Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Free Printable Social Story About Playing Hide & Seek

You're going to love this free printable social story for kids with autism that explains how to play a game of hide and seek with their friends.

Sometimes what seems extremely simple to us, can be extremely complex to kids who are autistic or hyperlexic because they struggle with the hidden rules associated with different social situations. Even something as simple as the childhood game of hide and seek. These kids may need reminders to hide alone or stay quiet or to pick new places to hide each round. This free printable hide and seek social story for kids covers all those little hidden rules of this classical childhood game. I hope you find it helpful!

Free printable social story about playing hide & seek

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About the Free Printable Social Story

This social story explains how to play a game of hide and seek with friends. It describes the two different roles of hide and seek: the seeker and the hiders, as well as some special tips like hiding in new spots each time. A special shout out to one of my readers, Christen, for requesting this particular social story!

I highly suggest laminating the social story for durability. You can use binder rings to keep the social story together or store it in a binder. As an alternative to laminating, you could use sheet protectors in a binder. Or if you find yourself printing off lots of social stories, then this binding machine is a lifesaver!

Download the Free Printable Playing Hide & Seek Social Story

This printable is 16 pages long and includes full color photos.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Free Potty Training Visual Schedules

Free printable potty training visual routines for kids with autism.

I often hear about how frustrating the potty training process is for parents, especially parents of autistic or hyperlexic children. Just go into any online support group and it won't take you long to find a discussion about this particular topic.

One thing that is helpful when potty training autistic or hyperlexic children is using a visual support of some kind, such as a visual schedule or routine chart. There are many benefits to using visual schedules and they can be tailor made to any situation or skill you are trying to teach. So why not potty training?

These free printable potty training visual schedules for kids are hopefully going to be a lifesaver for you and your child. They will hopefully help break down all the steps involved and remind your child what comes next in the process.

Free printable potty training visual schedules for kids

Free Printable Visual Schedules for Toilet Training

I highly recommend laminating any visual schedule for toilet training because kids may touch the schedule with wet hands or even...(shudders at the thought) dirty hands. It's bound to happen so save yourself from printing a new one by laminating it ahead of time. I also recommend hanging the visual schedule up where kids can easily see it while they are sitting on the toilet.

1. Printable Bathroom Chart from Kori at Home

3. Simple Bathroom Routine from Amy Reed on Teachers Pay Teachers

4. Bathroom Visual Schedule for Boys from Autism Educators

5. Toileting Picture Cards from Do2Learn

Other Resources You'll Love

Free printable potty training visual schedules for kids
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Scented Sensory Activities for Kids

Simple and fun scented sensory ideas for kids, including engaging scented sensory bins, scented cloud dough recipes, and more!

When it comes to sensory play, most people just think about sensory bins and materials to touch and explore with the hands.

However, sensory play can mean anything that engages any of the senses.

Below you will find a collection of sensory activities for kids that engage the sense of smell, as well as the sense of touch. Some of these olfactory sensory play ideas smell like food such as chocolate or citrus fruits, while others are designed to provide a calming effect by using lavender as the scent.

Scented sensory activities for kids

Scented Sensory Play Activities for Kids

Sensory bins are great for engaging all the senses, so why not kick things up a notch by adding a bit of olfactory sensory input too. With a dash of essential oil or some sprinkles of spices, you can literally transform your child's favorite sensory bins in a matter of seconds.

Here are some wonderful scented sensory bin ideas for kids to try.

1. Cinnamon Soap Foam - One of my favorite sensory bin fillers, especially when paired with tractors or similar, simply because it looks like sandy in texture.

2. Chocolate Soap Foam - It's almost good enough to eat, but don't. Eating soap is gross. Blech.

3. Lavender Slime - Stretchy as can be, this calming lavender slime is so lovely.

4. Lavender Soap Foam - Soap foam is easily one of my favorite sensory bin fillers because it's super calming (at least for me!), but add some lavender to make it irresistible to play with.

5. Lemon Play Dough - While we were aiming for lemon meringue pie in this sensory invitation, the base is a perfectly lemony play dough.

6. Lavender Water Sensory Bin - Amp up your water sensory bins by adding some scent like we did with this lavender sensory bin.

7. Citrus Scented Soap Foam - Whip up some grapefruit and orange soap foam like we did here.

8. Lemon Scented Soap Foam - This sensory bin is inspired by Minions, but smells absolutely delicious because of the lemon scented soap foam base.

9. Lavender Scented Beans - These lavender beans last forever! They smell wonderful and are calming to play with.

10. Citrus Scented Easy Dough - Just as the name suggests, this sensory dough is easy peasy to make.

11. Chocolate Peppermint Cloud Dough - Chocolate and peppermint go so well together and make a perfect sensory bin material.

12. Lavender Epsom Salt Tray - Beautiful and calm, lavender epsom salt is a perfect sensory bin filler or as a writing tray material.

13. Coconut Cloud Dough - This twist on the classic cloud dough recipe smells so good!

14. Lavender Scented Water Beads - Transform water beads with some scent, just like we did for this Easter themed sensory bin.

Other Ideas You'll Love

20 Sensory Soup Ideas

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Scented sensory activities for kids
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Best Summer Alphabet Activities for Kids

Whether your kids have hyperlexia or not, these 20 fun alphabet activities for kids will keep your kids busy all summer long! 

If you have a child with hyperlexia, then you likely already spend hours upon hours playing with all things alphabet related. But maybe you want to mix up your child's play a bit this summer, help them keep cool, or explore their passion for letters in a new and creative way.

Whatever your reason is, these 20 summer ABC activities for kids are a great way to beat the heat the summer (so cliche, I know). With lots of water and ice play and tons of chalk, your kids are going to have an amazing summer with this collection of amazing alphabet ideas for summer.

Summer alphabet activities for kids - hyperlexia activities

20 Ridiculously Fun Alphabet Activities to Keep Kids Busy All Summer Long!

Water play and chalk are two staples for us when it comes to summer time so it's no surprise that this list of summer alphabet activities for kids features lots of water and chalk activities. I even hinted to it earlier! But you'll also find lots of ice activities as a way to keep cool because ice is nice...I am full of cliches today apparently.

1. Outdoor Alphabet Scavenger Hunt - Take a stroll through the neighborhood and see if you can find something that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

2. Stamping with Alphabet Sponges - A perfect activity for when the weather is hot. Stamp words on the sidewalk with alphabet sponges.

3. Chalk & Rock Letters - Go rock collecting and then try tracing chalk letters with the rocks your kids find.

4. Building Giant Letters Outdoors - Grab some scrap wood, twigs, or whatever you can and build gigantic letters outdoors. Then walk along them like a balance beam or jump over them. Be creative!

5. Alphabet Target Practice with Water Guns from I Can Teach My Child - Water guns are a favorite during the summer so why not use them for a little alphabet target practice?

6. Alphabet Soup Sensory Play from The Letters of Literacy - A simple yet classic sensory activity that will keep your kids cool too!

7. Alphabet Water Tracing from Artsy Momma - Do you have one of those foam ABC floor mats? Take them outdoors for this simple idea.

8. Outdoor Alphabet Chalk Tracing from Artsy Momma - Or try tracing letters with chalk and those ABC floor mats!

9. ABC Water Play Park from Childhood 101 - A water park where the letters of the alphabet come to play. Seems like a hyperlexic's dream!

10. Ice Alphabet from Still Playing School - The kids will love to keep cool with these homemade ice letters.

11. Alphabet Ice & Shaving Cream from Learning 4 Kids - If your kids prefer more messy play, take this fun activity outdoors. The ice will keep them cool while the shaving cream will give them some tactile sensory input.

12. Alphabet Ice Boats from School Time Snippets - This is such a cute idea!

13. Alphabet Ice Cube Sensory Play from Stir the Wonder - Another cute ice activity to keep the kids cool this summer.

14. Water Painting from Coffee Cups & Crayons - Trace the chalk letters with water to practice writing.

15. Alphabet Ice Excavation from Teaching Mama - Oh no, the letters have been frozen into a giant ice cube and it's up to your child(ren) to rescue them!

16. Magnetic Letters on the Garage Door from The OT Toolbox - I don't know about you, but my hyperlexic son LOVED his alphabet magnets so much and played with them all the time. Take them outdoors and stick them to your garage door (unless you have a wooden one like we do...).

17. Blowing Bubbles Alphabet Sensory Bin from The Kindergarten Connection - Blowing bubbles is another perfect summertime activity. Combine it with some letters in this cute sensory bin idea.

18. Watering an Alphabet Garden from Toddler Approved - An alphabet garden is a perfect garden for a hyperlexic kid, am I right?

19. Outdoor Alphabet Match for Toddlers from I Can Teach My Child - Match the foam letters from a pool to the chalk letters on the driveway in this simple activity.

20. Alphabet Bug Spray from Toddler Approved - Your driveway has been infested by alphabet bugs and your child needs to grab the bug spray to get rid of them all. Super cute idea!

Other Ideas You'll Love

Summer Bucket List

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Summer alphabet activities for kids - hyperlexia activities
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Friday, June 08, 2018

Water Bead Slime

Looking for a ridiculously fun slime recipe for the kids? Try this water bead slime for a perfect sensory experience!

When it's your birthday and the kids are at school, you make slime.



Oh, I'm the only mom that does that??

Well, that's what truly happened here! I whipped up some slime on my birthday when the kids were not around.

I tried to photograph it myself and failed. I seriously need more arms. Just two more arms, that's all I ask, as they would be helpful. Although I would look like the Pokemon Machamp if I did have four arms.

So I patiently waited for them to come home to play with it. They were excited to see such wonderful slime awaiting their arrival.

This water bead slime was probably one of my favorite attempts at slime to date. It turned out super stretchy and the water beads looked like confetti throughout it. Occasionally a water bead would escape the gluey mixture and bounce along the table onto the floor, but usually they got crushed up and mixed in.

Water bead slime recipe for kids

How to Make Water Bead Slime

I had way too much photographing this water bead slime. It was so stretchy and messy, yet colorful and calming. It was impossible to narrow down which photos to use because there was simply too many awesome ones! So I left it up to my editor to decide which of the 30+ I sent her to use...Solid plan right? Ha!

This slime is easy to make, using our favorite basic slime recipe, which you can find over at CBC Parents. Your kids are going to love it!

Water bead slime recipe for kids
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Thursday, June 07, 2018

When School Fails to Support Your Child's Needs

Advocacy tips for parents for when your child's school fails to support their needs.

Another year of school is wrapping up and the end of year education plan meeting has already taken place. It is a perfect time to reflect on how this year went. Overall, this year went relatively smooth and problem-free. Was it perfect? Not by any means, but it was a drastically different school year than last year. Last year was a disaster of year, something I have touched on here and there throughout the blog, such as in this piece about 10 advocacy tips for autism parents.

Reflecting on what went right this year and what went so wrong last year has really helped me grow as an individual and as a parent.

But will next year be a good year or a bad year?

That I don't know.

If it turns ugly, then at least I already know what to do when the school fails to support my child's needs because I've been there once before.

Maybe you'll find yourself in the same place. I certainly hope not, but let's be realistic shall we? Getting your child's needs met within the school system is never going to be an easy task. And if you find yourself stuck in one of those disaster type school years, then this is for you. Here's what to do when your child's school fails to support their needs. Practical advocacy tips you can apply to hopefully salvage what's left of the school year and turn things around for your child.

Tips for advocating in the school system

Tips for Advocating for Your Child within the School System

Every school is different, as is every school division, so I tried to be more broad with my advocacy tips that you will read about shortly. 

Just know that there may be many more options available to you depending on where in the world you are located. Maybe you have access to an advocate within the school system, for instance. 

The important thing to remember is to ask around about what your options are and to always remember that you need to speak up for your child and their rights.

Tips for advocating in the school system

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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Free Social Stories About Asking for Help

A collection of free social stories about asking for help including some free printable social stories for kids.

Many kids need help with how to ask for help and when to ask for help. Sometimes they need help knowing what to say, which is where this free social script comes in handy. Other times, they need to be shown the rules for a classroom, such as raising your hand when you need to ask for help.

This collection of social stories about asking for help are entirely free and should be helpful for a variety of settings from home to school. So whether you want to go the video route or the written printable route, you are sure to find something on this list that will be helpful for your child.

I hope you find these asking for help social stories helpful!

Free asking for help social stories for kids

Free Printable Asking for Help Social Stories

While I love my free printable social script mini book about asking for help, they don't use pictures. They just give kids the words to express themselves when they need help. So they're a bit different than using a social story. Here are a few free printable asking for help social stories to check out that include written words and pictures to support the text. You will need a Teachers Pay Teachers account, which is free, in order to download one of these stories.

1. Free Asking for Help Social Story from Sandbox Academy

2. Free One-Page Asking for Help from the Teacher Social Story from Ashley Olson on Teachers Pay Teachers

3. Free One-Page Social Story About Asking for Help from Autism Educators

4. Asking for Help Social Story (Text Only) from Happy Learners

Video Social Stories About Asking for Help

These video social stories about asking for help are helpful and outline the different steps required for asking for help.

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Free asking for help social stories for kids
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