World Rare Disease Day

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Today is World Rare Disease Day.  1 in 10 people are affected by a rare or genetic disease, and yet the support for those (and their families) that are afflicted by a genetic condition is minimal.  Today is all about raising awareness for the millions of people worldwide who are affected by their rare genes.

My own son is rare.  He has a duplication on his second chromosome which has caused some developmental delays, but also some gifts.  He is an amazing child despite (and because of) his struggles. I love my rare boy!

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Fabric Treasure Basket for Babies

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I first saw the idea of creating Treasure Baskets on another blog, The Imagination Tree.  I fell in love with the idea of gathering up everyday objects for little ones to explore!  So now that Paige is 4 months old and reaching for everything I thought it would be a great time to create her first Treasure Basket.

All I did was grab a basket we had lying around the house (you could also use a storage bin or even a cardboard box, this idea is so adaptable) and filled it with different types of fabric.  I used washcloths, burp rags, kitchen towels, etc.  They were all of varying textures, sizes, and colors.  I chose to create a fabric basket first because Paige has been loving chewing on material lately.  It was fun to watch her explore the different materials and she definitely enjoyed it too 🙂

I also varied her positions as she explored the material so she could work on her gross motor skills too.  I sat her in her Bumbo and also lay her on both her back and tummy while giving her the different treasures.

I look forward to creating new Treasure Baskets as she grows!

DIY Felt Board

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This felt board was so easy to make (and cheap too!).  I bought a yard of blue felt at a fabric store for $2.99 and a sheet of blue foam board at Wal-Mart for a little over $2.  The project only cost about $6, and it could even be done for less.  I really only needed a half yard of the felt to cover the board and I know they have foam board at the Dollar Tree (so you could realistically end up spending only about $3 on this).

To make the felt board I ironed the blue felt then cut it to size, leaving a few inches of extra fabric on each side.  Then I grabbed my stapler and stapled the excess fabric to the back of the board, making sure to pull tight.  Then I mounted it to the wall and let Trevor have fun with it!

I bought several other colors of felt at the fabric store and plan on making a bunch of different scenes and objects for him to play with.  The first thing I made were felt hearts for Valentine’s Day.  More on that later…

Bean Bin Hide and Seek

Lately I’ve been making more of an effort to have Trevor to play in his sensory bins.  The experience really does help calm and regulate him.  With Paige’s birth I definitely was slacking with his sensory diet and it showed.  With organizing the playroom, getting his sensory materials in order was the first order of business.  His sensory bins are more accessible now and he’s really taken a new interest in them.  And the results of this increase in sensory play are wonderful 🙂

He’s been having a lot of fun playing Hide & Seek with his bean bin.  We use a bunch of little character toys (Toy Story, Mickey and Friends, etc.) that I picked up at the Dollar Tree.  We bury them under the beans and then he finds them.  He thinks it’s hilarious if I sing about his toys to the tune of “Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?” (Oh Where, oh where has Mickey gone, oh where, oh where could he be?) when he digs for them.

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What are your kids’ favorite sensory bin activities?

Throw Pillow Toss

One thing Trevor’s been working on in PT lately are his ball skills.  In talking with his school PT recently I discovered he’s been a little resistant to working on throwing and kicking with her.  To participate he needs tons of prompting, praise, and still he prefers to just watch his friends play.  He really isn’t into playing with balls at home either.  The kid just doesn’t want to try things that are difficult for him right now.  Three-year-olds sure have minds of their own!

So I decided to take the whole ball part out of the ball skills equation and trick him into get him working on those same skills in a fun way 😉  I gathered up a bunch of throw pillows from our guest bed and we had a Throw Pillow Toss.  Pillows are a great way to work on throwing and catching because they’re soft, lightweight, and small.  They don’t hurt when they hit you, and of course squishing the pillows is a lot of fun too.

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What fun and creative ways have you come up with to work on those skills your kids just don’t want to practice?