Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Projects

Happy Easter friends! I have a few ideas for this fun spring holiday. I have a couple on Easter eggs that you might like. A lot of people typically do the audible Easter eggs. It's a very popular way to have an Easter egg hunt. Make sure you do a good pre-teach with your kiddo (6-8 minutes long) and describe important landmarks and the boundaries of the area. Remember, you want to give meaningful information about the area. It's a good idea for them to have a mobility plan so that when all the kids are running around, your child has a base plan of attack.

I wanted to find some different kinds of crafts this year for Easter project. In my opinion Easter is one of the more difficult craft holidays because everything is so tiny and usually fragile. I found one fun idea in Family Fun for making a felted egg:

And then when I was Pinteresting I found this rad idea using regular eggs and glow sticks (both are a dollar at Dollar Tree right now!) Turn down the lights and this could get seriously fun (just remember to think about mobility as well---no large dark objects for our kids to bump into). I also thought this was a good idea for our kiddos who are MIVI---a few of these might be really fun to put in a large cake pan and then on their tray of a wheelchair. You could even add some beads or jingle bells inside (seal the egg with a bit of tape) so that our kids can shake them and have some more fun. 

This is a fabulous idea! take small glow sticks and put them in plastic eggs. Then hide them in the house and turn off the lights for the hunt. Must remember this!

And of course I had to find a fun cooking project!! Look at these! They are Easter s'mores!!! I can't stop using the exclamation points because I am SO excited about these!! These are the perfect cooking snack for preschool through teens. It's an simple 3 step sequence so it's also hit for our MIVI kids too! You can even add the vocational step by packaging them and putting on a label like the ones in this picture. Wait, there's more!! I know you are probably just as excited as I am right now until you think to yourself: "There's no way I can pull this off by Easter!" Do not despair my friends! This is also a fantastic spring project to do! Peeps will be going to clearance by Monday and you can turn this into a fab spring project--yay!! All you need for this project are: Peeps (they even make yellow ones for our CVI friends!), graham crackers and miniature (wrapped) Hershey's chocolates. Get some labels and snack sized plastic bags and you are in business!

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

So many calendar boxes choices and only a DOLLAR!

I was strolling through one of my favorite stores today, Dollar Tree, and looked at their entire back wall with a big smile: it's a wall of calendar boxes and they are only a DOLLAR each!! 
Side note: do you shop at the one and only Dollar Tree? So many wonderful things for us and it's always just a dollar (shiny red wrapping paper, Easter eggs for cause and effect play, calendar boxes, black sharpies, curly red shiny many projects that this side note could easily turn into another new post!)

There are six rows in this picture. I'm gonna give you some ideas, row by row, starting from the top.
Row 1: The red baskets on top of the yellow--excellent for calendar boxes that go side by side and fit on a shelf (plus they are in the perfect colors!). The upside down orange, blue and green ones are great for finished boxes. 
Row 2: The narrow baskets (probably commonly used for utensils) are also nice side by side calendar boxes (these were the ones I had in my classroom). The blue, green and red ones are also nice ones too!
Row 3: The blue and green ones are great for organization. The last one on the far right (blue ones) are all stars.
Row 4: My favorite row!! There are so many great ones on this shelf!! The pink ones are perfect because you can tie a finished basket to a wheel chair (saw that great idea at a school). This way the tied on finished basket stays with the chair. If the student has a severe impairment, just pulling (or touching) the rope to the finished basket could keep the constant contact. I hope my description makes sense! Lastly, the yellow boxes--so bright and wonderful and perfect!! CVI!
Row 5: The larger green and red ones are nice finished boxes that sit nicely on a work table. They might be too big for a tray on a wheelchair. 
Row 6: Lots of baskets, handled baskets and buckets! These are nice for toys at home. 

I know, my faithful readers, that you are not just thinking that calendar box systems only happen at school. Look at all the possibilities!! Make sure you have a calendar box system at HOME! You can make SO many things happen at home and school. Don't stress out if you are thinking "I can't do a whole calendar box system at home!!". How about just starting with a simple finished box? Calendar box systems teach anticipation, time concepts, language, literacy---I could go on and on! If you can get a finished box going successfully but still can't get to a whole system, go to Now and Finished or Now, Next and Finished. Read up on all the posts with lots of great information for more information. 

Do it at home: Start using a finished box in your easiest, lowest stress routine at home. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Will Never Ever Live Without My White Cane...

One of my students forwarded this and I LOVE it! Check this out and catch this chica's spirit:
 I WILL NEVER EVER LIVE WITHOUT MY CANE!!! Parents, stop using sighted guide all the time. Kids, pick your white canes and USE them!

Check this link out RIGHT NOW:
Kudos to you, Precious Perez, on lyrics (and singing) well done!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cane Techniques Part Two

Thanks again to our fantastic mobility instructor friend, Jessica, for her follow up on her super helpful handout on cane techniques. This week I am happy to share part two of her handout.

Cane Technique 201
by Jessica Eichfeld, COMS 

Lesson 1: Approaching Stairs 
Anchor Cane: When student approaches stairs whether going up or down, he or she should anchor their cane against the first step until first foot approaches the step. This gives a reference of where the step is located and how steep the steps are.

* After approach, if right hand is used for the cane then cane should be switched to left hand to allow use of the railing.
Lesson 2: Stairs - Cane Grip and Arm Position 
Grip: Thumbs down, thumb is on the flat part of the grip.

Arm Position: Extended at least one step ahead and cane is at a slight angle to the right. Some may need to lower hand on the grip if cane is to long.

Grip: Index finger grip (See Correct Cane Technique 101)

Arm Position: Extended at least one step ahead and cane is at a slight angle to the right.


Lesson 3: Ascending and Descending Stairs
Ascending Stairs: Cane is always at least one step ahead to eliminate tripping. The cane tip lightly bounces off the lip of each step until it reaches the landing, where it floats into open space. Student will at that time go back to index finger grip.

Descending Stairs: Cane is again one step ahead; the tip should lightly tap each step until the cane glides along the landing.


Lesson 4: Doors
Approach: When door is found, anchor cane against door and find door handle. If right hand is used for cane, cane needs to be switched into left hand and right hand is used to open the door; if double doors also use right side.

Going Through Door: Cane goes through door first, to locate any obstacles or drop offs. Once student is through the door he or she can switch cane hands if needed.