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International Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day 2015

2015 Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day Logo

2015 Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day Logo

Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day 2015

This year International Dravet Day is celebrated on 23rd June 2015, and it has a special significance at Trabasack HQ as the son of Duncan and Clare, the creators and founders of Trabasack, lives with the condition. International Dravet Day is a chance to raise awareness and this year, the charity Dravet Syndrome UK are suggesting we ‘take a break’.

The charity are suggesting that 23rd June should be the day where we all take the time out to enjoy a cake and a cup of tea to help raise awareness for the condition and to help raise funds and support the work the charity is doing to fund research and further awareness of the rare syndrome. They are giving people the chance to put together their own fundraising events in awareness and you may be able to find one near you. If you’re interested in finding out more they are offering special International Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day fundraising packs via linzi.c@dravet.org.uk. This is only the second time 23rd June has been recognised at Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day so it’s a real opportunity to

Dravet Syndrome and Trabasack

Joe at 4 with one of the first Trabasack lap trays

Joe at 4 with one of the first Trabasack lap trays

Our first Trabasacks were created for Joe and because of Joe. Joe was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome as well as a SCN1a deletion, linked to the condition, where he was just four. He is non-verbal and has support with most daily tasks and to support Joe, the Trabasack team always ensure they attend the Dravet Conference and are aware of any new treatments and research into the condition.

Joe is now 11 and still using his trabasack every day

Joe is now 11 and still using his trabasack every day

 

 

 

Joe has always had seizures and this has meant that traditional buggy and wheelchair tray designs were simply too dangerous for him and therefore his parents needed a solution that was more lightweight and easy to remove, giving him the space needed when having a seizure. His mum Clare began designing and soon a soft beanbag cushion with a tray on top had come together and Joe was able to access his toys and games. The design worked perfectly and was developed further to include a Velcro receptive top to keep things in place. The tray was designed to fit closely to Joe’s body, meaning he could play his arms comfortably on top of the tray and this original idea was refined and reworked to create the Trabasack, a retail product which thousands of people use in all sorts of ways.

2015 DSUK Conference

Dravet Syndrome UK Conference 2015

Dravet Syndrome UK Conference 2015

This year’s DSUK Conference is in November and as the only Dravet Syndrome specific conference in the UK it is of high importance to the family behind Trabasack, as well as many other people across the UK. The conference is designed to provide information, innovation and support and where possible answer questions that parents, carers and professionals may have. On 7th November the conference is holding its Family Day where a panel of internationally renowned experts will be attending to discuss the latest innovations and research in the field. Family Day also features a disco, buffet and the opportunity to network and connect with others.

Speaker at Dravet Syndrome UK Conference 2012

Speaker at Dravet Syndrome UK Conference 2012

The Professional Conference takes place the day before the Family Day where a wide range of professionals involved in working with people with Dravet Syndrome, including teachers, GPs, nurses and neurologists have the chance to learn more about the condition and crucially the challenges involved.

In 2012 the Duncan from Trabasack attended the Dravet Conference in Warrington and got together a wide range of notes and information in tweet form, fantastic for looking back on when this year’s conference comes around. This Storify feed is an amalgamation of all the notes together in one place to get a good feel for what happened back in 2012, in preparation for 2015.

The DSUK Professional and Family Conference in November is being held at Tower Hotel, St Katherine’s Way, London.

New Research for DSUK in 2015

Professor Sisodiya - leading up a new research project into Dravet Syndrome this year

Professor Sisodiya – leading up a new research project into Dravet Syndrome this year

Alongside announcing their fundraising plans for International Dravet Syndrome Day, as well as the Conference at the end of the year, the team at DSUK have delightedly announced a new research project for 2015.

This new ground-breaking research project will be undertaken by Professor Sanjay Sisodiya and his team at University College Hospital London. It is looking at ‘Genetic influences on cognitive function in Dravet Syndrome’ and has received grant funding from DSUK who believe it could make a huge different to how we understand the condition.

Raising Awareness for Dravet Syndrome

With all of the above happening to focus on Dravet Syndrome happening in 2015 it is a year where real focus and awareness can be raised. It is an extremely rare condition which is believed to occur in between 1 of 20,000 and 1 of 40,000 births. Children with Dravet Syndrome are at a higher risk of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy than children with other forms of epilepsy. Despite this, Dravet Syndrome UK statistics suggest that children have an 85% of surviving into adulthood and this has meant a need for more adult specialists in the condition.

There are a wide range of different treatments for Dravet Syndrome that range of antiepileptic medications to diet plans, specifically the ketogenic diet which has found to have a positive impact for some individuals. More treatments are regularly being researched and tested to give people living with Dravet Syndrome the best possible quality of life.

It’s no surprise that Dravet Syndrome awareness is close to the hearts of the Trabasack team and we will continue to provide relevant updates, event notifications and awareness day announcements as they occur.

Visitors to this site can access a special bundle offer for trabasack at this link

http://sensoryplaytray.com/product/curve-connect/

Six Neck and Head Support Options for your Child

Many children live with disabilities which result in weak muscle tone and control, which can lead to difficulty in holding the head up straight and as a parent or carer it’s understandable you probably want to anything to help. Hypotonia in the neck and other parts of the body is known to be a symptom of many disabilities including cerebral palsy and many other neurological conditions.

Finding the right head and neck support is not something anyone should do without the advice and guidance of a professional, but we thought it was definitely worth looking at the options out there, as you may find something your healthcare team hasn’t yet come across. Below are six different head and neck support products on the market.

Rifton Activity Chair

Rifton Activity Chair Head Support

Rifton Activity Chair

The Rifton Activity Chair is described as a clinical positioning chair with an additional head rest is a great choice for environments such as schools and therapy centres where the chair isn’t in full time use. The head rests are contoured to provide support and comfort simultaneously and it can be adjusted from front to back and up and down. The chair is described as great for speech therapy, feeding and also for its versatility for use for a wide range of other activities.

Find out more here http://www.rifton.com/products/special-needs-chairs/rifton-activity-chairs

GoTo Seat

The GoTo Seat is a postural support which is designed for children between 1 and 5, with two different sizes available. The larger model for older children has an adjustable headrest as well as strong back support and leg supports and can be attached to any regular seat (with a back) allowing inclusion in family meals, days out and more. The GoTo Seat can even be attached to a supermarket trolley or bicycle seat, as this video shows:

Find out more about the Goto seat here http://www.fireflyfriends.com/goto-seat

Snuggin Go Too

The Snuggin Go Too Head Support

The Snuggin Go Too Head Support

We’ve chatted about the Snuggin Go before as it’s a product which really works. Rather than being a whole seat or whole seat support it is a simple memory foam based product which fits comfortably around the neck and shoulders of your child. It’s designed for children aged up to 5 and provides the extra support they may need, avoiding slumping which can lead to discomfort.

Snuggin Go Too is not readily available in the UK but can sometimes be found on Amazon >> Snuggin Go Too Child Positioner, Black by Snuggie

Chill Out Chair

Two large foam chairs with footstools, on in orange one in purple

The Chill-out chair

There are no straps or restraints with the Chill Out Chair, as the company behind this product cite dignity and comfort as their two key reasons for opting for their chair. They have a patented deep V design which removes the needs for straps and the body can relax comfortably whilst being supported. It can be designed in a wide range of different colours and materials to suit the needs of the individual and more than that, find a fabric that suits for children who have sensory processing difficulties. There are also a range of accessories including trays but of course your Trabasack would work wonderfully too.

We are looking for UK stockists, please let me know if you find one. The US site is here http://chill-outchair.com/

Headpod

The Headpod is a tried and tested design which has been specifically designed for hypotonia of the neck muscles. Headpod helps to build the neck muscles and reach the point where the hypotonia is much less pronounced or even a thing of the past. It’s a system which works through creating a vertical and natural positioning of the head through a supportive brace worn to the head. As this video shows it can make a huge difference to the wearer and help their neck develop over a period of time:

Again, it is the type of item which you should discuss with your care team or occupational therapist to see whether it would be a good choice for your child. The head pod website is here http://www.headpod.com/

Tumble Forms Feeder Seat

As the name suggests the Tumble Forms Seat by NRS Healthcare was initially designed for feeding but it can be used for a wide range of purposes. It benefits from being plastic so easy to clean and is designed to be used with their floor sitter wedge. For short-term upright activity it provides all the support needed and is very easy to assemble and carry. They are on Amazon and available from our friends at Mobility Choices

Get some professional advice

There are many other head and neck supports on the market and it is important you find the one which suits your child best but these are a good example of what’s out there and perhaps something to mention at your next appointment!

How to make your own Sensory Wall

A Sensory Area in Your Home

 

Board with locks and latches for a child to play with

Sensory walls can be very different depending on the likes and dislikes of your child

It’s the dream of many parents with children living with a range of disabilities to create a whole sensory room. A separate area where sensory play and fun can be enjoyed without interruption. This isn’t always possible but building your own sensory wall can be much simpler and it can be affixed to the regular wall of a bedroom to add an extra interactive fun element to any child’s room.

The importance of sensory play and stimulation cannot be disputed. It can be a valuable way of helping children with disabilities connect with their environments and learn in a way that suits their physical and emotional capabilities. There are many different ways of building a sensory wall so this is just our example. Our previous post looked at creating a sensory cube, now let’s look at making a sensory wall.

The wall can be specific to your child, like this board for children who love locks and door latches!

Making your Sensory Wall

You will need:

  • A large wooden board/piece of MDF to cover the wall area you’re planning to make
  • Cable clips or similar for securing hard to hold items
  • Plastic chains
  • Reflectors
  • Carpet and Wallpaper swatches and scraps
  • A mirror
  • A pushable light
  • Locks of different types (chain lock/slide lock)
  • Tissue paper and foil (for scrunching and crunching)
  • Fibre optic cables
  • Squeaky Balls/Toys
  • A curtain pole, fixtures and fittings & dark curtain

One you’ve laid out all your items you can spread them equally over the board and secure them in place. Items such as the squeaky toys can be nailed onto the board so they can still be pressed and made a noise and the tissue paper and foil can be placed in a nailed or glued plastic envelope so they can be easily replaced.

 

 

The curtain rail and dark curtain are provided so you can affix this to the top of the board, allowing it to be covered when not in use and also to avoid overstimulation and the urge to get out of bed at night to continue playing!

This is just our suggestion and there are many more interesting and innovative ideas out there such as those shown on this Pinterest board:

 Follow Connie’s board Sensory wall on Pinterest.

We also love this idea of Mother Geek who made her children a Lego Wall. The beauty of this design is that is can be extended and grow with the family!

If the space for a sensory wall isn’t available then consider making sensory books or boards that can be packed away. If your children’s room includes this sensory element alongside the other homemade sensory toys we’ve shared then you can be sure they’ll be kept busy and stimulated.

 

 

 

 

Sensory Room Video Ideas

This video from the Global Hydranencephaly Foundation shows some really great ideas to include in your child’s sensory room:

Homemade Mirror Cube Sensory Toy

The Original Softie Mirror Exploratory

The Original Softie Mirror Exploratory

Make Your Own Mirror Cube Sensory Play Area

Homemade toys are amongst the best for your kids as they give you the chance to bring together everything they love best. More than that – they’re affordable.

This post is a quick tutorial of how to make your own version of the Softie Mirror Exploratory style toy, great for a wide range of sensory experiences. The original toy retails at around £69.99 but with this tutorial you should be able to make it for less than £30, and you can make yours much bigger too!

We found this innovative idea on the Facebook Group: Special Needs Equipment ~ Buy Sell Swap and we thought it was too good not to share. Mirrors are an important tool for helping your child’s cognitive development, recognising themselves and understanding angles and reflections, as well as being great fun!

What you need

To make this toy you’ll need:

Putting the fun toy together is quite straightforward and you can be sure the kids will love it.

Building your Sensory Mirror Toy

There are three key steps to creating your sensory mirror toy:

  1. Glue all the puzzle/floor mat pieces together to create an open-faced box shape
  2. Add a frame to the edges by gluing the thin pieces of wood – to reinforce the toy’s structure
  3. Glue each mirror to the inside of the box covering the foam base and sides

The finished result should look something like this:

Homemade Mirror Toy

Homemade Mirror Toy

Of course you can add other things in too – if you choose to make a larger toy you could use more floor mat pieces, more mirrors and make a huge version for lying down in – creating an even more enjoyable sensory experience.

Ways to Play

There are many ways you and your child can enjoy this exploratory toy. It’s a great place for them to lie gently down on a pillow and look into the mirrors. It’s also great for imaginative play as you pop a toy or two into the window area of the toy and your children play with both the toy and its reflection. The mirrors internal surfaces will all reflect back and so even fairy lights and flashing toys would be great fun.

Once you’ve had a go at this toy you’ll probably be inspired to try others and we’ve shown off some other homemade toy ideas before.

 

Join Trabasack and Active Hands at Kidz in the Middle

Kidz in the Middle

See Trabasack and Active Hands at Kidz in the Middle

The Trabasack team are proud to announce we’ve joined up with innovative gripping aids brand Active Hands to exhibit at Kidz in the Middle. Kidz in the Middle is the leading free exhibition dedicated to children young adults living with disabilities and their families and care teams.

The event is taking place on 27th March at the Jaguar Exhibition Hall at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. You’ll find both the Trabasack and Active Hands teams at stand A12 and a map of the exhibition layout can be found in this free downloadable show guide.

Why are we at Kidz in the Middle?

Kidz in the Middle is an exhibition that the Trabasack team has visited and enjoyed regularly. Throughout our years as visitors we’ve seen many a Trabasack in use by young adults and children at the event that it made sense for us to show off our products to those who hadn’t realised how useful they can be.

Kidz in the Middle products in use

Young Trabasack and Active Hands fans

The Trabasack product range is an ideal buggy and paediatric chair  tray as well as providing a handy surface when eating out, travelling or as we’ve showcased on the blog many times for sensory play at home. Our products are fully adjustable to ensure they can fit around the waist of any child and as they are clipped around your child’s body and not the wheelchair they are completely universal and can be used with any wheelchair. The design also allows them to be worn as a standard messenger bag or in many different ways and the bag compartment can be fully stocked for all you’ll need for the day.

Active Hands on the other hand are a functional gripping aid which can be worn and help ensure those living with weakened grip or poor hand function can access activities that may have been difficult before. Active Hands grips can give your child the ability to ride their first tricycle and come in sizes suitable for under 5s and children up to 10.

What else can I see at Kidz in the Middle?

The whole event is packed out with fantastic exhibitors and an activity timetable you won’t want to miss. Free seminars for medical professionals and parents who have an interest in a particular area run all day and examples including Supporting access to learning through occupational therapy and sensory integration therapy or Safer Manual Handling Children.

There is also a super fun Activity Centre to keep the kids entertained all day. Go Kids Go are there running free wheelchair skills workshops and the WDSA are also present running wheelchair dance sports and dancing sessions. There is also a fully accessible playground to ensure children with all types of disabilities can have a great time.

This short video shows the highlights of Kidz in the Middle 2013 and we’re hoping 2014 is just as memorable and is visited by many people connected to children with disabilities across the UK:

We look forward to seeing you at Kidz in the Middle 2014 next week. Please leave a comment below if you hope to come!

Sensory Play at Naidex National 2014

The Five Senses

It’s commonly known that we as humans have five main senses: hearing, taste, touch, sight and smell. Sensory play allows your children to explore those senses and use them as a learning tool, teaching them skills they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Why we need Sensory Play

Homemade play dough for sensory play

Homemade play dough – ideal for sensory play. For a play dough recipe click the image

Having been proved through research to build nerve connections in the brain’s pathway, sensory play can tune your child’s fine motor skills. Picking small objects up or pouring water teaches your child to focus his or her mind on the intricate task at hand, essentially giving the brain “practice” at coping with situations which require a high level of concentration. By repeating sensory play activities, you teach the brain to remember sequences and routines, thus improving your child’s memory.

Another benefit of sensory play is that it can help develop language skills in children. Often used as a tool in helping children who have language or communication difficulties, sensory play teaches them to be descriptive in what they say; the child learns to say that something is too hot, or that it is too salty, instead of simply expressing displeasure without the means to explain. Adults and children learn best when they engage their senses, and it is impossible to teach a child to speak in descriptive terms without allowing them to experience what “bumpy” or “soft” means for themselves.

Getting bored and restless is natural in children, and can be particularly problematic in those with additional behavioural needs. By engaging the mind in sensory play you are eliminating restlessness and replacing it with a calm, controlled activity. A huge benefit in sensory play is that it suits every child’s mind, whether they academically excel or not. There is no failing at sensory play; this can be a huge boost to a child’s self-esteem.

Early Years Sensory Play Sessions at Naidex

The RNIB Pear’s Centre for Specialist Learning will be featured at Naidex National 2014, presenting Parent and Early Years Sensory sessions at stand E114. These sensory play sessions are aimed at children aged 0 to 5 who have a disability, or social and emotional needs, and will include games with light, interactive signing and sound and tactile materials, all prepared by a Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired.

Trabasack for Sensory Play

Trabasack Curve and Media Mount holding a sensory toy

The Trabasack team are pleased to say we’ll also be at Naidex. Our multifunctional bag and lap trays are suitable for adults and children and are great for sensory play. The Trabasack’s secure and comfortable lap tray is the ideal surface for sensory play involving small or textured items, and will be featured just a few spaces down at stand E102. We’ve discussed many of our sensory play ideas before and noted how you could include your Trabasack in play.

Naidex National 2014 is running from 29th April – 1st May 2014 at Birmingham’s NEC.

Trabasack and Sensory Play Video

Festive Christmas Apps for Kids

Festive Christmas Apps for Kids

Sleeps to Christmas Apple App

As December is upon us, it’s time to look towards Christmas and Flo Longhorn, a multi sensory education expert has collected together some of the best festive iPad apps around. Here we’re having a close look at the some of the list.

Sleeps to Christmas  -A fab and fun Christmas countdown! Every second to Christmas day is catered for and it’s animated with great cartoons and music. As Flo says, it’s great for maths and great fun, although overexcited children are a definite side effect.

PopOut! The Night Before Christmas – this is a hugely anticipated and interactive pop up Christmas book, viewable from the comfort of your iPad. Check out the video at the below to see how great this app truly is.

Xmas Top 100 Hits – enjoy some celebratory Christmas tunes. Great for every family member as you can enjoy and reminisce over the classic Christmas tracks.

Jingle Bells!  – great fun and interactive, with Jingle Bells you tap Christmas bells in time with the tunes and have plenty of fun doing so.

Christmas Match – various interactive matching games, made more fun because of their Christmas theme. A great way to get kids excited for Christmas.

These are just some of the great apps that Flo’s come across and the best thing is the majority are free. You can enjoy these apps via the Apple App Store and there’s bound to be one which suits your family. Many of these apps appeal to different senses and can be enjoyed by those with different needs and abilities, just have a browse through. They’re great for both using at home and in the classroom. Below is a video showing the fantastic Popout! The Night Before Christmas

We’ve since had a look ourselves at what’s on offer for kids over Christmas. A very good place to look for apps is the Facebook page of Ian Bean, a communication and special education expert known as SENICT. We have found some more fantastic festive apps we thought we’d share. Take a look at these four exciting offerings.

There Is A Star – this app features a fun, festive animated video perfect for entertaining kids at Christmastime. The cute little characters are both entertaining and easy for children to engage with. The funny animated element of this app makes it great for toddlers and older children too. Christmas Carols for Kids – who doesn’t love a god sing a long? We know must children do especially at Christmas and these fun sing a long carols can create hours of fun. Affordable, family friendly and even educational, this app ticks all the boxes. The festive themed tunes are great for getting into the festive spirit too.

Dancing Max Hippo

Dancing Max Hippo

A Big Fat Xmas : Max Hippo HD – BANG BANG– meet Max Hippo, the most festive hippopotamus around! Max is your interactive 3D pal who is disco dancing his way to a Happy New Year. This app is a lot of fun and is bound to have your kids in peals of laughter as they watch max strutting his stuff and enjoying the festive tunes included in the app. Nighty Night!  – this fun storybook app won Best App of the Year 2011 in the books category in both America and Germany so it must be good. It’s an interactive wintery tale which children can really engage with and it includes an integrated go-to-sleep routine to help kids settle down for the night. Below is a video showing how wonderful and magical Nighty Night! is and how it’s perfect for reading on Christmas Eve in preparation for the big day itself:

Don’t forget the Trabasack for your child’s tablet or iPad

Trabasack Xmas Special Bundle Offer

There is still time to take advantage of our special xmas offer:

We’re pleased to announce we’re currently offering a Curve Connect bundle deal – click here.

Perfect for use as an iPad/kindle or tablet  bag and mount for your child to enjoy their xmas gifts. It comes with all the accessories you need Playing_with_sensory_toys_on_a_Trabasack347fd5 including a Media Mount, non-slip mat and additional hook tapes for securing an Ipad or tablet or other toys in place, at £44.95, this saves over £30 on the usual price of all the items combined and will help your child enjoy more from their toys this xmas!

Click for more info on using the Trabasack Media Mount as a Toy Holder or watch the video below:

 

 

 

 

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This is My Child: The Trabasack Story

This is My Child: The Trabasack Story

mumsnet: new campaign logo

mumsnet: new campaign logo

Mumsnet has launched a timely and important campaign which we felt we needed to get involved with. In their own words:

This Is My Child is a myth-busting and awareness-raising campaign, launched in response to requests from our members and supported by input from some of the leading charities in the field.

This is My Child wants to support the parents of children living with additional needs and start conversation about living and coping with children with disabilities of all kinds. It’s a well-known fact that our product was launched and inspired by the parents of a child with additional needs and this campaign applies to us as many thousands of others out there.

Trabasack Inspiration: Joe

Behind the scenes at Trabasack and inspiring the invention in the first place is Joe. Joe is the son of Trabasack founders Clare and

Young boy takes part in sensory play using a Trabasack bag

Joe aged four with one of the first Trabasacks

Duncan Edwards and lives with the epileptic condition Dravet Syndrome and a SCN1a deletion which is linked to the condition. Joe received his diagnosis aged just four.

Dravet Syndrome life limiting, genetic condition that causes severe epilepsy, learning disability and global developmental delay in childhood. The seizures are usually hard to treat and do not respond well to epileptic drugs. You read more about the condition here.

Dravet Syndrome means Joe is non-verbal and needs support in most daily tasks and the condition is not one well-known across the UK and even the world. The Trabasack team always make the effort to attend the National Dravet Conference to find out more about developments in research and treatment for the condition.

Joe is a wheelchair user and through the determination of his parents, he is happy and content and always learning and experiencing new sensory things. This is helped through the use of his Trabasack, invented by his mum to make accessing toys, games and multimedia much easier.

The Invention of Trabasack

Joe (centre) was on the ketogentic diet for 5 yrs - also pictured Clare Edwards (Trabasack creator), Victor Edwards, Joe's brother

Joe (centre) was on the ketogentic diet for 5 yrs – also pictured Clare Edwards (Trabasack creator), Victor Edwards, Joe’s brother

Living with Dravet Syndrome means Joe has always had seizures and traditional buggy and wheelchair tray designs proved dangerous in the early days. Bulky and hard to remove his parents worried about him hurting himself when seizing when the tray was in place. His mum Clare then began creating.

The original design was simply a soft bean bag cushion with a tray on top so Joe could easily access his toys and games. The original design was a complete success but then the problem came of sticking things to the tray. Initially Velcro tape was used but this got dirty and messy quickly so the Trabasack team once again got their heads together and found a material which was Velcro receptive without getting filthy.

The tray developed its curved shape to fit to Joe’s body and it meant his arms could sit comfortably on top of the tray when using the toys and games. This product idea was honed and refined to create the Trabasack Curve – a product which hundreds of people living with disabilities around the world rely on.

The Trabasack can be used for many purposes, as a mount for media devices, a platform for communicative switches and simply as a handy writing surface when you’re out and about. We’re fiercely proud of our product and are pleased it’s helpful for so many people around the world and are equally proud of the boy who inspired it!

Visit other stories below:

We’re happy to share our support for the This Is My Child Campaign and would love to hear your stories too.

Sensory Play Ideas for Children with Disabilities

Sensory Play Ideas for Children with Disabilities

Sensory play is all about your imagination. The possibilities can be endless when you’re finding new ways to introduce sensory play time but if you’re looking for new ideas we’ve got plenty of them. Previously we’ve looked at gloops, water and ice and even homemade toys and today we’ve got some more ingenious sensory play ideas.

Frozen Finger-paints

Sensory Play Ideas: Frozen Finger Paints

Fun Finger Paints

Create frozen art with simple but effective frozen paints. This idea is perfect for summer.

You will need:

  • Small pots (yoghurt pots or similar)
  • Shaving Foam
  • Food Colouring
  • Glitter

Squirt shaving foam into each of your pots until it’s two thirds full. Add some food colours and mix well and add in your glitter last. Put the pots in the freezer. When you’re ready to play bring out the pots and let them defrost for 5 minutes or so – this makes painting easier. Use them to create fantastic art work and fun paintings.

 

Stretchy Slime Balls

For children who love to experience different textures and wouldn’t mind a dip in the classic children’s telly gunge. Pull it and stretch it in any direction!

You will need:

  • A bottle of glitter glue
  • 120ml of boiling water
  • Tablespoon of corn flour
  • A small amount of cold water

Mix together the flour and cold eater to make a paste. Measure 120ml of boiled water into a jug and add in the corn flour paste. Let it cool. Once cool empty he whole tube of glitter glue into a bowl and add the water. Mix with your hands (let the little ones help) until the stretchy slime feels right. Mould into a ball and if you store in a ziplock bag it will last a whole week.

Rainbow Ice Play

Sensory Play Ideas: Rainbow Ice Play

Fun Ice Moulds

A fantastic combination of touch and visual play. This sensory play idea gives you the chance to play with ice and water, with a difference.

You will need:

  • Ice cube trays
  • Poster paint or food colouring
  • PVA Glue or Flour (optional)
  • Water tray or box
  • Trabasack

Fill your ice cube tray with a few drops of paint or food colouring to brighten them up. For opaque cubes add in PVA glue or flour too. Once they’re frozen get out your Trabasack (don’t forget your non-slip waterproof mat) and pop your water tray or box on top. Simple and fun you can plop the rainbow cubes into the water and watch the colours mix. You can also choose a fun-shaped ice cube mould for make it even more fun.

Mouldable Fluff

If messy play is the name of the game then this sensory experiment will have everyone in stitches and completely covered in fluff!

You will need:

  • Large bag of corn flour
  • 200ml can of shaving foam
  • Powder Paint
  • Mixing Bowl

Empty the full bag of corn flour into the mixing bowl and mix in the shaving foam a bit at a time. This will make a rough but textures mouldable fluff. If you choose a scented shaving foam you can add another sensory element. For a bit more excitement add a tablespoon of any powder paint for a splash of colour.

Sensory Balloons

Sensory Play Ideas: Sensory Balloons

Colourful Balloons

Balloons without the bang, well some of the time at least. Balloons are a great sensory play idea as they can be filled with absolutely anything.

You will need:

  • Some coloured balloons
  • A range of fillings – rice, talcum powder, flower, water and shower gel are fun
  • A funnel

Put your balloon nozzle over the funnel and choose your first filling, then add your second and then your third. You can combine a range of filling in one balloons and mix and match in others to give a fantastic tactile sensory experience. Your shower gel and talc balloons will also be fantastically smelly.

 

Sensory play is always fun and the more ideas you can incorporate the better. Try out some of our new ideas and if you have any other please comment below and let us know.

Photo credits:
1 –  Attribution Some rights reserved by LearningLark
2 –  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by #Justin
3 – Attribution Some rights reserved by Accretion Disc

 

Charity Events Calendar: Netbuddy Launches 2013 Special Needs Awareness Calendar

Charity Events Calendar and Special Days in 2013

Netbuddy Launches 2013 Special Needs Awareness Calendar

Netbuddy Logo

Netbuddy Logo

Marking the events which matter to you or your child is important and many of the illnesses and disabilities out there are marked by an awareness week or day. These events are designed to make more people aware of a certain condition as well as drumming up much needed funding for research and supporting people with these conditions. Netbuddy has put together an exclusive charity events calendar for 2013 naming it the Special Needs Awareness Calendar Download it by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. through which you can find out the dates relating to any condition which might be close to your heart or you’re interested in fundraising for.

Autism Sunday Logo

Autism Sunday Logo

In February we can look out for:

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (7th-14th February)
Autism Sunday (10th February)
National Eating Disorder Week (11th – 17th February)
International Asperger’s Day (18th February)
Rare Diseases Day (28th February)

This is just one month and many of these events may be relevant to you and you can see this and more via Netbuddy’s fantastic calendar.

Who is Netbuddy?

 

Netbuddy is a fantastic resource for parents, carers, educators and any other professionals involved with people living with learning disabilities and autism. It brings together hundreds of resources from like-minded individuals who have experiences of both. In their own words “Netbuddy is all about pooling the vast expertise of parents, carers and learning disability professionals. It’s a place for sharing advice and ideas. A place for overcoming problems and celebrating successes within a community that understands.”

We are pleased that trabasack has also been suggested on the forum, and was also reviewed by their guest Assistive Technology teacher. Extracts from the review can be seen here.

With this brilliant sentiment it’s clear to see why they’ve put together this invaluable calendar and it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to organise a fundraising event or support a charity relating to a specific condition. Their website is here

 

 A Closer Look at the Calendar

Special Needs Awareness Calendar

The Winter page from the Special Needs Awareness Calendar

Every month of the year has been covered and there are single day events, weeks and event months dedicated to single conditions which may be of interest. For example, April has been dubbed Autism Awareness Month and there are many special events and days organised throughout the month to support and raise awareness about the developmental disability.

There are events focusing on single conditions such as Dyspraxia Awareness Week in September as well as those that are more general including Jeans for Genes day in October and National Allergy Week in April. There are many events throughout the year dedicated to Autism and learning disabilities in particular as these are two areas that Netbuddy focuses on.

This calendar is a fantastic resource for anybody involved with adults or children living with disabilities and can be used effectively as a learning tool or to start conversation.

Download the PDF Calendar here

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