Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love is in the air...

Hello my friends! I am back from my wedding fun and back to blogging! Well to be honest, I am buried in the snow! CT was one of the lucky recipients of Snow Storm Nemo.  Valentine's Day is just around the corner so I thought I would do some searches around Pinterest, Blogger, FamilyFun, etc. to look for some blind friendly crafts and treats. 

A few easy modifications for the classroom V-Day fun:
*Ask teachers to have the kids in their classrooms put their V-Day mailboxes in the same location at their desks. Usually mailboxes are made up of paper bags or boxes. Tape them to the same place at each desk (i.e. on the right side of each desk).
*Remind teachers to tone down the visual chaos! Sometimes V-Day gets a little visually overstimulating---hearts, candy, ribbons everywhere are just a visual nightmare. This can be especially true when crafting or baking. How do you know if it is overwhelming? Pay attention to your kiddo!! Look for them showing signs (verbally and non-verbally) that they are overwhelmed by things. 
*Put forth the effort to add some Braille to your cards. Get some Braille labels or just put them in the good ol'Perkins and put each classmate's name in Braille. You could even use some Braille to make a V-Day riddle! Have the sighted peers 'decode' and figure out the Braille on the card. 
*As with every holiday or event in the classroom, PRE-TEACH! Give our kids a heads up on what the special events are so that our kids can anticipate what's going to happen. 
*When crafting for V-Day, you may need to think about some contrast. As with most things for our kids, put a dark placemat (or play tray) underneath to provide some contrast. Dycem can also help, too. 

Are you a parent or a classroom teacher that's not sure what are some good activities for children with vision impairments? The activities and treats I found cover just about all of our kids. I think almost every one of these can be done for early childhood up to teens including kids who are MIVI (which includes DB and ASD/VI).
Here's some fun activities and recipes that I have found:
*Valentine Heart Button Craft. Here's the link: http://handsonaswegrow.com/sorted-button-valentine-heart/
Valentine Heart Button Craft for Kids
This particular craft is geared towards younger children. I also thought you could vary the size of the hearts, put the paper on chipboards or foam boards (more sturdy). Good for early childhood up through primary grades in school age, MIVI kids too (as long as they don't swallow buttons). You could make this a 3-step sequence: first, paper--next glue--last buttons. The white glue on a dark red paper also creates a nice layer of contrast to follow the glue line. Make sure you put buttons in easy to access storage. The blog suggest cookie tins. 

*Egg Carton heart. Link: http://www.ivillage.com/kids-valentines-day-crafts/6-b-142009#142016
Egg-cellent Heart Art
You can trend this up (like the picture) for older kids (teens) or it's also something that younger kids can do too. I think our MIVI kids can do it too with a little support from a teacher/parent.

*XO wreath. This was available on Etsy for purchase but I also thought it would be a good craft for us to make as well.
XOXO Decor - Berry Wreath - Kisses and Hugs - XO - Holiday Wreath - Valentine's Day Decor
Another one that is doable for our range of kids. You could also add some fragrance to the mix to wake up the sensory input as well. The "O" may be a little tricky. I think you could go to the store and buy the "O".

*Valentine Chex Mix. Link: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/valentine-chex-mix-12-recipe/f6d4a741-f15c-4c78-8f40-94ab312a2e46
Valentine Chex® Mix (1/2 Recipe)
Another fantastic cooking project that is simple and easy. It's also another good one that can be made into a 3 step sequence: First: candies, Next: Chex Mix, Last: Sprinkles (or your last step could be the baggie that you can package them). You could also add another 3 step after you "prepare the food" (the steps I just wrote). The next round of 3 steps could be the 'vocational sequence': First: food, Next: package, Last: label. In case I was confusing:
'Cooking Sequence': First: candies, Next: Chex Mix, Last: Sprinkles. You combine all ingredients into a bag and shake (most kids love this step).
'Vocational Sequence': First: food, Next: package, Last: label
For kids with kitchen and cooking skills you can have them prepare the peanut butter mixture. You may have to substitute the PB mixture. You might need to try something like almond butter.

*Valentine's Pop Box Treats. Link: http://lilluna.com/valentines-pop-box-treats/
I thought the Pop Box was a great idea for teenagers or tweens. 

You guys know I blog about doing peppermint bark at Christmas but I never thought about doing it at V-Day! What a great idea!! This is awesome for any ability or age!

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