Friday, January 19, 2018

Free Visual Schedule Printables to Help Kids with Daily Routines

Visual schedules, or visual daily routine charts, are a wonderful way to help ease transitions and reduce meltdowns for children. This list of free printable visual schedule pictures will make those daily routines a breeze!

There are many benefits to using a visual schedule at home, and at school, with your children. They can be a powerful tool for keeping your child organized, providing independence, and reducing meltdowns, for instance.

I remember when we were first introduced to using visual schedule pictures at home and it was simply life changing for us! Due to J's hyperlexia, he thrives when there is written text because, when it comes to hyperlexia, if it is not written down, it may not exist. So I spent an afternoon whipping up our very own visual schedule and quickly put it into use at home. Having a visual daily routine visible to him really reduced anxiety and frustration for him and dramatically improved our day-to-day-life.

So if you are looking to help your autistic kids with their daily routines and transitions, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of these free visual schedules printables for kids.

Free visual schedule printables to help kids with daily routines & transitions from And Next Comes L

Awesome Free Printable Visual Schedule Pictures for Home

I have always been a big fan of consistent daily routines for our children. Knowing what comes next helps reduce frustration and meltdowns. So using picture schedule cards for home can be a great way to help your kids with their daily routines. Here are some wonderful visual routine cards for kids that are free to download.

1. Free Visual Schedule Printable

2. Daily Visual Schedule from Natural Beach Living

3. Printable Bedtime Routine Visual Schedule from From ABCs to ACTs

4. Before & After School Visual Routines for Kids from Where Imagination Grows

5. Printable Morning Routine Visual Schedule from From ABCs to ACTs

6. Morning & Night Routine Visual Schedule from Natural Beach Living

7. Morning Routine Visual Flash Cards from Living Locurto

8. Self Care Visual Schedules from Living Well with Autism

Free Printable Visual Schedules for Preschool

Perhaps you are homeschooling or have preschool aged children? Then you're going to love these free printable pre-k visual schedules!

1. Visual School Schedule from This Reading Mama

2. Visual Schedule Printables for Preschool from No Time for Flash Cards

Other Visual Autism Resources You'll Love

Free Printable Visual Calm Down Cards for Kids

Visual Sensory Toys & Tools

Benefits of Using Visual Schedules

Free visual schedule printables to help kids with daily routines & transitions from And Next Comes L
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

50 Sensory Diet Activities

Looking to spice up your child's sensory diet program with quick and easy sensory activities? This list of sensory diet activities is perfect for your sensory seeking child!

When raising autistic kids or kids with sensory processing disorder, you often hear the phrase sensory diet mentioned. You know that incorporating sensory diet activities into your child's day makes a huge difference in their day-to-day life. Or at least I know we have!

Yet, it can be tricky to fit all the sensory activities your child needs into their day or even trickier to find the right sensory diet activities for your child.

This list of 50 easy sensory diet activities, however, will show you that you don't need to pick complicated activities and that many of the daily activities you likely already do, fit the bill for a good sensory diet activity.

List of 50 easy sensory diet activities for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

List of 50 Easy Sensory Diet Activities

Finding sensory diet activities shouldn't be complicated or use a lot of fancy materials. In fact, most of these activities are things you either already do at home or they are easy enough to do right at home with materials you have on hand. Yes, these are sensory diet activities for home!

And even if you have little ones at home, most of these activities are the perfect sensory diet activities for toddlers too!

This list of activities includes activities to provide all types of sensory input. From vestibular and proprioceptive to oral motor and auditory, this list is a great starting point to help your child get the sensory input they need.

1. Swing

Sensory swing

2. Roll like a log, in a blanket like a burrito, or down a hill

3. Hang upside down off of a couch or monkey bars

4. Ride a bike, scooter, or similar

5. Walk across a balance beam, stand on a balance board, or stand on a balance cushion

6. Spin

7. Do a handstand

8. Sit on something wobbly like a wobble stool, exercise ball, or balance cushion

9. Jump on a trampoline, bed, cushions, or similar

10. Hop like a kangaroo or using a hopper ball

11. Finger paint

12. Play with scented dough, sensory bin fillers, or similar

13. Draw with scented markers

14. Play with a sensory bin

Soap foam sensory bin

15. Get a massage

16. Listen to music, audiobooks, or nature sounds

17. Make a sensory path or walkway

18. Climb through a sensory tunnel

19. Bake cookies or bread

20. Brush skin

21. Play with textured balls

23. Rock in a rocking chair

24. Play auditory hide and seek with a musical toy

26. Crash into a crash mat or pile of pillows
27. Wear tight or snug fitting clothing like compression clothes or pressure vest

28. Blow bubbles in water using as straw

29. Sit with a weighted blanket or cushion across your lap or use a weighted vest

30. Play and knead play dough, putty, slime, or similar

31. Take a shower or a bath

32. Chew gum

33. Rub on scented lotion
34. Blow bubbles

blowing bubbles

35. Do animal walks

36. Go on a sound scavenger hunt
37. Do yoga

38. Climb into a body sock

Playing with a body sock

39. Go swimming

40. Blow dandelions, pinwheels, or a small instrument like a whistle or harmonica

42. Look at sensory bottles, lava lamps, kaleidoscope, or similar

43. Climb a tree, or on a ladder, rope ladder, rock wall, playground equipment, or similar

44. Take a scented bubble bath

46. Sleep with stretchy bed sheets

48. Play in the dark with flashlights or glow sticks

50. Lay on an exercise ball or have someone roll it across your body

Other Sensory Diet Resources You'll Love

List of 50 easy sensory diet activities for kids from And Next Comes L
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Free Calm Down Kit Printables

To help with anxiety in your child, a calm down kit can be a great way to teach your child self-regulation skills and coping skills. This collection of free calm down kit printables will help you make the perfect calm down box for your kids in no time!

Teaching your child calming strategies is so important. It helps them self-regulate, manage big emotions, and reduce stress and anxiety. One way to help young children learn coping skills is to create a calm down kit for kids.

Really anything can be put in a calm down kit, but this list of free calm down kit printables will make putting together a calm down kit for your kids a breeze.

Free printable calming strategies resources to help you put together a calm down kit for kids from And Next Comes L

Free Printables to Help You Plan Out Your Calm Down Kit for Kids

When making a homemade calming kit for kids, it can be tough to decide what to put in it. It's important to consider your child's interests, as well as their sensory preferences when putting together a calm down bin for them. Thankfully, there are these free printables to help you plan out what to put in a calm down anxiety kit for kids.

1. List of Things to Put in a Calm Down Kit for Kids

2. List of Things to Put in a Calm Down Kit for Older Kids

Free Printables to Put in Your Calm Down Kit for Kids

There are lots of different things you can put in your homemade calm down kit for kids. While fidgets and chewies are a must, many kids benefit from having visual supports to help them self-regulate and calm down. These free printable calming strategies resources make the perfect addition to any calm down kit!

4. Calming Strategies Pack from Kori at Home

5. Relaxation Prompts for Kids from The Chaos & The Clutter

6. Calm Down Tools Mini Book from The Mommy View at Views from a Step Stool

7. Breathing Exercises Cards for Kids from Childhood 101

8. Coping Skills Cards from Littles, Life, & Laughter

9. Deep Breathing Printables from Coping Skills for Kids

Free Printable Posters to Put Up in Your Calm Down Area

Having a dedicated calm down area in your house (or classroom if you are a teacher) is a wonderful idea. It gives your children a perfect place to retreat too when they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Don't have a calm down area set up yet? Check out these tips for setting up a calm down corner for kids.

1. 9 Calm Down Ideas Poster from Childhood 101

2. Take 5 Breathing Poster from Childhood 101

3. Managing Big Emotions Poster from Childhood 101

Other Ideas You'll Love

Homemade Calm Down Kits for Kids

Calm & Focused DIY Essential Oil Blend

Christmas Calm Down Kit for Kids

Free printable calming strategies resources to help you put together a calm down kit for kids from And Next Comes L
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Needs of the Hyperlexic Child

In order to know how to help a child with hyperlexia, it's important to understand the specific needs of the hyperlexic child.

When it comes to hyperlexic children, there are a variety of concerns and issues that need to be addressed. From language difficulties to social skills issues, your hyperlexic child has a complex list of needs that you, as a parent, can help them with. In particular, I have come up with a list of seven specific needs that hyperlexic children have.

A look at the specific needs of the hyperlexic child from And Next Comes L

The Specific Needs of the Hyperlexic Child

1. Your hyperlexic child needs you to learn about and understand what hyperlexia is

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to learn all you can about hyperlexia. The more you know and understand about hyperlexia, the better you can help your child flourish and the better you can advocate for your child.

While I admit there isn't a plethora of information available, I have tried my best to collect and share as much as I can here on my little old blog. Here are some resources I suggest you check out:

2. Your hyperlexic child needs extra time to process verbal requests

Verbal information is hard for these kids, especially if WH questions are involved. So be sure to give your child extra time to process what they have heard. Pause and wait for them to respond on their own time.

Or better yet, make sure you have their attention before you tell them something. It can be something as simple as touching their shoulder to gain their attention or as simple as saying "I need you to listen to my request."

3. Your hyperlexic child needs visual supports and written instructions

When it comes to your hyperlexic child, the golden rule is this: if it isn't written, it may not exist. I particularly love this quote from this hyperlexia pamphlet:

"Children may find it easier to attend to, and grasp language information that they see, better than that which they listen to."

Using things like written scripts or a visual schedule can have a tremendous impact on your child's success at home or at school. Having a whiteboard in your child's bedroom or elsewhere in your house can also be an extremely useful tool! You can write to do lists and checklists for your child on the fly to help them be more successful at accomplishing day-to-day tasks.

The bottom line is to use their strengths to their advantage. If they can read, why not use it to teach them other things?

4. Your hyperlexic child needs help with comprehension, WH questions, and communication

Hyperlexic children have problems processing language, expressing themselves, and comprehending words and emotions of others, just to name a few. Working with a speech pathologist is your best bet to helping you tackle these language issues! But here are a few resources and printables that you might find helpful:

5. Your hyperlexic child needs specific accommodations at home and in the classroom in order to be successful

Many hyperlexic children struggle with transitions, pronoun reversals, social skills, and so much more! They will need specific accommodations in place both at home and in the classroom in order for them to be successful. You can see five examples, along with some strategies to try, for five everyday tasks here.

As for the classroom, you can find a great list of classroom strategies and accommodations here.

6. Your hyperlexic child needs direct social skill teaching

Perhaps you have noticed that your child is slightly awkward when it comes to social situations. Sometimes they are unsure of how to act or respond and that can be due, in part, to their language difficulties. As this hyperlexia pamphlet describes:

"Children with hyperlexia have unusual or different responses and have difficulty developing the essential skills for interacting quickly and appropriately with peers and adults."

As a result, these children need to be taught social skills directly through modeling, role playing, rehearsing scripted exchanges, and so on. Here are some useful resources on teaching social skills:

7. Your hyperlexic child needs you to respect and follow their interests

This one is the most important, in my opinion. Hyperlexic children have intense fascinations with various things, usually letters, and you should use those interests to connect with your child. Do not discourage their interests, unless of course someone or something is being harmed. Otherwise, embrace their interests.

I find that my son's intense fascinations are a way for him to self-regulate. Just something to consider when it comes to these interests of hyperlexic children.

Other Ideas You'll Love

Hyperlexia & Hypernumeracy Resources

This is Hyperlexia {Our Story}

More Posts in the ABCs of Hyperlexia Series

A look at the specific needs of the hyperlexic child from And Next Comes L
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dragon Themed I Spy Game {Free Printable for Kids}

My kids love my free I spy printables and this dragon themed one is no exception! With cute colorful dragons, the kids love counting to see which one has the most. I'm not going to tell you which one it is though...your kids will have to figure that out themselves!

Free dragon themed I Spy game for kids from And Next Comes L

The Benefits of I Spy Games for Kids

I Spy printables like this dragon themed one are great for providing visual sensory input to kids, making them a great choice for visual sensory seekers. They also help develop a child's visual tracking ability and improve visual discrimination. This printable requires kids to visually scan through the objects and find ones that are the same.

Playing I Spy with your kids is also a great way to improve speech, language, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. I've discussed how playing I Spy games with kids can improve comprehension in kids with autism and hyperlexia before.

These types of I Spy games also encourage math learning by asking kids to count how many of each object they find.

Download the Free Printable Dragon Themed I Spy Game

This printable includes one I Spy game sheet and one answer sheet to record the number of objects found. The answer sheet uses the written word as well as an image of the object to search for to help improve comprehension - something kids with hyperlexia struggle with.

Other Ideas You'll Love

More Free Printable I Spy Games for Kids

I Spy Bundle Packs

Free Printable Dragons Themed Barrier Game
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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

50 Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids

While it's nice to stay warm and play indoors, winter is simply way too long here in the Canadian prairies to do so every single day! We have no choice but to bundle up and head outdoors, even when it's so cold you cannot feel your face.

Sadly, when I look up list of winter bucket lists for kids, the lists tend to focus primarily on indoor activities, which is great and all, but where is the list of outdoor play ideas?

When you can't find what you are looking for, one must come up with their own list, no? Well, that's what I did. 

You're going to love this list of 50 fun and inexpensive outdoor things to do this winter with your kids!

The ultimate outdoor winter bucket list! 50 fun outdoor winter activities to do with kids from And Next Comes L

Outdoor Winter Bucket List for Kids: 50 Fun & Inexpensive Things to do Outdoors this Winter with Your Kids

Over Christmas we faced about 10 days straight of -40 C weather. It was awful! By the time the deep freeze was over, the kids were so wiggly and squirmy from being cooped up in the house for days. They needed outside!

Thankfully, there's lots of wonderful and simple ways to enjoy the winter outdoors on this list of 50 outdoor winter activities for kids.

The ultimate outdoor winter bucket list! 50 fun outdoor winter activities to do with kids from And Next Comes L

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DIY Gift Idea: Perler Bead Coasters

My kids are obsessed with perler bead crafts and these homemade perler bead coasters are the perfect example of some of the DIY gifts that they can make all on their own. Next they want to try combining some more complex designs, such as our Mario perler bead designs, with these DIY perler bead coasters. Maybe for the next gift-giving occasion...

Perler bead craft idea for kids: make a DIY perler bead coaster set from And Next Comes L

DIY Gift Idea: Let the Kids Make Perler Bead Coasters!

These kid-made perler bead coasters are the perfect homemade gift idea! They're easy to make and can be virtually any color and design your child can come up with. I kind of like the checkerboard style ones, personally.

The kids will love making them for their parents or grandparents as a Christmas gift, a birthday gift, or a just-because gift.

Or it's a good way to use up the colors of perler beads the kids rarely touch!

Regardless, this perler bead coaster craft for kids is so simple, but will require a bit of help from some grown-ups to melt and fuse the beads.

Perler bead craft idea for kids: make a DIY perler bead coaster set from And Next Comes L

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