Bug Hunt

I love creating different “hunting” activities for Trevor.  Hunting for items is a great way to incorporate all sorts of skills into one fun event.  You work on gross motor skills (climbing, walking, squatting), fine motor skills (picking up small objects, putting them in a container), communication skills (concepts like over, under, on top of, below, etc.), cognitive skills (colors, counting, sizes), as well as motor planning and body awareness.

 

This is a super easy activity t0 set up too.  I put the bugs from  Trevor’s Melissa and Doug Bag of Bugs set in different spots all over our yard.  Then I gave him a bug collection container that we got from The Dollar Tree for him to put the bugs in once he found them.  The kit also came with tweezers, which will be great once his fine motor skills are more developed.  He can’t use the tweezers yet, but if your little one can then go ahead and add the challenge of picking up the bugs with tweezers!

 

Ready to go on a Bug Hunt!

Finding one of the bugs:

Putting a bug in the container:

He climbed up on the picnic table all by himself to get a bug.  Way to go, buddy!

I also put a bug up in his play structure so that he’d have to work on climbing the ladder (with help of course):

We didn’t want to leave the vestibular sense out of the mix, so we swung after we collected all the bugs.  Weeeeee!

Trevor absolutely loved going on a Bug Hunt.  He wanted me to hide them again and again.  It was great because he’s been so resistant to therapy type activities lately, so this was a fun way to sneak those ideas in.  I actually had to make him go inside because I was hot, sore and tired (this pregnancy is really starting to wipe me out again as I approach the third trimester).

I hope you all have as much fun doing this activity as Trevor did!

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Looking Forward to the Next Chapter

I’ve been a little nervous about the big change in Trevor’s life when he turns 3.  At age 3 he ages out of Early Intervention and will be getting new therapists and starting preschool.  Our routines will have to change, and we all know how important routine is to Trevor!

In light of the upcoming transition we were put on a waitlist to start private therapies.  We were fortunate enough to be able to start with his new therapies about 6 weeks before he turns 3, and today we had our first appointment with his new OT.  I’m relieved that his new OT really seems to get him.  She’s very friendly and easy to talk to, which is always a great thing to find in a therapist.  The clinic is a bit more of a drive for us than his EI Center is, but they have way more resources and equipment, so that’s wonderful to see.

After today’s session I have a new-found excitement for all of these changes.  I think it’s going to be great for Trevor to get new therapists and new routines.  It will be nice to have a fresh perspective on him.  It will still be sad to say good-bye to the teachers and therapists that have worked with Trevor these past 2 years through Early Intervention, but I have a lot of hope that this new chapter in his life will be very beneficial for him.

Taking a Ride on Charley’s Pencil

Over at the blog The Educator’s Spin On It they’re having some alphabet fun with books written by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood.  Since Trevor loves Alphabet Mystery and Alphabet Rescue so much I thought it would be fun to join in and create an activity for him.  In both books the boy featured in them, Charley, has an alphabet that rides off on his pencils on different adventures.  So I decided to make Trevor his very own alphabet pencil.

What You Need:

  • Computer and Printer
  • Colored Paper
  • Contact Paper
  • Velcro
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Markers

How to Make it:

  1. Using a word processor type out all the lower case letters of the alphabet.
  2. Print the letters out and cut each one out.
  3. Glue the letters onto colored paper.
  4. Cut the letters out so that they have a colored border.
  5. Use contact paper (or a laminator if you’re lucky enough to have one) to cover the letters.
  6. Cut them out again.
  7. Attach your Velcro to the back of the letters.
  8. Using yellow paper, cut out strips and tape together to create your pencil.
  9. Using white paper, cut out a triangle to make the pointed end of the pencil, and cut out a rectangle for the eraser.
  10. Use markers to turn the triangle into a pencil end and the rectangle into an eraser.  Tape to the ends of the yellow paper to finish off the pencil.
  11. Attach your Velcro letters to the pencil and have fun with Charley’s Pencil!

Trevor loves having his very own Charley’s Pencil.  I tacked it up on a wall so that he can explore the letters whenever he wants.  You can do all sorts of letter activities once you make this.  You can have the child hunt for the letters of the alphabet by saying the letter name, or by saying the letter sound.  You can even take the letters off the pencil and spell sight words.

 

Pointing out a letter:

 

Showing off the letter “o”:

 

He wanted to spell “duck”:

 

Summertime and the Living’s (not so) Easy

Trevor has been a major sensory seeker lately.  Being pregnant is not helping my patience with him and I realized we needed a break.  Luckily the weather has finally gotten nice, so we went for a walk down at the local riverfront park.  Going for a walk is always a great way to relax and decompress when you’re stressed out.  Plus, with this great weather I was able to take Trevor out of the stroller and let him play in the sand down by the river.  If there’s anything better than a big sandy beach for a sensory seeker I don’t know what it is!  Trevor loved digging in the sand with both his hands and feet.  He crawled all over the beach and even rolled around in the sand, haha 🙂  He definitely needed the tactile input of the sand today.  It was the perfect thing for both of us.

Beautiful view:

Having fun with sand toys:
Digging:
Crawling all over the sandy beach:
He loved having his feet buried:
Showing off his cattail (he said it looked like a hedgehog).  It’s funny how some days he’s a seeker, and some days he’s an avoider.  A few days ago this spiky cattail would have sent him into meltdown mode.
While it was great to get out and enjoy the weather and the sand, we did hit one bump today.  Another little boy came over and wanted to play with Trevor.  While Trevor wants to play with other kids, he just has no clue how.  Trevor was laughing hysterically and enjoying himself, but the fact that he doesn’t really play with or talk to other kids makes it tough.  The other little boy got mad and threw sand at Trev 😦
I feel fortunate that Trevor doesn’t understand that the boy was being mean to him, but it did hurt my heart and made me worry about his future.  I really hope preschool is the magic ticket that gets Trevor’s social skills up to where they should be.  Although it definitely was wrong of the other kid to throw sand at Trevor, I do understand that Trevor is different.  I hope this isn’t the first instance in a long line of Trevor getting bullied.  I hope that other kids accept Trevor for the magical little man that he is.  Because he truly is special and has a lot to offer the world, even if he does it in a different way.

A Beautiful Mind

Trevor learns through perseveration.  It’s easy to get frustrated or even annoyed at times by his intense need to perseverate on a subject.  But while it can be exhausting to fulfill Trevor’s need to perseverate, it is also beautiful to watch and something that needs to be celebrated.

Trevor has always loved to label things, so a few months ago we got him a placemat with a map of the United States on it.  Just by looking at the map at mealtimes and having me label the states he learned the names and locations of all 50 states and the major bodies of water.  And he didn’t just memorize the placemat.  He actually knows by their shape what all of the states are.  We inherited a board book that shows all 50 states individually and he can name those too.  Within the past week he started to question why there were stars on the states in his book so I told him about capitals.  He now knows the capitals of the states too.  It is just amazing to watch his mind develop.

And on the 4th of July he did something that amazes me even more than having a better understanding of US geography at 2 years old than most adults do.  He read his first sight word.  He was outside playing with his dump truck when Todd walked up to him.  Todd said “Are you playing with your dump truck, buddy?” and Trevor said “His name is cat.”  On the front bumper of the dump truck the word CAT is imprinted on the license plate.  We have never told him what the license plate on the dump truck says.  I thought it had to be an amazing coincidence so I asked him how he knew the dump truck’s name and he pointed at the sticker that said CAT.  I knew he memorized the alphabet, but to actually have memorized a sight word at his age blows my mind.

I am so very lucky to be this boy’s mother.  His development is all over the place, with some skills being delayed and some being advanced.  It is an honor to watch him grow and develop.  He is definitely one of a kind and although that can make life tough at times, it also makes for an amazing adventure.

Patriotic Ice Play

Ever since he played with his frozen pirate ships, Trevor has been in love with ice play.  When I saw a star-shaped ice cube tray in the Dollar Spot at Target I knew Trevor would have a blast playing with the star-shaped ice.  In honor of Independence Day I colored the ice red and blue by adding one drop of food coloring to each star before freezing them.  It’s always fun to put a holiday twist on our sensory play!

We did 2 different projects with these ice cubes.  First I let him do some ice cube painting, and then when that had run it’s course I took the paper out of the bin and added water.  Trevor always loves splashing!

The red and blue ice cubes:

White paper lined in the bottom of a plastic bin for ice cube painting:

Exploring the ice cubes:

Shaking the bin and watching the ice slide across the paper:

His beautiful artwork in progress:

Playing with the ice cubes and water:

Having so much fun: