Sunday, April 10, 2016

DIY Peg Doll Maypole

 Hello, I'm so very excited to share this tutorial with you. Panda's birthday is coming and this year we are giving only handmade gifts to our boys. Panda loves his peg dolls and things that move. Mayday is coming and so the idea of a Maypole popped into my mind...
  But It Had To Move...
I used:
 a blank wood clock face (bought at a craft store and squirreled away years ago),
a thin circle of balsa craft wood
two wood wheels
a chopstick
a circle of felt (not pictured)
and six rainbow colored plastic caps that fit the bottom of Panda's peg people.
(I had everything on hand except an orange and a purple cap.. Those I made Bear search High and low for much to his dismay.)
 First widen the holes on the wheels with a drill to make the chopstick fit. Then hot glue the chopstick and one wheel to the base. The wheel gives added stability to the pole. The green caps in the picture are just a hair taller than the wheel to help keep the second wood circle level for the next step. They are not glued down.
Next, drill a hole into the wood circle, slip it over the chopstick. and then glue the second wheel at the top of the chopstick. The wood circle should move freely. 
Hot glue the ribbons to the top of the wheel and around the side. I wanted to be sure they were firmly glued in so they would last through my boy's not so gentle play.
Pull the ribbon down and glue it just so there will be enough room to add the cap. It should be just taught enough that when the green caps are removed from underneath the wood circle does not rest on the wheel, but hangs freely.
see? The slack disappears once the cap is  glued on.
Almost done now.
Last of all I added a circle of felt to the bottom of the base to keep the wood from scuffing tables. 
Ta DAH! I can't wait to see the look on his face when he opens this up. Let me know if you make one. or have some other Peg People ideas. I would love to hear about them in the comments below. 
Thanks for visiting.
Shine on!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Toddler Tuesday: Knights

Knights, one of Panda's favorite things. Last week one of his therapists suggested using knights as a motivator for him, and things have been working out rather well. Our sensory bin this week is a dish with water and water beads (I have been excitedly waiting for him to be old enough for these), and a scattering of knights. Panda loves  splashing and watching the beads bounce and scoot around in the water. When he is done with the bin it's his job to mop up the water.
While  Panda is playing with his bin, Badger gets to roll around this bottle . He loves watching the beads float and sparkle in the lights.
To start our day out, first Panda has too cut open envelopes to get to his knights. This was also suggested by his therapist. We will be getting a pair of Loop Scissors for smaller hands, but until then these work okay.
One of the things we focus on in life skills is learning how to dress himself. His therapist wanted to work on snaps with him. So I made these felt chains with snaps. So far he isn't interested, but I'm hoping as the week goes on his interest will perk up. Its also a great fine motor skill if he does find interest.
We are making shields. Panda's task is to trace shapes. I was going to have him cut them out, but cutting the envelopes at the start of the day seems to be enough for him for now.
When he is done with his shield we hang them up on this banner. It is going to look incredible when they are all filled up. I'm thinking about leaving it up as a birthday decoration.... And then maybe pulping the paper to make homemade paper. (seriously, I love these projects, but I think we will be murdering an entire forest before this subject is done).
We are also working on number recognition. Panda can count to 16, but his number recognition is a bit shaky. Still,  that's pretty impressive for 2 years old (he ain't 3 yet folks).
We're also working on letter recognition, I don't expect him to spell, but he has been picking up on letters lately. Each week we will choose one word and focus on what letters are in the word. This week (and next) we will focus on his name. The number and letter cards are leftovers from when our store closed. I'm glad we had a set of each left. They are thin balsa wood. sanded smooth and then words and letters were wood burned in.
We are also practicing for a knights tournament... I had to figure out a tie-in... At therapy his therapist has a log swing that she uses to help with vestibular and proprioceptive input. She rocks him side to side, and back and forth while he throws bean bags into a barrel (also great hand eye coordination). I took that and recreated it at home with what we had. Balancing on the exercise ball is great for his sensory diet, works on balance, building core muscles, and feeds his need for movement. Then he throws balls into a basket. Panda LOVES this activity....
And that is what we are up to this week. Next Tuesday I will let you know how things are going. I will also have a few other activities that there just wasn't time to prepare this week. Till then, 
~Shine on~