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How To Make Your Own PECS!

The other night I made my own PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) for Dylan!
There are several stages of PECS, for the moment Dylan is on stage one as he has just started using them! PECS is a form of communication that is used with lots of children on the autistic spectrum but can be used with other children too.It is where they learn to relate pictures to the items that they want.

I have seen lots of people who make these online and charge a fee for doing it then send them to you, I was very tempted to do this until I thought about how often I would need to order new ones as he got new interests, foods he likes etc. So I decided to have a crack at making my own and it really wasn’t that difficult! Took a little time to get all the things together and work it all out, but I did and I must say I’m pretty proud of myself with how they turned out =D So I am going to show you how I did it and what I used so you can make your own too! If you need any extra help/advice etc drop me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help! =D

I already had a printer, which is the Epson Expression Home 322. I have had it for a while though so you may be better sourcing your own printer! Mine isn’t a very fancy printer but does all that I need and was a very friendly price! I then sourced a Laminator (Amazon.. my favorite place for finding everything I need/ want ;]) it wasn’t a fancy all dancing one, just one with good reviews and could do exactly what I wanted! (Click here to view it) Along with this I also ordered 100 Laminator pouches.. I’m not entirely sure why I ordered 100.. but when I see a good deal I can’t resist! ;] (Find them here) I then needed a paper-cutter as I wanted all the edges to be straight and nice! (This one!) and the last thing I ordered online was some Velcro! (Here) You will also need some paper and few bits of thicker paper too! =]

Now, I am going to try to do this in a step by step stages so it is easy and clear to follow! =] I’ll try and not waffle as we know I do get carried away sometimes! 😀

  1. To start I made lists of what I wanted to make PECS on. I started off by just doing two, Snacks and TV Programs then thought of nine of each that Dylan liked and wrote them down!
  2. Next I searched online for clear and simple versions of these images! I found when I searched to put the words “White Background” after whatever I was searching as it means they won’t get distracted by looking at the whole picture
  3. I then made a folder on my laptop for each PECS board and save the nine images of each topic into the correct folders
  4. After finding the nine images I then went into the folder and selected them all. You do this by left clicking once on the first image then holding shift and left clicking again on the last picture
  5. When they were all selected I then right clicked on the images and selected the option print, which opened a pop up.
  6. When in the pop up I scrolled down the side of it which gives you the options of how to print the pictures until I got to one called Wallet. This meant that all the pictures could be printed off on one sheet of paper and would all be the same size!
  7. Then I used the paper-cutter to cut them all out. This took a while for me as I liked to make sure they were all exactly the same size! Very simple to do though with the paper cutter recommended above as it has a built-in ruler! =D
  8. I then put them into a laminating sheet with a good distance between them so that they would all seal correctly and wouldn’t peel once laminated.
  9. Once the PECS images were done I left them to cool while I laminated the thicker paper that I would be using for the background!
  10. I then cut out the images again, making sure I didn’t go to close to the image as I didn’t want the laminate to peel off them!
  11. Next I stuck 6 of the Velcro dots onto the piece of thick paper all evenly spaced of course ;]
  12. In the middle of each of the PECS images I then stuck the other side of the velcro dots on. (I know I said nine but have only put six on the page, this is so that you can change them about, or remove some and put the other ones on when things aren’t available!)
  13. Admire your work and feel very pleased with yourself! You have just made some PECS for your child which will greatly improve communication and hopefully make meltdowns less often as your child has a way of telling you what they want when they get used to the PECS =D

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These are the ones that I did,and I would love to see the ones you have done! Especially if this step by step has helped you! =D
I wish you all the luck on your PECS journey! =]
Also remember if you have any questions on how to do this etc, Just ask! I’m more than happy to help!

WeeOhana xx

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Garden Center & Play Park!

The other day we took the kids to the garden center to investigate the new play area, but we weren’t too sure what we would find! We were really shocked when we walked around the corner and saw the most wonderful little play area!
The first day we went was a weekend so we really didn’t stay that long as there was quite a few older kids and after Dylan being pushed twice I knew he was going to lose his rag soon and didn’t want to push him too far after having already had a good 30 mins playing and everyone else being happy! We let the kids choose one thing each on the way out as they had both been fantastic and who doesn’t like treating there little ones every now and then!

My little girl chose the unicorn and has named it..”Pink Fluffy unicorn, dancing on rainbow.” Not quite sure where she got the name from seeing as it isn’t even pink.. but as long as she is happy! She chose this unicorn as it is just like her little brothers rabbits that he takes everywhere! If we ever lost those rabbits there would be trouble! I am going to have to buy a few spare and swap them about so that he gets used to them.. I had intended for the second bunny to just be used at bedtimes.. but as time has progressed he has now taken a shine to them both. and he would take them everywhere if I let him!
Dylan chose the peter rabbit push along toy! As soon as he picked it up he wouldn’t put it down! I love the selection of toys and clothes they have at Donaghadee Garden Center, lovely little bits! =]

We headed back the next day as we knew there would be fewer people, or at least fewer big people with school being back! Dylan had so much fun!
We had a fantastic time! My hubby and I got a lovely little lunch, he had the stew and said it was phenomenal and I had a lovely painni! What was even better was that Dylan got to happily play while we got some food! He was so happy pottering about and exploring by himself!

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He loved this big wooden tractor a lot! You could pretend to drive it, climb all over it and move the gear stick! He had so much fun driving it, especially with our table where we were grabbing a bite to eat right beside it! He is very much a mummys boy at the moment and doesn’t like me being out of his sight! He even follows me from the living room to the kitchen!

It also has a lovely little wooden barn which has steps up one side with a little bit to explore up the top and then a slide to get down! You can also go under the barn too which Dylan enjoyed! He must have ran up the stairs then down the slide about 50 times in a row before he even started to tier!

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Another amazing thing that they have is a little ball shoot thing! You put the ball at the top and it rolls all the way down,he really loved this! So much so that I’m thinking of making one in my back-garden for him! Its a fantastic thing and so very simple to make as it is made using guttering!

I will be going back here many times, in-fact I think I am going to be a regular! A fantastic little place and undercover for Dylan to play in and quiet! It is also great because even though you get your lunch etc from inside the cafe it is closed off away from here so you aren’t worried about the noise etc annoying others who are eating!

Well worth a visit if you are ever near! =]
WeeOhana xx

 

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Toucan Box craft

Bit of a different blog for you guys today. Though I had to blog about this box as it was just downright fantastic.

As I was pondering on what to do with my three year old when she got home and the hubby had gone out to wet the babies head, I got a wonderful delievery from the postman. I had seen an advert on my facebook for a little box called a Toucan box; Basically it is a little box which has all the materials and instrutions in it to make a craft item. You can choose from a couple of options on there website of how often you want them, how many craft ideas and extra supplies for more children, I think the extra supplies thing is fab idea and I will be doing this whenever my little man is old enough to join in! When you have signed up for a box you then get to select what things your child enjoys so it gives the boxes a lovely little personal touch as you know they will enjoy all the crafts you receive.

So whenever she got home and the hubby had gone to enjoy himself, I told my litle girl that the post man had brought her a special parcel. She found this exceptionally exciting, seeing as she very rarely recieves post! Though I know that I find it exciting still as an adult to get unexpected parcels in the post,I was also pretty excited to see what these little boxes contained.

I was very excited whenever we opened it and found this;

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All the wonderful things we would need to have a jellyfish race in our own house! Not only is it super cool to have a jellyfish race in your own house but my little girl adores the seaside! Her nanny and bampy live right by the seaside so she very much adores the seaside and anything to do with it! I was super impressed with how all of the craft bits incuded in this box were of very high standered. The ribbion is super thick and really impressed me! All the colours on the peices included in the box are very vibarent which obviously to my three year old and other little ones makes it even more appealing! I was pleasently surprised to find that the bits that were the body of the jelly fish, were of a sturdy cardboard and were already pre cut. They also already had holes along the bottom of them to make the jellyfish legs! I thought that I would have to create these holes myself and cut out his body, so it was super that it was all ready and all I had to do was simply trim the ribbion and the straw. With an impatint and excitable toddler, this was a mega bonus. So i quickly trimmed all of these things down so that we could get started on creting these racing jellyfish.

So, we got started.
I showed her the instructions and they were so beautifuy dispayed that she could even understand them! Every stage was illistrated so well that you hardly need to even read the instuctions that are written below the pictures.

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As you can see; this craft really held her attention! I think it is because she could follow the instructions and all of the bits were ready waiting for her to just put them where she was meant to! She needed help with a few parts of this craft but with only being three I expected this and got the Toucan box so that it would give me ideas of what to do with her and hopefully help me think of new crafts to do with her.

Inside the box also comes a litle postcard idea with activities on the back for you to do with your children while you wait for your next box! :] On the front of the instructions it also gives you a messiness rating, a grown up assistnce level and also little facts about what you have just made. So for example with the box I got which included the kit to make the jellyfish came facts about the jellyfish to share with my three year old! Another great addition to the box is a “What we are learning” card. So for exaple this one is Science, Art & Design. It also gives you ideas of what to talk about to your child while doing the activity to help increase the knowledge they gain.

Here is our finshed product; I didnt want to give to much away as I really advise you try out one of these boxes!

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They deliver to all of the UK at 98p for a petite box, which is what I got for my first box and £2.95 for a standard box. If you live outside of the UK they have an email address on the there website to contact the and to see how much it is. here is a link that will enable you to get your first box for free to try it out and if you really don’t like it well then its very simple to cancel.
Trust me though, you should give it a go and I hope you are as pleasantly surprised a how fab it is as I was!

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Oh and another thing to add about these super cool boxes is that they come with little stickers/tokens and whenever you have enough you can then choose a prize. You can see which prizes they have on there website for you to choose from!

WeeOhana xx