Friday, December 09, 2016

Christmas Math Activity: Graphing with Gift Bows

The other morning while I was wrapping presents, I decided to put together this simple Christmas graphing math activity for kids as a way to keep K busy. He loves to help pick out ribbons and bows for the presents so I thought this activity would entertain him while I wrapped the presents in wrapping paper.

Christmas graphing math activity for kids from And Next Comes L

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Christmas Graphing Math Activity for Kids

The inspiration for this Christmas math activity was this candy graphing activity from Busy Toddler. For the Christmas spin, I used:

 Using the tape, I made columns for each color of gift bow on the floor. I had exactly the right amount of tape too! As I was putting the last piece of tape down, I hit the end of the roll! Talk about meant to be!

Christmas activity for kids using gift bows from And Next Comes L

Five year old K quickly got to work sorting the gift bows by color into the columns.

Christmas activity for kids using gift bows from And Next Comes L

Christmas math activity for kids using gift bows from And Next Comes L

Christmas math activity for kids from And Next Comes L

When he was done sorting, I started asking him specific questions about the graph, such as:

  • How many red bows are there? How many green ones?
  • Which color has the most bows? Which has the least?
  • What color has more: white or gold?
Then he would count the bows before answering. Some of the questions he knew the answer just by taking a quick glance at his graph. Regardless, he loved this simple math activity and had a lot of fun with it!

Counting gift bows with a simple Christmas graphing math activity for kids from And Next Comes L

Counting gift bows with a simple Christmas graphing math activity for kids from And Next Comes L

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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Christmas Fine Motor Math Activity

Around here, there are a few things my kids enjoy. One of those things is math. Lots and lots of math. Then there's clothespins. Even when my youngest K was a toddler, he loved playing with clothespins. So any math activity that uses clothespins is a hit at my house!

This Christmas themed fine motor counting activity for kids is a cute way to work on fine motor skills and math skills. It would also make an adorable busy bag idea to take with you on the go.

Christmas fine motor counting math activity for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Christmas Math Activity for Kids

Here's what you'll need for this Christmas fine motor math tray:

Label the 10 clothespins with the numbers 1-10 using the permanent marker. Add dot stickers to the foam Christmas trees, starting with one sticker on one tree, then two on another, then three on another, etc. Or if you would prefer, then you can draw dots on the Christmas trees using a permanent marker. I wanted to reuse these tree shapes for other projects so I opted for something more temporary.

Simple Christmas themed counting activity for kids from And Next Comes L

Set out the materials on a tray for your child to work through. Encourage them to count the dots and find the matching tree stump (aka clothespin) and attach it to the base of the tree. Just count and clip!

Simple Christmas themed counting activity for kids from And Next Comes L

Simple Christmas themed counting activity for kids from And Next Comes L

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Christmas fine motor counting math activity for kids from And Next Comes L
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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Christmas Sensory Bin

My kids are ridiculously excited about Christmas this year. They've been happily prying open their advent calendar and swapping the numbers on the Christmas countdown calendar every single morning. They are just totally into it for the first time.

So this simple Christmas sensory bin for kids is one of the fun ways that we have been welcoming and embracing the Christmas season.

Easy Christmas sensory bin idea for kids from And Next Comes L

Easy Christmas Sensory Bin for Kids

As is the case with most of the sensory bins that I put together for my kids, this Christmas sensory bin is what I like to call a dump and play sensory bin. Simply grab the materials, dump them into a container, and play. So simple, but yet so engaging!

It's also inexpensive to make because you can pick up the materials from the dollar store and reuse them for other Christmas activities as well.


Easy Christmas sensory bin idea for kids from And Next Comes L
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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Christmas Survival Kit for Kids

Holidays are super stressful, especially if your little ones get overwhelmed by anxiety or sensory information. So as we get closer to Christmastime, I thought I would put together a Christmas survival calm down kit for kids with autism, sensory issues, or anxiety.

This list of calm down tools for kids are Christmas themed and should help you manage or reduce meltdowns during the holiday season. Or, at least, we hope it will help reduce meltdowns!

Don't forget to read through my list of 26 holiday survival tips for autism families as well.

Christmas survival kit for kids with autism, sensory processing disorder, or anxiety - includes free printable social stories about Christmas and other calm down ideas from And Next Comes L

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Christmas Survival Kit for Kids with Autism, Sensory Issues, or Anxiety

This list of printables, activities, and ideas are the perfect way to help prepare your child for the stress, unpredictableness, and busyness of the holiday season. There's social stories about Christmas, Christmas visual supports, and lots of practical suggestions on this list that you can use to make a Christmas themed survival kit!

1. Use a Christmas themed visual schedule to help your child know what the holidays will look like for them. I love this Christmas visual schedule for using at home, but for on the go, this set of free printable Christmas visual schedule cards look wonderful too!

2. Help your kids plan Christmas shopping with this free printable Christmas shopping planner flip book to simplify holiday shopping.

3. Make a Christmas themed calm down sensory bottle. Try these cute ideas:

4. Pack a travel sensory bag for your child and bring it with you while you travel, visit relatives, or attend holiday gatherings. If you want to make a Christmas themed sensory bag, then you'll want to add one of these cute reindeer chewies from Ark Therapeutic.


5. Help your child practice appropriate ways to respond when receiving gifts with this free printable social scripts mini flip book. Hopefully there won't be any awkward comments made about the gifts your kids receive!

6. Read these free social stories about what to expect at Christmas, including visiting family, meeting with Santa, and opening presents with this collection of free Christmas social stories for kids.

7. Make sure your kids get the sensory input that they need over the holidays by using this free printable occupational therapy Christmas calendar.

8. Print off a set of these free printable visual calm down cards and keep them handy while you're traveling. They are a perfect accompaniment to the travel sensory bag (see #4 above).

9. Print off a copy of this free printable letter to Santa and bring it along when you go for a visit or photo with Santa.

10. Prepare your child for Santa's visit with this set of free printable Santa sequencing cards.

11. Use this free printable special needs event planner to help your child prepare for any special holiday gatherings or events. It's a great way for them to learn everything the need to know about the event and to help them successfully plan and attend it.

12. Make a Christmas themed quiet book for your kids. It's a perfect way to help keep your kids busy while traveling to holiday functions or if they need a quiet calm down activity during a function.

13. Print off a bunch of our Christmas I spy printables for kids and make a busy book for your kids. It's perfect for kids who need a bit of visual sensory input while on the go!

14. Get practical tips and advice for surviving the holidays with the book Holidays & PTSD: A Parent's Guide to Survival.

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Christmas survival kit for kids with autism, sensory processing disorder, or anxiety - includes free printable social stories about Christmas and other calm down ideas from And Next Comes L
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Friday, December 02, 2016

Asking for Help Social Scripts Mini Flip Book {Free Printable}

Asking for help, especially when frustrated, can be quite difficult for kids with autism or hyperlexia. This set of free printable social scripts about asking for help are perfect for these kids. It gives them a handful of appropriate things to say when they need help with something. Hopefully these written cues can help reduce a few meltdowns because it gives them the tools they need to effectively communicate their needs.

Free printable social scripts about asking for help for kids with autism or hyperlexia from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

About This Speech & Social Scripts Mini Flip Book

This speech and social scripts mini flip book gives appropriate prompts for kids with autism or hyperlexia to say when they need to ask for help. It's small in size, so it can fit in the palm of your hand or be tossed in a bag for on the go. Or you could even clip it to your child's belt loops so that it is handy at all times.

Kids with hyperlexia and autism often have trouble expressing when they need help. Scripts, like these, can help them learn what to say and what not to say. That's why I have created these mini social scripts flip books! They're like text only mini social stories to take on the go!

The scripts are just there to help your kid choose an appropriate question or response to say when they need help with something. Use these scripts ahead of time to practice and role play so that they will learn to express themselves when the time is right. With time, you can hopefully phase the scripts out.

To assemble this mini flip book, simply download, print, and cut along the black lines. Blank cards have been included so that you can write your own speech scripts. You might also want to laminate the cards for durability. Then hole punch the cards and put the book together using a a binder ring.

Free printable social scripts about asking for help for kids with autism or hyperlexia from And Next Comes L

Download the Free Printable Asking for Help Social Scripts

This printable is two pages long and includes 20 cards. It also has four blank cards so that you can write your own to include in the mini flip book.


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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Minecraft Cake

A day before my niece's 9th birthday part with our family, my mother-in-law phoned and asked if I could make a Minecraft birthday cake for my niece since it was beyond her abilities. Since my niece is practically like my own daughter, I happily accepted and whipped together this amazing (and simple!) Minecraft cake in a few hours.

This homemade Minecraft cake features chocolate cake bricks, rice krispies bricks, and the most awful tasting coconut water jello blocks ever. If I had a chance to go back and redo this cake, then I would splurge on the sugary store bought jello packages rather than attempting to make my own jello again. I still cringe thinking about how terrible that coconut water jello tasted! Shudder...it's like it haunts me in my dreams now. Seriously, it was that bad!

Thankfully, the rest of the cake tasted delicious!

How to make a Minecraft birthday cake from And Next Comes L

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What You'll Need to Make a Minecraft Cake

Here's what you'll need to make your own Minecraft birthday cake:

I opted to use a cake mix to streamline the cake making process, especially since this was a last minute request. However, I always, always, ALWAYS make my own buttercream icing because store bought icing is just gross and doesn't compare. It really doesn't.

Having said all that, use what you prefer.

How to Make a Minecraft Cake for a Minecraft Themed Birthday Party

1. Bake the cake as the recipe calls for. Let cool completely before assembling the cake.

2. Make your rice krispie squares. For the best rice krispie squares ever, substitute coconut oil for butter/margarine. It makes the squares irresistible and amazing. And I always use equal parts marshmallows and rice krispies to ensure the squares are chewy and delicious.

3. Prepare your jello and pour into a square 9 x 9 pan to refrigerate. Again, I used coconut water jello and I'm choosing to NOT give you the recipe I used because it was terrible. Horrible. Absolutely disgusting. Ick!

4. After the cake has cooled, remove it from the pan. Hopefully your cake doesn't break like mine did during this step...sigh. Then cut a piece off to make the upper level of the Minecraft landscape. I cut the cake as if I was cutting a staircase into it.

5. Place the smaller cut piece of cake and place it on top of the larger cake piece. Kind of like you see below.

Minecraft birthday cake for kids from And Next Comes L

6. Make your chocolate icing (skip if using store bought).

7. Ice the entire cake with chocolate icing using the icing spatula or butter knife.

8. Chill the cake to let the icing stiffen up a bit.

9. Make your green icing (skip if using store bought).

10. Use a piping bag and the appropriate tip (pick one that looks like grass) to make the green grass for the landscape.

11. Chill the cake while you cut the rice krispie cake and blue jello into squares.

12. Assemble the squares of rice krispies and jello to make sand and a pool of water next to the cake landscape.

Minecraft birthday cake for kids from And Next Comes L

13. Skip this step if using LEGO Minecraft figures or other Minecraft figures to decorate the cake. Otherwise, print off and assemble some paper minecraft figures (I didn't save the website that I got mine from, but there's plenty of sites that offer these same printables). Glue them to the toothpicks. Insert the toothpicks into the cake to decorate the cake.

14. Decorate the cake with any Minecraft figures you have on hand before serving. When I took the cake over to my niece's, she grabbed all of her LEGO Minecraft figures and added them to the cake to give it the final touch.

15. Chill the cake until serving time.

Minecraft cake tutorial from And Next Comes L

Minecraft cake tutorial from And Next Comes L

Minecraft birthday cake for kids from And Next Comes L

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How to make a Minecraft birthday cake from And Next Comes L
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turn Taking & Sharing Social Scripts Mini Flip Book {Free Printable}

Taking turns was a social skill that my son J struggled with for quite some time. He's pretty good now, but from time to time, he will still have difficulties waiting for his turn. He would usually get upset if he didn't go first or if the other person is "taking too long" (his words). Hopefully, this mini flip book of free printable social scripts about taking turns and sharing will be helpful for him.

Free printable social scripts about taking turns & sharing for kids with autism or hyperlexia from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

About This Speech & Social Scripts Mini Flip Book

This speech and social scripts mini flip book gives appropriate prompts for kids with autism or hyperlexia to say when taking turns and sharing. It's small in size, so it can fit in the palm of your hand or be tossed in a bag for on the go. Or you could even clip it to your child's belt loops so that it is handy at all times.

Kids with hyperlexia and autism often have difficulties taking turns and sharing. Scripts, like these, can help them learn what to say and what not to say. That's why I have created these mini social scripts flip books! They're like text only mini social stories to take on the go!

The scripts are just there to help your kid choose an appropriate question or response to say when playing with others. Use these scripts ahead of time to practice and role play so that they will learn to express themselves when the time is right. With time, you can hopefully phase the scripts out.

To assemble this mini flip book, simply download, print, and cut along the black lines. Blank cards have been included so that you can write your own speech scripts. You might also want to laminate the cards for durability. Then hole punch the cards and put the book together using a a binder ring.

Free printable social scripts about taking turns & sharing for kids with autism or hyperlexia from And Next Comes L

Download the Free Printable Turn Taking & Sharing Social Scripts

This printable is two pages long and includes 30 cards. It also has four blank cards so that you can write your own to include in the mini flip book.


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Free printable social scripts about taking turns & sharing for kids with autism or hyperlexia from And Next Comes L
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