Monday, 30 January 2012

a new job

with the start of the new year I also started a new job as an outreach worker on the Thomas Project.  The job is turning out to be just my thing - not only do I provide information and support to families and pre-schools, but I have to buy and more frequently make the resources myself.  I am allowed full reign with the making as others on the team are not quite so excited by this aspect of the job.

On thursday I made a choice board for a 3 year old boy.  This board is quite specific to his interests and will be used as a starting point to perhaps move on to a timetable or schedule.  Such choice boards can be used at home with any child struggling to communicate but are a particularly useful tool for those working in pre-schools or within a pre-school language group.

The objects or symbols need to be relevant and meaningful to the child. They are a visual representation of the choices available and avoid the need to simultaneously think about possible options, whilst also trying to make a choice. In this instance the 3 year old already associates nursery rhymes with these small soft toys and so these can be used as symbols.
First I cut out an irregular shape from an A4 plain piece of card and laminate the card to make it longer lasting.  Then I stick pieces of velcro to the card ensuring there is enough space between each for the symbolic objects.

Next I stick the corresponding soft side of velcro to the toys.  I found that the velcro did not always stay on the fabric and so further secured this with a stitch or two. The glue on velcro is extremely sticky so after several attempts and gunky sewing needles I managed a few stitches along the edge of the velcro.

The toys now stick to the board and can be chosen and pulled off by the child thus communicating his choice of song without the use of language.

This choice board was quick and easy to make but now of course I have to put it to use and see whether the creation is successful.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

looking back

Looking through my photos, deciding which ones to use on the blog made me realise that we spent an exceedingly chilled out family Christmas.  As we are well and truly into 2012 I decided I needed to record the family moments before they slipped from all our minds.  Here are the much belated photo snippets of our family Christmas.

Christmas Eve always entails our family walk around New Alresford.  We even remembered bread for the ducks this year. The route we follow is very short but it is a walk we began when the children were toddlers and have maintained every year since. 

We stop off at Caracoli for hot chocolate, coffee and snacks.  The coffee shop has such a festive feel. It was a warm Christmas Eve - just look at those tables set outside.

The nativity scene close to the Christmas tree in the square is always made by children from the local primary school.

As dusk begins to fall it is time for the follies to make our way home.

Christmas Eve continued with a meal and charades and then it was time to put out the stockings, milk and mince pie for Santa - not forgetting the carrot for Rudolf.  Even though the youngest Folly is now 9 there is never any suggestion that we omit such traditions.  I have to admit that now the Follies are getting older the chance to stay in bed until 7.30am is very welcome, but even teenagers cannot contain their excitement longer than this.

The holidays seemed to roll on smoothly with lots of family time and leisurely activities.

It all seems such a long time ago now and already there seems to be spring in the air as Folly 4 and I noticed the snowdrops out on our walk.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Anyone for a cuppa

After 3 months the whole Folly family has become used to having the company of builders.  I have had to increase the milk delivery to cope with the number of cups of tea and 'builders biscuits' are regularly on the shopping list.  How handy too, for so many people to be around to take in the parcels and I can't begin to tell you how useful I find the skip on the driveway.

The rhythm of the day for Folly 4 has taken quite a different turn. When she wakes the first thing she asks is 'how many builders?'  Then, downstairs she makes the required amount of drinks.  After school the first thing she does is put the kettle on and again goes out to house how many cups of tea are needed. 

A change in rhythm has been forced upon Folly 1 and 3 as they have had to move out of their bedroom due to the removal of one wall.  Folly 3 has moved in with the parents and Folly 1 is now downstairs on the sofa bed. Both girls have adapted really well to the 'squash and squeeze' and the fact that their special belongings have been shared around all rooms of the house.

Of course the building works are not on schedule and we are not even halfway there yet so we await to see how long the spirit of adventure lasts!