Princess Ky Background - The cutest blog on the block

Monday, October 31, 2011

File Folder Games for Fall (Halloween Too)

This was one crazy busy weekend for our family.  Before it was over, Kylie had been in her Halloween costume no less than 6 times.  We had a blast as a family! 

I will be sharing pics as I get them cropped and formatted, but here is a sneak peak.

However, in addition to all the Holiday Happenings this weekend, My fabulous hubby gave me some time to put together 5 Fall themed File folder Games for Kylie.  November starts THIS WEEK and I am trying to pull everything together for my November themes.

These ideas are not original with me.  Most of them come from Preschool Printables, Learning Center World and File Folder Fun.

I was unaware of how much TIME it takes to put these together.  It looked so easy (well, it IS easy, but they take a long time to make - especially if you make them to last by laminating everything)

Here's a few pics of our Fall File Folder Fun in action.

Halloween Number Game:
The Ghosts have the numbers written on them alphabetically.  You match those to the numeral on each pumpkin stem.

This one is called "Halloween Number Names" (from Learning Center World)

"Pumpkin Alphabet" by File Folder Fun
Pumpkin Alphabet was a real draw for Kylie.  I modified this one so that you fill in the missing letters, but then also so you can match all the letters to their pumpkins.

Scarecrow Colors:
This one, I also modified so that not only do you match the colors, but I also made a color free set with just the alphabetical wording on them so she matches the color words to their colors.

"Scarecrow Colors" by Preschool Printables
Here she is matching the colors

And, of course, it wouldn't be a good day if we didn't line them all up...
But notice they are not lined up in the order of the color of the rainbow... Progress in being flexible!!
Here she is matching the all white scarecrows with their colored matches

 Turkey Lurkey:
I made her two Turkey Lurkey games - one for colors and one for numbers/counting.  She is boycotting the number one because you have to "work" to count the dots on the Turkey's chest and then match the correct number.  She will do it with prompting only. 

However, she loves the color one. This isn't just solid colors either.  The Turkeys are very colorful making it a bit more challenging

"Turkey Lurkey Number Match" and "Turkey Lurkey Color Match"  by Preschool Printables
This one is "work" for Kylie. 
She is really smart and can do it, she just doesn't want to take the time to do it.
I love that they are so colorful and appealing to the eye.

We have had a really productive weekend and Kylie has really enjoyed this addition to her learning/therapy tools.  She gets them out as she wants them and she has been really good about putting the pieces back into their bags. 

However... This pic better sums up our weekend.... Very little work and a whole lot of SILLY!!

More pics to come and

Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Scented Playdough - A Pumpkin Carving Alternative

Pumpkin Scented Play Dough is a great activity that will give you many fun and memorable times as a family. Mold it, enjoy the scent, make ornaments, use it for therapy purposes, the fun options are limitless.

Pumpkin Pie Scented Play Dough

You will need the following:

* 2 1/2 cups flour
* 1 cup salt
* 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
* 5 tablespoons cooking oil
* 1 ounce pumpkin pie spice
* Orange food coloring (2 parts yellow to 1 part red, 15 drops total)
* 2  cups water


* Mix all dry ingredients together. 
* Add liquid ingredient except for food coloring.
* Mix well.

* Add Food coloring.
* Mix well. 

*Cook in a saucepan (using medium heat). 
*Stir until the mixture becomes thick and forms a ball (pulling away from the sides of the pan). 

* Using wooden spoon, form dough into a ball. 
* Place on waxed paper to cool. 

* Once cool, knead completely.
* Store in an airtight container (I wrap it in waxed paper for extra protection and to preserve scent even longer, then store it in airtight container).

I came up with this formula last year (2010) and it turned out great. I pulled it out a week ago and it is still perfectly soft and in great shape (after a year in storage). This is a QUALITY recipe.

We LOVE it!!

I'd love to see the creations your family dreams up with this awesome pumpkin scented playdough! Post pics if you get a chance!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Pretty Kitty - Making Kylie's Halloween Costume!

Usually by September, I know exactly what Kylie is going to be for Halloween and usually have everything ready.  Well, this year, I had NOTHING ready at all!!  I was drawing a total blank! 

So, I began to browse websites, pay attention in stores, look through magazines and NOTHING was jumping out and me.  Kylie wasn't attached to any idea either.

We were quite the undecisive pair.

Then, on a casual shopping trip, we were in a Clair's Boutique (which is Kylie's "routine" when we are in that particular mall) and we stumbled on a cat/leopard set.  It was $12 and came with cat ears, cat tail, cat paws and a gemstone tattoo of a cat nose and whiskers (They must be sold out of it as I can't find it on the website.  I'd post the link if I could find it). 

I knew I had seen leopard print shoes at Target and my brain started churning out ideas faster than I could keep up. 

(I also scored a leopard print coat at the Take2 Sale for $2.50 - cha ching!!  I'm so excited!!)

We immediately went to the JoAnn fabric store and purchased 3 yards of Black, Brown and Tan/Gold tulle, 3 yards of elastic and then some clear (diamond looking) stick-on gems (in the dollar aisle).

I went home, measured my little one and went to work making the TuTu for her costume.

The process is really easy (and a no-sew project:  my favorite!!)

1. Measure your child's waist, Then add 10 inches extra. (This is the excess you need to tie the tutu.)
2. Mark off the actual measurement of your child's waste on the elastic with 5 extra inches on either side.
3. Then measure The length you want the tutu to be and double that number. 
4. Cut your tulle pieces 5 inches wide and make them as long as the number you figured in step #3
5. Tie the pieces of Tulle to the elastic (I like the effect of alternating the colors).  Put 50% of your piece of tulle on one side of the elastic and 50% on the other side.  Tie it in a knot.
6. Make sure you snug up each tied piece of tool to the next one (this will make your tutu extra fluffy)
7. Go all the way around the elastic until you have completed your child's waste measurement
8. Adhere your gemstones to the tulle in random order (I used a hot glue gun as the adhesive wasn't sticky enough)

Here's the finished product! (and I am sure there will be more and better pics to come closer to Halloween)

As you can tell, she LOVES it!!
She has even been practicing her "meow" - so much fun!!

Happy Halloween!!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Center Grove Orchard Fun - A great way to celebrate fall!

Center Grove Orchard - Fall 2011

I wrote yesterday about Kylie's Sound Sensitivity and how it impacted our visit to Center Grove Orchard.

We did manage to have a good time (when we could dodge people and find a few semi-quiet places)

Enjoy sharing in our day...

A stolen moment in the old fashioned school house

We skipped the "official" orchard sign (and the huge line of people that went with it) and found a simple pot of fall flowers.  (You can tell the sound is starting to get to her.  It was shortly after this pic that she started putting her hands over her ears)
She loves to have her picture taken with mannequins (and scarecrows) - maybe because they don't talk??  =0)
Kylie LOVES animals.  Even stinky goats!
Kylie and the White Rabbit.  (Have I mentioned she has a "thing" for Alice in Wonderland? Both "Alice" and "Henry" (we don't know where he came from) live at our house and are Kylie's imaginary friends.)
Playing at the Mad Hatter's Tea Table
Pouring Tea... one of her favorite things.  We could have stayed under this tree all day.
In the old fashioned school house - What a student!
Can you say "detention"??
Bored in school??
(actually, she started to see a group of people enter the school house)
Watching Daddy be silly. 
We figured out we can make her smile if we sing "How much is that doggy in the window" (she starts to laugh and tells us to "turn that off" - so funny!)
Favorite thing: Jumping Pillow
She jumped so high!! She was loving it!
more jumping
The corn ocean: Kylie normally LOVES this, but she couldn't take it this year with all the kids screaming.
She pretty much was attached to our legs and begged to leave. (not-like-her-at-all)
The end of our fun day - and ready to go to ....
PIZZA RANCH (Kylie's favorite place to eat)

It was a fun day - though a difficult one for our precious girl.  We might try to go back in November and see if she doesn't do better with less people around.  We'll see.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When Hearing Hurts - A Sensitivity to Sound

Does anyone notice a theme to these pictures?

We tried to go to the Center Grove Orchard on Saturday.  We absolutely LOVE it there and have made many great memories there in years past.  We love the corn ocean, jumping pillow, tractor ride, corn maze, animals, and all the other great attractions, but for some reason, Kylie had a REALLY hard time this year: The sound was just too much for her.

Sensitivity to Sound (light, texture, motion, smells and so many other sensory things) is extremely common for children and adults who experience Autism (in any form).  It impacts their daily living in ways we cannot fathom. 
Things have gotten a little easier for us since Kylie has gotten older and has learned some coping strategies (putting her hands over her ears, saying or signing to us that it is "too loud" or that she "needs a break").  But, it is still VERY difficult to interact socially when you suffer so much from the sensitivity of your senses. 

If we are with other children and they squeal with delight over something fun and exciting, that puts Kylie in a tail-spin, she cannot duck, cower and cover her ears fast enough.  Her anxiety elevates and she wants nothing more than to vacate the premises.  If we are with adults, and they give a round of applause to a performer - the same is true.  These common, everyday occurrences cause physical pain for our girl.

It breaks my heart to know how these things impact her.  I can see her face visibly change when people enter a room.  She knows it is coming- the pain, the discomfort.  She scoots closer to me and many times hides behind my leg or squats in a corner trying to "block out" the world. 

We can't "turn off" the world, so how do we help our girl navigate through it?

We avoid crowded and chaotic areas as much as possible.  We spend much of our time with our hands over Kylie's ears, or with one hand over one ear and her other ear pressed into our leg to muffle the sound.  We warn her when we know sound is coming and let her know that it is "ok" to put her hands over her ears if she needs to.
It is a marvel to us.  Some days she does just fine and other days even the swish of a grocery sack is too much for her to bear. She enjoys music, but cannot handle the cry of a baby. She can hear a train from miles and miles away several minutes before Dan or I can hear it.

Our girl is made in an amazing way and she has talents that go beyond anything I can imagine.  I wonder a lot what her "thing" will be.  Will she be an artist? an engineer? a writer? a caregiver? How is God planning to use that super sensitive hearing?

There is a perfect plan prepared for my girl.  I am excited to learn what that will be.  Until then, we will do our best to cultivate her talents, guard her from the things that hurt her and do our best to integrate her into society as painlessly as we can.

If you think of it, whisper a prayer for a little girl who feels pain every time she exits her front door.  The world is a scary and painful place for her. 

This mommy and daddy would be so grateful!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lucky Pumpkin Game- An October Activity

I can take absolutely NO credit for this post.  This idea did not originate with me, but I thought it was so great that I wanted to share it with all my friends in blog world.

One of Kylie's Occupational Therapists (Marsha) came up with a way to adapt the game "Lucky Ducks" for Fall/October. 

Kylie LOVES it!!

While shopping at Dollar Tree one afternoon, (see? I LOVE Dollar Tree), Marsha found some mini, plastic, pumpkins in the candy aisle.  They actually hold a citrus flavored powder (like a pixie stick).  They are packaged in a clear box and there are 6 pumpkins in each box (6 pumpkins for $1).

You would need 2 boxes of pumpkins to make a complete game, but you could always adapt the game to work with however many you have.

Marsha also found a package of 12 foam sheet pumpkins (all 12 for $1- you will only need 4 of the 12)

She put garage sale colored dots on the bottom of the plastic pumpkins (4 in each color of red, yellow, blue and green).

On the back of one of the foam pumpkins, she put 4 red dots.  On another pumpkin she put 4 blue dots and so on...  (I only had 3 colors, so I only used 3 dots)

This is the "fast version" of play for Lucky Pumpkins

This version is a bit harder so it takes a little longer to play

Then, you play "Lucky Pumpkins" the same way you play "Lucky Ducks".  

I thought this little narrative on the original directions was cute.  For Lucky Pumpkins, you would modify it to "rolled down to the pumpkin patch", "spent all day playing", and etc.

Game Play:  Each player (starting with the youngest player) takes a turn picking up a pumpkin and trying to match the dot on the bottom of the plastic pumpkin to the dots on their pumpkin card.  It is a little more difficult than a memory game as the pumpkins travel around the moving pond (- or you could call the pond a "pumpkin patch").

To Win: The first player to collect all their required pumpkins, wins.

As soon as we got out of therapy that day, I made a bee-line for Dollar Tree and bought the pumpkins and foam cards.  We didn't own the game "Lucky Ducks" so I checked Craigs List and found one for $1.50 (SCORE!!)

This game - which can be played multiple ways, has cost me all of $3.50!!

We have also been working on teaching Kylie how to take turns.  To make it easy for her to remember whose turn is next, we give her a little reminder card.

Kylie is easily distracted and tires easily so this has helped her have more endurance and requires less "remembering" so we can work on other skills as well.

Kylie paitently waiting to play

As Kylie gets older, we can adapt the game again to accommodate math problems (The answers to problems can be on the pumpkins and the actual equation can be on the foam pumpkins).

P.S. The pink case that is housing my pumpkins came from Michael's Craft Store (Their receipts are printing coupons for 40-50% off any item not on sale.)

Have you ever adapted a toy or game? or do you have a creative October activity to share? I'd love to hear about it!

Kylie Wins!!