go to this as something to do with the kids in the rain but the cinema had it perfect. This one started at 12 and a regular viewing of the movie started at 12:10, great! Whoever was in the sensory screening was going to be people who needed it and would hopefully be understanding if Dylan wasn’t best impressed, this gave me enough courage to book the tickets and get everyone ready to head out to the cinema!

With a bag full of Dylan & Amellias favourite snacks to keep them occupied we headed in to get some popcorn. With a bit of a queue forming behind us I was worrying that it was going to be a bit of a busy screening, but once we headed into the screen we were the only ones there and it stayed that way. Who doesn’t love being the only ones in the cinema!

What a sensory screening means is that they turn the volume down and have the lights on. Unfortunately though the adverts before hand didn’t follow suit and were still full volume and Dylan found this extremely distressing. He was shouting for home and banging his ears and head. He then took my hands and put them over his ears and seemed to relax a little. Thankfully we were the only ones in this screening because by the time the adverts had finished Dylan was adamant we were going home but I wanted to try and get him to stay until the movie started with the bright colours and quieter sound to see if he would enjoy it.

With him pressing my hands tightly over his ears by his request he started to relax as the volume went down and the bright colours and sing song ways of kids movies started.  He shouted home a few more times and I decided next time he asked I would take him. After a few more minutes he got off my knee and looked like he was going to make a bolt for the exit, I’m pretty sure he was until he spotted the numbers on the chairs.
Thankfully with it being an empty cinema we left him to his own devices walking up and down the chairs looking at the numbers and bouncing the chairs as he counted.

He lasted the whole movie!!
This was such a positive experience for us all; Amellia totally loved the movie, complained that it wasn’t long enough and sitting still really isn’t her thing and even though she could have wandered while watching she sat perfectly still the whole way through. Dylan enjoyed his first trip to the cinema, maybe not in the expected way but he enjoyed it in the end and we all got to have a family afternoon out doing something we haven’t done before.

Thank you Omniplex for making these sensory screenings so that people who struggle with full volume and darkness can enjoy something that others do on a regular basis. We will be back in the near future, so many kids movies coming out this year that me & the hubby had long discussions over who was getting to see it in the cinema with Amellia but now we all can!
I also highly recommended the movie Wonder Park, it was amazing  and one we will be buying once it is released on to DVD we enjoyed it that much!

 

 

 

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Sensory park!

We are always on the look out for new and exciting places to take the kids and especially ones that Dylan will enjoy and be able to roam around with as little danger present as possible. When we heard about a new soft play opening and accessible park with sensory garden we could not wait to try it out!

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I took him one day after school while we were waiting to pick up Amellia and thought we would be able to fit in some time at the soft play and the park. We headed into the “big house” as Dylan decided it was and went through to the soft play.
I’d heard a lot about the soft play so maybe my expectations were just set to high, but as soon as we went through the doors to the soft play Dylan did not want to be in it. His problem was that one side of the room was a big window and out of this window you could see the park. He just kept running to the window and the door which was alarmed and looked very easy to set off so I didn’t want to risk that. He was getting wound up pretty quickly that he couldn’t get out and a meltdown was just a few minutes away, so I decided scrap the soft play lets just head to the park.

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Now the park I hadn’t heard much about, but oh my goodness, it was absolutely amazing. It had a great climbing frame which was wide enough for wheelchairs to go up and had a rocking boat that they could go into and you rock, some big long slides that Dylan absolutely loved because he is a huge thrill seeker! A bouncy floor, swings, wheelchair swing, hopscotch, drums, giant xylophone, giant spiders web and I’m sure some other bits that have slipped my mind.

Dylan really loved the sensory garden which had all the musical things in and really enjoyed playing them and having a little dance while I played them.

We really enjoyed the park and will be making a regular trip here, I loved how brightly coloured it was because it made it all so eye catching to Dylan and I really loved how inclusive this park was for everyone. I’ve never seen a park like this before!
If you live in the area or further afield and are looking for an inclusive park I highly recommended giving this park a visit!

-WeeOhana

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Christmas time changes

Christmas time is upon us and I am so excited this year. Last year I just wanted Christmas to be over and done with and couldn’t wait to get the decorations away which is so unlike me. I’m so glad this year I am back to full Christmas love & excitement.

Christmas decorating and Christmas time in general is a little different in our house than it would be in most households. Dylan doesn’t cope well with change, for example I took one thing out of the living room to make room for a bit of Christmas and he has dragged it back in very single day since. We decorate slowly and the tree goes up last. This year we will be putting the tree up on the 16th, plenty of time to enjoy it before Christmas but not too long that all the decorations being taken off and lined up and sorted into colour several times a day wont drive me so mad that I want to take it down.

After Dylans birthday on the 9th I’m going to slowly start to add little Christmas bits around the house so that it is slowly changing rather than all of a sudden his safe space is completely different. I know he is going to love all the lights on the tree, but his love for collecting and lining up things that are the same he will just be in overdrive all the time.

We have a lovely little Elf in our house called Max, Amellia totally adores him. We have a pretty lovely elf in our house who doesn’t do all that much to be honest. He moves around and leaves little notes of encouragement. On the weekends he will leave some small gifts which are generally arts & crafts related to Christmas like paint your own decorations, santa letter kits and things like that. Dylan does not understand the Elf malarkey but it is loads of fun for Amellia.

Advent calendars are done different in our house as well, because lets face it give a number obsessed kiddo something with numbers all jumbled up on, he’s gonna open all the doors in the right order in one day and get very distressed if he cant. I open his for him and then give him the item from the advent calendar, this year we got him a playmobil 123 one as he is loving it at the moment! Every morning when I have given him a piece that has come in the calendar though he looks at me like I’m mad and goes and puts it away in the box with the rest of the playmobil and then carries on with his morning. I think when the 25th comes and I don’t give him a bit of playmobil to put away he is going be so confused about why this new morning ritual has changed but we couldn’t let him go without an advent calendar!

Both the kiddos Christmas plays are coming up and I really can’t wait to see them both. Amellia is all bizz because she is singing at the very start of hers and has been singing the song constantly for the past few weeks, I must say she does have a simply wonderful singing voice. Dylans will be adorable just seeing them all together and hopefully taking part in a little sing a long to a few good old Christmas songs. Amellia is really excited as she is coming along to see his too, it’s on her last day of school so she wont miss anything at all as we all know that is a day just full of chaos!

Hope you are all enjoying getting in the Christmas spirit and your kids are enjoying it too, even if it is in a different way to how you used to enjoy Christmas.

-WeeOhana

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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*

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Lentil Sensory Play!

Dylan’s regression in food has made me want to do a lot of sensory play with him. We do sensory play rather regularly but I want to try to do a little more and hopefully this will aid in helping him get back to at least eating the few things he used too.

Sensory play in our house always has to be with dry items, I’m hoping that if I find something dry that he really enjoys playing with I can then start to cook a few bits of it at a time and he wont notice the change. Then he will accept the change naturally without even noticing it!
Recently we did some sensory play with red split lentils. I chose these because the orange went with it being Halloween and they were bright and colourful. I added in a few objects with simple names so that I could name them to Dylan, I am going to use the same objects in all the sensory play that we do to hopefully help him learn these words.
Repetition is key!

He really enjoyed burying the objects and finding them again, his sister really enjoyed doing his sensory play with him and it really helped them to connect a little and have fun together.

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She was burying her hand and he was finding it then she was helping him to bury his hand and finding it again. I love seeing them play together, it’s a rare occurrence but a simply magical once when it happens.

-WeeOhana

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Simple Sensory Fun!

I knew that the wonderful weather was sure to come to an end at some stage, so when it took a turn for the worst we decided to have some simple sensory fun!
I hunted through the house for things so that we could all enjoy, I came across some shaving foam and decided that now would be a good time to try it again with Dylan as it was about a year ago that we tried it before and he really hated it!
I wanted to try to add something to the shaving foam so that it would make it a little different, though we didn’t really have much!
I thought sand would be a great idea so headed out to the shed thinking that we had some left for going in the sandbox.. but we didn’t! Though we did have some very fine gravel left over from when we set up Pudges new tank! Perfect!

So; what you need to have this simple sensory fun in your house is;

  • Shaving Foam
  • Sand/fine grit
  • bowl to mix it in
  • animals etc to put in it if wanted
  1. Add the shaving foam into a bowl – As much as you want to use to play with!IMG_8567
  2. Then add in the sand/fine grit and mix up. – Again just as much as you want for how gritty to make it IMG_8572
  3. Finally I put it into a container that we for our sensory fun and added some animals to try to encourage Dylan to play with it and get his hands dirty!
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What I learnt from this simple sensory fun was that Dylan is still nowhere near ready for play with shaving foam, as soon as he touched it and it wouldn’t come of his hands instantly he was trying desperately to get it off!  I quickly wiped them clean and he shot off to the living room and into his tent for safety.
Amellia really enjoyed playing with it though and burying and finding the animals!

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This is real simple sensory fun, hopefully your little ones like it as much as Amellia did and don’t react with disgust like Dylan!

-WeeOhana