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!
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.
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!
Recently Dylan started music therapy and it is amazing, before he had his first one I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I hadn’t really heard much about it. I am always keen to try new things, especially when I really think he will enjoy it. Dylan has always loved music, if a fast song is on he will go crazy and shake himself really fast and if it’s a slow song he will move slowly, it’s really funny and adorable to watch!
He has now had 3 weeks of music therapy and has really enjoyed it, I am learning a lot of new things to do with him to help encourage his speech and interaction which is obviously amazing and not something I really expected to come from music therapy.
She brings along a whole bag full of instruments, and starts by playing a hello song on her guitar, then she asks if he would like to play a certain instrument and generally he jumps about really excitedly. Then when he is playing the instrument she then sings another song to try to get him to play when she stops and she will also then go at his speed, for example if he is to play fast, she will play fast on the guitar and so forth.
Then after doing that for a while she then gets Dylan to choose another instrument and she will play a beat and encourage Dylan to copy this beat and then copy the beat he does. It is all about give and take, if he copies you then you copy him.
Other things that she also does is sing songs that he knows and stopping at random unexpected words to try to encourage him to join in and say the missing word, sing consonant sounds together to try and get him to copy and again then copying what he says as well.
While playing these instruments Dylan is also feeling a lot of different textures, Dylan really struggles with many sensory things in his day-to-day life; for example he cannot wear jeans, certain t-shirts and is extremely fussy with his foods. She is also going to add more textures and things into the music therapy like cooked pasta for example to encourage him to touch it when he is having lots of fun and then hopefully after a few times he will touch it in other situations too
It is a costly therapy but it is one he is really getting a lot out of so we will obviously continue with it, I cannot wait to see what other ideas she gives me to use outside of music therapy and to watch Dylan progress week after week.