3

The Ark Open Farm

We are very lucky to have a wonderful little farm just up the road from us, our flaw ithough is that we really don’t take advantage of it all too much.. and with Dylan I am always nervous of going there in-case as soon as he gets there he loses it, but our recent trip there proved to us, that we really have to go more! Especially seeing as this trip had to be cut short when he fell into a puddle and wasn’t too keen on his trousers being all wet and sticking to him! Before this happened though we were having a wonderful fun, so I thought I would share it with you =]

When we woke up it was a rather nice day, well it was cold but not windy or raining so that is always a big bonus here! My hubby was also off work, so he took little miss into school and came home and I told him of the plans for the day. We got our little monkey man all ready and headed off, I was slightly worried that as soon as we got there he wouldn’t be too happy as the smells etc are all different and I was holding my breath with my fingers crossed too that it wouldn’t be busy. It wasn’t busy and as soon as we got there we were greeted by a lovely and friendly dog. Dylan loves dogs so he was settled straight away, though he did want to just stay with the dog but with a little persuasion we got him to go off exploring everything else!

A lovely young lad came up to us when we were looking at the cows and asked us if he would like to see a baby chick.. I was a little apprehensive as we all know how rough kids can be, and just how delicate chicks are! The young lad held the chick for Dylan too see, and he loved stroking the chick and just staring at it! We were made to feel in no rush and the lad chatted away to us about the chicks while Dylan happily was stoking and staring at the chick! When he started to get a little grabby he put him back in with the other chicks and went on his way. I think Dylan would have stayed there all day just watching them walk about, he sat on my knee and was so happy just watching them all walking about, eating and having a little drink!
We then moved on to see the goats, there was some tiny little baby pygmy goats who were very young. They were so cute and kept escaping from there pen for a little walk about! They were just adorable, though my little man didn’t have much interest in them I would have happily have taken one home.. though I’m pretty sure the hubby wouldn’t have been too impressed! ๐Ÿ˜›

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We then went into the barn where they have a range of animals! Some more goats, sheep, lambs, alpacas (I think!), reindeer and some bunnies! The young lad from earlier was there and happily got out a rabbit for him to see, and he loved stroking the rabbit.. though quickly found its ears and like most, thought these looked great to pull.. so the bunny went back in, away from his grabby hands!
Dylan then proceeded to run up and down the barn (he loves big spaces to run and walk about!) until he spotted a sheep! It was love at first site! He stood by the lamb stoking it, smiling and laughing, it was simply wonderful to see him to happy and engaging with something!

After playing with the sheep he then spotted a cow in the barn! (Plastic) He swiftly took a seat on the little stool and started to try and milk the cow, it was wonderful as he was very hands on, didn’t mind the water on his hands and was having so much fun! With Dylan we have a real problem with water and bath times so it was simply wonderful for him to be having some fun with water and not having a care in the world when it got on his hands or wellies!

We then headed off outside to have a play in the park and too see the other animals outside.. completely unlike how his sister would have been Dylan walked straight through the park without even a second look and was straight down to look at the ducks and swans in the little lake they have there! It has a lovely little wooden and very safe walkway out to it and you can stand on this and watch the birds, after doing this for a while we headed back out to continue on our travels!

He found a puddle, a muddy puddle and he wanted to jump in it! There wasn’t a chance I was going to stop him from doing this because as said before water is one of his least favorite things! He splashed about in it for a while and then we carried on to see the owls, peacocks and the other birds they have outside!

 
We also headed into a wonderful little wooden Noahs Ark they have which had a giant connect four in! He played with this for a long time with his daddy, getting picked up to slot one in (working on his depth perception & engaging by going to daddy to get lifted to put the token in!). They had lots of fun doing this, everyone was all smiles and laughing! =]

We headed onward to the forest walk.. or we attempted too. Dylan found another muddy puddle and was jumping in this, but then stopped to have a look about and his welly got stuck resulting in him falling backwards and landing bum first in this lovely muddy puddle! I knew it was going to happen but just wasn’t quick enough to stop it happening! Bad mummy >.<

We then had to head home as he wasn’t a happy bunny having a wet and muddy bum, though I’m thinking he secretly planned it so we have to go back another day to see the animals again ;]

All in all it was a fantastic day out! Dylan felt lots of new textures, had fun with water, met new animals, got lots of fresh air and had a lovely time with mummy and daddy! I’m now convinced Dylan should be a farmer and I need to try and get out to lots of places with animals, as he really came out of his shell, was making vocal noises, engaging with us and the animals, accepted a person he hadn’t ever met before, smelling lots of new smells and feeling things he hadn’t felt before!

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We will be back soon and I look forward to our next trip to The Ark Open Farm!
If you are in the area I really do recommenced a visit!

WeeOhana x

5

Porridge Play!

Today I decided to do another different and fun sensory play for Dylan! This time again using something that was safe to be eaten, just in case he decided to taste it or my dog got some of it! I had thought about putting sparkles in it or dying the porridge oats but then again I thought I would rather leave it safe to eat!

I made this really simply/quickly and very cheaply! We actually had all the things I used in the house already, but if you don’t it can be bought for very cheap or you can use whatever you have in the house!

I started off with a container the same one that I used for the pasta play, got out some porridge oats and filled the container so that the bottom of it had a nice layer on it, then added some diggers and it suddenly looked very cool!
img_2999At the start he wasn’t too sure about the feeling of the porridge oats though he was happy to drive his JCBs through it if it didn’t touch his hand.. though in time as he got more and more used to it slightly touching his hands he then dug in! He absolutely loved it! He was picking it up and burying his cars under the porridge oats, scooping the oats up with the diggers and then he started to used the diggers to scoop up the porridge oats and put them in his mouth! He was using the diggers like little spoons, it was wonderful he was happy chewing on it and feeling it in his mouth! He then proceeded toย  sit in the container with the oats and sprinkle it over his legs and his feet, it was simply wonderful to see. He was having so much fun.. Though he then decided to empty the whole lot onto the floor which I wasn’t too pleased about but thankfully with our new wooden floor down it is easy to clean so I left him too it! He was than laying in it, running through it and having the time of his life. It was simply wonderful, I am really enjoying doing all these different sensory play ideas with him! I think I will do a few more dry ones before moving onto squisy/mushy/wet/sticky kinds of things as they are the things he really doesn’t cope well it. I want to keep it as fun and enjoyable as possible!

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Do you have any ideas of different things I could try or that you have tried? =]

I have also just made a facebook page and and an instagram account where I put things on daily that we do or that have tried out and enjoyed! If you have enjoyed my blog I think you would enjoy them too, please check them out and give me a like and a follow if you want, I would really appreciate it! =] @WeeOhana << Facebook Link! =] @WeeOhana << Instagram Link!

WeeOhana xx

 

5

Sensory Pasta Play!

This morning we woke up to a cold and wet day! Horrible, especially when I have two little ones to entertain as school is out for half term!
I was trying to think on my toes of what to do with them that was a little different to the usual coloring or toys that we have! I decided on something sensory to try out, hoping that if my little man didn’t just dive in he would copy his sister and at least give it a try!

I hunted in the cupboards to see what I could find and I hunted out some pasta! Some sensory play, that isn’t to messy and wouldn’t stick to my little mans hands which is something he really doesn’t like! I had some swirly pasta and then i broke up some pasta sheets into a bowl.

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I then put the bowl on the floor and picked the pasta up and dropped it into the bowl so that it made a different noise and he came running out to see what was happening and he dove straight in! I was so happy, he was picking it up and running his hands through it all the time while laughing away. I then found a bigger container so that he could move them about a bit more and sit in it if he decided to.

He loved it, he was putting it between his toes, and even decided to take a little nibble on a bit which is truly incredible with his very strict diet and unwillingness to try anything different.

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A very simple sensory play, but it was very effective!
Next time I am out I am going to buy a few bags of different kinds of pasta and color them all different colors, so it is even more visual for him!
After a week or two of playing with the pasta I may start to put a few bits of cooked pasta in at a time, only a very small number at the start and then slowly building. I know slimy things are not his favorite and is the reason he wont eat several foods (ham,pasta,etc) so I am going to do it very slowly and hopefully he wont notice the change and will accept it very well! =]

weeohana xx

0

Small things that mean so much!

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To some this wouldn’t seem like such a big thing, to me and my family it was huge and wonderful!

My little girl was sitting eating her breakfast as normal at her little red table in the kitchen, she had decided that she wanted Rice Krispies with no milk on them. Little man was happy pottering about after having his very runny and no lumps porridge, then he walked up to see what his sister was eating. I was just about to move him away before he decided that his sister was better eating her Rice Krispies one by one off the floor but he was watching her eat them very closely so I thought I would wait and see! He then swiftly pushed her off the seat and sat down on it and just as I was about to intervene he picked up the spoon and started eating the Rice Krispies! Eating them like he had done it every morning!

I was so stunned! I was waiting for my little girl to stand up and starting shouting about how he was eating her breakfast and the such, but she stood up and started to clap and shout about how Dylan was eating proper food and was using a spoon! She thought it was just fantastic and ran upstairs to get her daddy to come and see, he came running downstairs and we all cheered and clapped him while telling him he was such a clever boy! He took no notice of us and continued to eat and eat, until the whole bowl was empty! What an incredible day, it was just simply wonderful! I couldn’t believe it, we couldn’t believe it. It has given me great hope for the future and his eating! We have to take it step by step and at his speed and he will hopefully continue to show us like today when he is ready to try something new!

It reminded me of something that I have been saying a lot recently; that every child,every adult has there own goals to meet and there own milestones. If we all met our milestones at the same time, life would be very boring wouldn’t it!
No matter how big or small your goals seem to others for you or you children, they are worth celebrating and being very proud of. Some people wont ever understand, but they aren’t worth worrying about for two seconds.

Today I am celebrating and rejoicing in my little man trying a new food, and using a spoon all out of his own choice! =D What a wonderful day!
What are you celebrating today? =]

WeeOhana x

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4

Horse Fun & Sensory Exploring!

Dylan absolutely loves horses. People always say that animals are great therapy for little ones,ย  but you really have to experience the joys that it brings them to understand! Whenever he is around my horse he is the most vocal, happiest little fellow around. Obviously anything that makes him vocal and making different noises is a very big plus, and hopefully will in time help him to form words!
Normally I only will take him to the horse if my husband is with me so that he can stand with him and walk around whilst I muck out and do all the fun things but as he was working and Dylan was wide awake I thought I would try and get most of the things done with him if he would play ball!

I left him in the car while I put Meg out as I didn’t want to have to carry him and walk her, just incase! It was also raining and no body likes getting soaked! I brought the wheelbarrow round and forks and then got him from the car, I knew he would either love it or hate it straight away, and it went the best way possible! He loved it, infact he seemed to be having the most fun I have seen him have in a long time!

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Look at that little face! He was so joyful, and even better was that he was touching things and picking up things he would normally go mad at even the thought of it being near him! He was picking up shavings.. and yes I made sure there was no poo in site and he stuck to the clean shavings! I couldn’t believe it, he was picking them up and throwing them into the wheelbarrow and laughing as he did it! He didn’t mind the feeling of the shavings in his hands or shoes! He was having the time of his life, we then walked round to empty the wheelbarrow and he loved pushing it.. although it did take a lot longer than normal to get it round!

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We then went on to make Megs food, I expected this to be a task trying to keep him in the room while I made them but he loved it! He was helping me mix the foods together, pouring the scoop in and even more amazingly, he took a bite out of the carrot that I gave him to put inย  her food! He bit into a carrot, he didn’t start screaming, or licking his hand to get the taste and texture away, he just happily then placed it into her food! How incredible was it that he did this! He is still very much so on 10+month food, and biscuits! I couldn’t believe it! He was making so many different little noises too, of enjoyment! Noises I haven’t ever heard him make before, it was amazing as I’m sure you can understand!
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We then went onto fill the haynets, and I really couldn’t get over everything that was happening already and hay really does feel pretty spikey and odd, not really something you would feel in everyday situations! He impressed me even more and went on to pull out the hay and put it into the nets, I couldn’t get over it.
It was like he was getting so much enjoyment out of doing something that he loved, he forgot all about textures and everything! I couldn’t get over it and I still cant!
After we had done all the jobs he took me by the hand and walked me down to her field to go and see her. I kept saying to him when we have finished doing all the jobs we will go and see her, and it was almost like he was focused on getting the jobs done (very happily) to be able to go and see her. We then went down to her field, and he was overjoyed! Laughing away, hugging her, stroking her, and every time she sniffed him or even moved he was laughing away! We stood with her for about 30 mins, she was coming over and sniffing then running off, he loved it when she trotted off and did a big roll. I think it was the funniest thing he has ever seen, he ended up with hiccups he ended up laughing at her so much! When it was time to go, he wasn’t very pleased! Though we really needed to get going to get his sister from school!

I am going to make a big point of taking him up to see her a lot more, maybe not quite everyday as it does slow the whole process down and I can’t ride when he is there but it really did the world of good for him, I just couldn’t get over it!
To end this wonderfully happy & uplifting post here is some pictures of my girls! โค

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WeeOhana xx

0

Our Favorite Sensory Items!

I just thought I’d make a little blog about a few of the things that I have in my house that my little man really loves and and helps calm him down! I’m going to do another one on his favorite toys that he has too! It may help you with ideas on what to get your little ones! =] Oh and before we get started, all these things have been bought by myself or friends for my little ones, so these are all very honest reviews!

One of my best buys of last year was this giant bean bag, it is fantastic, he will lay on it and watch TV/his ipad/the lights and fold it in half and it makes it more solid and it doubles up as a seat to play his adorable little Ukulele on, and to just chill out on, its wonderful. It’s big enough so that both him and his sister can fit on it with a gap between them! He loves the feel of the beans in the inside too and the sound of them when he rolls about on it! The cover on this one can be taken off and washed if needs be and it is also waterproof so it means that I don’t have to be worried about drinks and the such on it! This is the one I got and you can get it in lots of different colors! I chose the purple as its a nice color for both boys and girls it is also dark so hides stains a little ;] heres the link >>ย  [Click Here]

This is another of his favorites and is one of the best things for calming him down. My best friend got him this for Christmas as she knew that he would love to watch the lights on it, its a wonderful thing and such a thoughtful gift too! I was so surprised by how well it covered the whole living room in wonderful stars and moons in lots of colors! You can have it so that there is just one color, two,three or four! There is also a setting so that it can rotate, be still or flash! We prefer the rotating one with two colors! Sometimes all four is just a bit too much going on for my little man! Though my little girl loves when all four colors are on and rotating as she thinks its like a dance party! This also comes with a cover so that it is just on the lights itself, we don’t use this much as he likes to lay down on his bean bag and watch it all on the roof and walls! This light can be bought on amazon and is such a bargain! I would recommended getting a wall plug for a usb too, as it goes through a lot of batteries if you have it on as much as we do! It comes with the wire to be plugged into a usb! [Click Here]

He really loves this Fiber Optic light, it fades from color to color slowly, when he is having a tough day or is in the middle of a meltdown this really helps! I brush it along his legs,feet,hands,tummy etc and it really relaxes him! He loves to use it as a paintbrush on the floor and watch the colors change! Unfortunately for the dog he also likes to use it on her fur and watch it change color! Fortunately enough she sleeps through it all and doesn’t bat an eyelid! I bought this in sainsburys(supermarket).. and i actually went back the next day and bought another couple as they were on sale and he loves it! I didn’t want to risk it breaking and being stuck without out! I’m sure you can get them on amazon too, but I wont provide a link as I cant say that they work well etc! sorry!

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Finally we have this cute little tent which is from Ikea! [Click Here To Have A Look]
He would spend all day inside here, happy as larry! The only downside is that he wants me to go in it with him too.. which is OK for a short while, until I have to do other mum things like make dinner or do the washing! He uses this as a little escape pod idea, if he needs time out, his sister is being too nosey, or there is just too much going on for him!

His favorite thing of all though is when we put these all together! The bean bag inside the circus tent, and the stary light up close to the outside with the lights off in the room. He will lay on the beanbag, watching the stars. It means that if he is having a real hard time when he head-bangs he can’t hurt himself, I know that he is safe and can try and keep myself in check to calm him down the best I can too. He will than lay in here a while once he has calmed, standingย  up to try and catch the stars and loves the sound of the tent when he hits it. So i will hit the top of it and shake it so it soothes him with the noise as well.
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All these items are just fantastic and really do change his life for the better.
If you have any other suggestions on things your little ones have that really help them or things you have yourself please let me know!
Hope these ideas have helped some of you too! =] They are all decent prices, as i have found a lot of the sensory items have huge price tags, so I have compromised and these work fantastically for us, for now!
Oh and don’t forget the bubble machine! Everyone loves bubbles!

WeeOhana

0

Mums & Tots!

When I was at my CDC appointment with my little man they recommended a mums and tots group that was just for children who attended the unit as they know how hard it can be to go to other mums and tots with lots of children/noise etc! So I thought I would give it a bash!

When I would go to other mums & tots he couldn’t handle the noise, amount of people, amount of toys.. everything was just a giant sensory over load so he would go into a meltdown. This would consist of him screaming/crying/throwing himself to the floor/hitting his head off the floor/running at walls/scratching at himself.. people would stare, which made me feel extremely anxious, upset, judged and many other things. The leaders of the mums & tots would come over and sing/give him toys/try to help.. but obviously that just made it worse. Obviously they are trying to help and didn’t know what else to try/do.. so I ended up leaving and taking him to the car to settle him down, I would say to myself that maybe he would like a different mums & tots, that I would try others. Believe me, I tried several different mums & tots, I think I went to all of the ones in my area, but in the end I gave up. The longest I managed to stay at one with him was 15 minutes. When we first went in, he hated it, So I gave him my phone and sat him on my knee for him to watch Morph and accept what was going on around him and hopefully join in. A lady beside me made a comment about how he should be off playing with the other children and enjoying himself like a normal child rather than sitting playing on my phone. I didn’t even bother to reply.. I picked him up and left. I made a group decision for him and me, that we wouldn’t go back to a mums & tots for a long time.

Until when I was at my CDC appointment and they told me about the mums & tots I thought it sounded fantastic, it still took me a few weeks to go to it, to get over my anxiety of the looks/ what ifs and so forth! When I went, I couldn’t understand why I had put it off!

Its a fantastic mums & tots ran by a wonderful group. When we first went in, he wasn’t too happy.. so the lovely ladies there got out the bubble machine and then went away from him. He sat on my knee for while watching the bubbles, then he got up and started popping the bubbles then ran off and saw all the other wonderful things they had. The ladies then got me stuff to fill in while chatted to me about what they did and what was going on with my handsome man.
There was only 5 other children there, in a big hall with all the toys spaced out and a wonderful sensory room. It was fantastic, he pottered about by himself happy as larry without a care in the world. It was wonderful to see, and I chatted to a few of the mums, some of them in a very similar situations to me, it was great to speak to others who are going through the same sort of thing, who know what its like to still be feeding your two year old 10+ month food.

We now go every week and when we pull up outside the hall his little face lights up and he starts flapping in the wonderfully excited way that he does! Its great, to get out of the house and for us both to enjoy ourself and relax.

Is there anywhere that your children especially enjoy? Places they really don’t like?

WeeOhana xx