Learning to Tell Time on the Light Table {Light & Reflections Series}

By on Monday, March 02, 2015 4 Comments so far
Ah, clocks. They are a passion for my five year old, but sometimes they are the source of frustration for me (see this is hyperlexia). However, we still like to do activities to encourage his love of telling time, such as this simple clock light table activity. Plus, this activity was a great way to introduce telling time to three year old K, not that he got to play with it much...

Clock light table activity that teaches kids how to tell time from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Here's what you'll need to recreate this clock light table activity at home:


Draw the hours on the clear plastic plate using the permanent marker like you see pictured below. Label the bottom of the shot glasses to show the corresponding minutes (from 00 to 55). You'll then need to cut out a minute hand and an hour hand to finish off the clock. I chose two different colored transparencies so that it was easy to differentiate which hand was which. Not that J struggles with that (thank you, hypernumeracy). 

Materials needed for a clock light table activity that teaches kid how to tell time from And Next Comes L

"Oooh, a clock, mom!" J literally squealed with delight when he saw this light table invitation. First, he arranged the cups around the clock.

Learning about minutes and skip counting on the light table with this simple clock activity from And Next Comes L

Then we practiced telling time. I would tell him a time and then he would position the hands accordingly. We also did some 24 hour clock practice since he likes that kind of thing. He's more of a pro at 24 hour time than I am!

Learning to tell time on the light table from And Next Comes L

Clock light table activity that teaches kids how to tell time from And Next Comes L

Clock light table activity that teaches kids how to tell time from And Next Comes L

Want more math ideas? Try out these other ideas from this month's Light & Reflections series:

Hundred Chart Patterns on the Light Table from Still Playing School
Train Your Brain Number Trails from Frog in a Pocket

Art is the theme for next month, so please join us then! You can find all the previous posts in this series on the Light & Reflections Pinterest board.

Light & Reflections Series 2015 lineup at And Next Comes L

Teach kids how to tell time with this simple light table activity from And Next Comes L
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My Blog Turns Two!

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015 6 Comments so far
Two years ago today, I decided to start a blog. It started off as a fun hobby, but quickly progressed to so much more. Now it's my hobby and my job. It has also become my platform to curate resources for other hyperlexia parents, which has been both fun and encouraging. I especially want to thank those of you who have messaged me via email or on Facebook to share your stories about hyperlexia. Your stories have made me smile and helped me confirm that my decision to share our story was indeed what I needed to do. To think that I have actually helped other families around the world by sharing my story is absolutely heartwarming. Even if writing about it was emotionally exhausting. So I may have started out blogging about fun kids activities (and still do!), but last year proved to me that I was meant to do more. To write more. To share more about my struggles and triumphs and teeny tiny victories like this in hopes that I could connect with other families. I have certainly found my voice. So thank you for listening. Or I guess reading would be a better word.

Since my daily life is immersed in what I lovingly refer to as "number hell" - thank you hypernumeracy for that - I thought it would be fun to share a bunch of my favorite posts from the past two years in groups of two. But before I do, I also want to celebrate two huge achievements from my blogging career. First, I published a book, which was a childhood dream. Second, I reached 200,000 followers on Pinterest and even got paid to pin something on Pinterest. That's cool, right?

Celebrating my 2nd blog anniversary - And Next Comes L

Okay, let's celebrate two years! Ready or not, here are two posts, two posts, two posts, two posts, two posts...I think you get the idea.


Two Most Difficult Posts to Write Ever
  1. This Is Hyperlexia - It took me 2-3 months to write this post.
  2. I Miss Her - Still cry every time I read this post.

Two Projects That Prove That My Husband & I Are Crazy
  1. Homemade Light Bright - Only -40 C and some 1430 holes later...but hey, it was featured on Apartment Therapy so that's cool!
  2. DIY Cork Building Blocks - Oh god, the blisters I had from this project...

Two Activities That Show That Music Theory Doesn't Have to be Boring Worksheets
  1. Learning Music Theory with Cars 
  2. Learning Music Theory with Mirrors 

Two Reasons Why Felt Toys Are Awesome
Two Posts that Might Help You Get 200,000 Pinterest Followers Just Like Me!

Two Posts that Show My Love for Poetry
  1. Dr. Seuss Parody for Breastfeeding Mothers
  2. Twas the Night Before Mother's Day

Two Posts that Show My Inner Video Game Nerd
  1. Super Mario Themed Scrabble Math
  2. Personalized Nintendo Inspired Wedding Gift

Two DIY Projects That I LOOOOOOVE and You Should Too!
  1. Lovebirds Etched Mirror
  2. Fine Art Gallery for Displaying Children's Artwork

Two Posts That I Wasn't Even Going to Publish, But Did and They Were Surprisingly Popular
  1. Fine Motor Counting Math Tray
  2. Fine Motor Play with Colorful Cups & Water

Two Reasons Why Liquid Watercolors Make Everything Better
  1. Rainbow Chickpeas
  2. Metallic Dyed Beans

Two Activities That Will Make You Want to Own Magna-Tiles
Two Posts That Caused Controversy
  1. Simple Toddler Busy Box - Choking hazard police came out full force on this one!
  2. Homemade Play Parachute - People assume I don't supervise my children or something. Clearly, I give my kids an oversized plastic bag and then turn my back. *insert eye roll*

Two Posts That Show Funny Faces Never Get Old!

Two Posts That Put And Next Comes L in the Spotlight!
Two of My All Time Favorite Posts!

Is that too many? Or should I say "two" many?

Anyway, you're awesome. I'm awesome. Here's to even more awesome in the future! 

Happy two years!
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Alphabet Light Table Play {Fine Motor Fridays}

By on Friday, February 27, 2015 2 Comments so far
Dollar store ice cube trays look fantastic on the light table (see here). Yet, they're even more fun when you turn them upside down. These particular ice cube trays are like buttons just waiting to be pressed (so you could pop out the ice cubes that I will never make - haha). So I decided to turn them into a keyboard of sorts to practice matching uppercase and lowercase letters, spelling words, and searching for particular letters. It may be a simple light table activity, but it encourages literacy and fine motor skills. And seriously, what kid doesn't like pressing buttons?!

Turn dollar store ice cube trays into alphabet keyboards for the light table from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

For this activity, I used three translucent ice cube trays from the dollar store and some dry erase markers. I wrote uppercase and lowercase letters on the ice cube trays with the dry erase markers. I can easily wash the marker off so that I can reuse the trays for another activity in the future.

Alphabet "keyboard" on the light table from And Next Comes L

Turn dollar store ice cube trays into alphabet keyboards for the light table from And Next Comes L

I just love how these ice cube trays look on the light table, but they're even more irresistible when they are alphabet buttons waiting to be pushed. We played a few different games with these:

  • I would call a letter and then K would press the letter that I called.
  • K would match uppercase and lowercase letters by pressing the letters at the same time.
  • I would help K spell words by dictating the letters while he pressed them.

He had a lot of fun with it!


Pushing buttons on a DIY alphabet "keyboard" on the light table from And Next Comes L

Pushing buttons on a DIY alphabet "keyboard" on the light table from And Next Comes L

We love the Fine Motor Fridays series. Here's what my co-hosts were up to this week:

Name Recognition using Beads from Powerful Mothering
Popper Ball Game from Little Bins for Little Hands

Fine Motor Fridays at And Next Comes L

Fine motor alphabet activity for the light table from And Next Comes L
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Pot of Gold Fine Motor Sensory Play

By on Thursday, February 26, 2015 Be the first to comment!
One of the reasons why I made metallic dyed beans in the first place was so that I could make a pot of gold inspired sensory activity for St. Patrick's Day. I ended up creating two mini sensory bins, one for each of my boys, using the golden beans. Here's our simple fine motor mini sensory bins inspired by a pot of gold.

St. Patrick's Day fine motor sensory activity for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

To recreate our mini pot of gold sensory bins, you'll need:


I draped the pipe cleaners over the edge of the bowl so that it looked like there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

St. Patrick's Day fine motor sensory activity for kids from And Next Comes L

Both boys loved to scoop up the gold using the yellow scooper/tweezer thing. We love it because it is so great for encouraging fine motor skills.

Scooping golden dyed beans from And Next Comes L

Scooping golden dyed beans from a St. Patrick's Day sensory activity from And Next Comes L

Scooping golden dyed beans from a St. Patrick's Day sensory activity from And Next Comes L

The boys also loved to dig in and play with the "gold" too.

Golden dyed beans for St. Patrick's Day sensory activity from And Next Comes L

Finally, J really enjoyed making rainbow sculptures with the pipe cleaners. Here he is building his sculpture.

Rainbow and pot of gold sensory play for St. Patrick's Day from And Next Comes L

Looking for more St. Patrick's Day activities for kids? Try these:


Pot of gold fine motor sensory play for kids that's perfect for St. Patrick's Day from And Next Comes L
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Metallic Dyed Beans {How to Dye Beans for Sensory Play}

By on Monday, February 23, 2015 Be the first to comment!
I'm slightly addicted to metallic liquid watercolors. So I couldn't resist dyeing some sensory bin fillers in gold, silver, and copper. The result: metallic dyed beans. Quick and easy to make, these shimmery metallic beans are so much fun to play with. I'm kind of obsessed with how they turned out. "They're magical," as my five year old likes to say a lot lately.

Playing with metallic dyed beans - gold, silver, and copper colored sensory play for kids from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

To make some metallic dyed beans for sensory play, you will need:


Put some beans in a bag, add a a few squirts of liquid watercolors, and then shake. Regular liquid watercolors don't seem to dye beans as well as food coloring. However, I find that these metallic liquid watercolors have a thicker consistency, so they did a great job at dyeing the beans. Once the color was evenly distributed, I placed the colored beans on some paper towel to dry. They dried pretty quickly, within an hour or so. Once they are dry to the touch, they are ready for play.

Oooh la la! Aren't they pretty?!

Metallic dyed beans sensory play for kids from And Next Comes L

Time for some close up shots. Bam!

How to dye beans in metallic colors for sensory play from And Next Comes L

How to dye beans in metallic colors for sensory play from And Next Comes L

Now how about some photos of all those metallic colors mixed together? 
 
Close up of metallic dyed beans sensory play from And Next Comes L

Sensory play for kids using metallic dyed beans from And Next Comes L

Sensory play for kids using metallic dyed beans from And Next Comes L

J loved them so much that they literally had him seeing hearts. "Mom, mom, mom! It's a heart!!"

Playing with metallic dyed beans - gold, silver, and copper colored sensory play for kids from And Next Comes L

What do you think? What's your favorite color of the metallic dyed beans? I think I like the gold best.

Be sure to check out these other colorful sensory bin fillers:


Metallic dyed beans sensory play for kids: how to dye beans in gold, silver, and copper colors form And Next Comes L
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Calm & Focused Child DIY Essential Oil Blend

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015 Be the first to comment!
Essential oils have become a huge part of our daily routine in dealing with sensory issues, anxiety, and autism. After some trial and error, I have finally concocted the perfect blend for our family. I call it the calm and focused child essential oil blend because it does exactly that. It calms my sons' sensory responses, balances their emotions, and keeps them calm and focused. It has drastically reduced the number of "bad autism days" in our house. It is definitely my go-to DIY essential oil blend!

DIY custom essential oil blend that will keep your kids calm and focused - great for kids with autism too! from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

When we first started using essential oils about 18 months ago, we saw a huge impact in our daily lives. It has been a huge part of how we treat (manage or cope might be better words) with autism. However, I have been hesitant to share our story since there has been a huge essential oil movement in the kid blogging world, especially as of late. I won't get too much into it (trust me, you don't want to get my rant started), but oftentimes, these pushy multi-level marketing reps forget to mention important safety concerns. So here are just a couple of important reminders:

  • I am not an aromatherapist. I am just sharing a blend of oils that has worked well for our family.
  • This blend is meant to be diffused and/or mixed with a carrier oil before applying to skin. Never apply this blend to the skin without a carrier oil.
  • If you haven't already educated yourself on the safe use of essential oils with children, then please read up on their safety first. I recommend these books: The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy and Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child

I should also note that this blend does wonders on both children, autism or not. So it is great for all kids.


How to Make this Calm & Focused Child Essential Oil Blend

Here's what you'll need to make this essential oil blend:


I simply add the oils to 80ml of water in our diffuser and diffuse first thing in the morning.

Here's a breakdown of what each oil does. Lavender is great for calming and relaxing. Mandarin orange balances emotions (good bye autism meltdowns!), but I mostly add it because I like the smell. To be honest, I cannot stand the smell of any of the other oils individually. Frankincense has a sedative quality, making it great for reducing stress and anxiety. Cedarwood helps to focus the mind and balances emotions. Finally, vetiver calms the sensory system and stabilizes emotions.

When I diffuse this blend, I find that sensory meltdowns are reduced and that J focuses better on his schoolwork, both at home and at school. On days that I forget to diffuse this blend, J seems more agitated and more prone to autism meltdowns. It definitely helps balances his emotional responses when he is having sensory issues. So needless to say, I always make sure to have these oils handy.

DIY custom essential oil blend that will keep your kids calm and focused - great for kids with autism too! from And Next Comes L
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DIY Wooden Math Dice

By on Friday, February 20, 2015 Be the first to comment!
Looking for another easy math idea for kids? Well, these DIY wooden math dice are a great way for kids to practice their math facts and obviously, my number-loving five year old loves them (see hypernumeracy). I really like that these math dice are simple to make and can be tailored to fit your own child's abilities. I'm also really excited that I get to share this easy activity on one of my all-time favorite kid blogs, The Imagination Tree. So pop on over and check it out!


DIY wooden math dice for elementary math learning from And Next Comes L


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