Week 6 of our holidays ~ the final week! 

We made it!!! I can’t believe the end of the summer holidays is here! We have managed a lot of sensory and craft activities and it’s kept Lou going, along with some play dates, trips out, parties and weekly sessions at the SMILE therapy centre in Malvern. As with any plans, we didn’t achieve everything and had to alter things here and there depending on the weather and availability of materials. But I’m proud of what we’ve achieved. 

This week: 

1. Family time.

On bank holiday Monday we had a family barbecue and Lou received a watch ready for starting school. Lou has been fascinated with time for a while now and she’s picking it up really well. It helps her to understand things like “when the hand gets to the 6 it’s time to…” 

The girls also received a play kitchen as a gift. Playing ‘shops’ has been a favourite for a while now, this kept them occupied for hours! 

2. Last play therapy session of these holidays.

On Tuesday Lou had her weekly session at the SMILE Centre in Malvern. We were lucky that it was a beautiful day and we were able to visit the park opposite the centre. The girls were so happy to see that there were baby ducklings! We absolutely love Malvern, it’s one of my all time favourite places, I hope to take the girls up the Malvern Hills when they are a bit older. 

This week’s SMILE session was for Lou to make her own scones. I was amazed that the recipe that the staff had found used lemonade and double cream with self-raising flour to create the scones, which I’d never heard of before! Lou was able to feel the textures of all the ingredients and absolutely loved mixing it all together with her hands, the mixture foamed up once the lemonade was added! Lou got the chance to try Lemonade for the first time but she wasn’t keen as she said: “the bubbles are getting in my face!” 

The scones were baked and we got to taste them and took loads home! It’s amazing how we couldn’t tell the difference with using these ingredients to the usual way we’ve made scones with butter! 

They were delicious served with butter and jam! 

Here’s the recipe for these type of scones: 

3 ingredient scones
3. Flour paint.

We decided to experiment with textured paint by adding flour to the paint. This was popular with Lou who immediately wanted to explore the texture on her hands! She enjoyed creating handprints. 

We also used bottles to create flower prints. 

I’ve defintely found that it’s been beneficial to plan activity ideas for school holidays and I’ll do the same for October half term. 

Thanks for reading 🙂 

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My 5 favourite photos from August 

A bit belated… 

But I’ve had uniform and school items to sort out, but here are my 5 favourite photos from the month of August:

This image just sums up Lou’s love of sensory and messy play! She’s had a thoroughly great time exploring lots of different materials during these summer holidays.
This is my favourite dress of Moo’s she may not have long left to wear it as she’s growing so fast and we’ll soon be into Autumn. Just love her in this hat, as Lou used to wear it too.
This was taken during our visit to All Things Wild (Animal Park) this was Lou’s impression of a T Rex! She’s got such a great sense of humour and likes to make people laugh! She’s also been doing some amusing ‘photo bombing’ this month!
Moo is getting more independent now at the park, she loves climbing through this tunnel and shouting: “Hiya!”
This has to be my favourite still life photo of the whole month. I love this memorial sculpture. 

I can’t wait to see what September brings! The obligatory ‘First Day of School’ photos! And changing seasons I can’t wait to get out and photograph, Autumn is my favourite season 🙂 

Thanks for reading 🙂 

A Family Fund Post, Leisure Activities

July Family Fund Blog Post.

A little background information

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This is Amber she is 4 years old and has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) with traits of ADHD and Autism.

Amber has a younger sister Maisie who is 15 months old and lives with Mummy – Nicki and Daddy – Paul in a village in Worcestershire.
Amber is a lively little girl who’s always on the go, she finds it difficult to control her emotions and frustration. She requires a calm place if it all gets too much at home. Amber is a ‘Sensory Seeker’ and therefore will thrive on all sensory experiences, the messier the better! Family Fund provided Amber with a grant for Sensory toys and equipment from Learning SPACE and sessions at a local multi-sensory centre called SMILE (Sensation Movement Interaction in Life Experiences) at ARCOS (Association for Rehabilitation of Communication and Oral skills,) in Malvern, Worcestershire. We have noticed a marked improvement in Amber’s ability to cope with sensory overload, frustration and anger and will use the toys and equipment in her calm place.

Keeping active.

As Amber has a great deal of energy, activities that ensure she burns this energy are of great benefit. She is very happy to try out any activity that allows her to run around and be free of constraints. She is looking forward to her Pre School Sports Day in July, and enjoyed practising recently. Amber has expressed that she would like to ask Father Christmas for a trampoline for the garden this Christmas, so already forward planning! We feel that a Trampoline would be a great addition for those times when she just wants to be constantly active and it all gets a bit too much for her indoors.

 

When Amber reached 4 her father and I discussed the possibility of a leisure activity to help build friendships and give her the opportunity to burn off the great amount of energy she has. Amber had expressed that she would like to try Ballet. I emailed ahead and explained Amber’s interest in the class and also some of the difficulties she experiences. We went along to the Saturday morning class, Amber seemed quite anxious as the waiting room was full of parents and their children and she clung onto me. The dance studio was spacious and Amber saw the opportunity to run around in circles. She was curious at first about what the other children in the class were doing but as her attention span is short she wanted to return to where I was sat for reassurance as this was a completely new experience for her. The other children had all been asked to take a teddy along to the class and unfortunately this request hadn’t been given to us, and this completely threw Amber and she could only concentrate on the fact that she didn’t have her teddy. Amber then wanted to run around the class, who were sat in a circle. The class teacher said to Amber “Please could you stop running around as it’s distracting the other girls.” This did upset me as I had told the teacher about Amber’s difficulties and especially as it was a completely new experience for her. Amber then approached me and said “Mummy I want to go home.” So we left the class, and she had a complete meltdown outside whilst on the way home.

We didn’t want to give up on an activity just yet and a friend recommended a local Football scheme for 3 to 5 year olds called ‘Footie Bugs.’ Again, I emailed ahead to the scheme leader and they were most helpful and understanding of Amber’s additional needs. Amber had to take in all the sounds from the large sports hall and being around unfamiliar adults and children, but for her first session we were impressed that she enjoyed kicking the ball about and joined in when a game of ‘Sharks’ was played! Towards the end of the 45 minute class Amber was tired and ran out of the sports hall but she was happy to return each week for a further 12 sessions. There was no pressure for her to join in as she could kick a ball around at the side of the sports hall and she wouldn’t disrupt the rest of the class. The classes are great as you can pick them up as and when required by booking in 6 week blocks, and still run through school holidays. What kept Amber engaged was that each weekly session would be based on a theme, whether it was Space, Zoo animals or Under the Sea. Amber particularly responded to the theme of ‘Superheros’ as at the time she had an interest in being ‘Spidergirl!’ The class leader would support Amber and another child during the session, especially if it looked like she was losing concentration.

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I had a great rapport with the leader and she would check how Amber was progressing. The absolute highlight of the session was when Amber got to bring the group mascot ‘Footie Bug’ home and we wrote in his diary about the week he’d spent at home with Amber!

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From September Amber starts full-time at school, we are waiting to see how she settles in and then hope to try either a gym class, street dance or swimming lessons as she is anxious about getting into the swimming pool, but has expressed an interest in giving it a try. There seems to be more variety of activities once children reach the age of 5.