Category Archives: How To

DIY Cardstock Book Tutorial

Whether your child has Down syndrome, autism, another language delay, or they are just struggling with a new concept, sometimes the need arises for a book that addresses a very specific word or concept.

Here’s an easy technique using cutting and folding to make a staple-free blank heavy-duty book from scratch, perfect for adding your own text and pictures.  These are great for teaching concepts and making predictable books for target sounds and words to use in the classroom, speech therapy room, or homeschool.

I’ve included pictures using two different colors of cardstock to help illustrate the process.

Materials:

1.  Cardstock (or construction paper for flimsier books).

2.  Clear sealing/packaging tape.

3.  Scissors.

Directions:

1.  Fold cardstock in half, short end to short end, and crease along middle fold.  (Each sheet will yield 4 pages including cover and back page.)  This process, unlike a typical stapled book, allows you to use quite a few pages of cardstock if desired.

2.  Open up card stock and cut half-way up the creased line on each page.

3.  Keep 1 sheet of cardstock with the cut slit on the bottom edge (A).  Flip other cardstock pages (B) so the cut slit is on the top edge.

4.  Fit sheets together so that the slit in the B pages slides into the slit in the A pages.

5.  Continue sliding top paper down until the top and bottom edges of all the sheets are aligned.

6.  Flip book over so the cover and end pages are face up.  Place a strip of tape along the spine of the book where each slit meets the opposite page.

7.  Flip the book back over and place a strip of tape along the center line of each 2-page spread making sure to keep the pages aligned.  (The tape serves to create a binding and anchor cut edges.)

Now your book is ready for customization using your text, photos, drawings, clip art and magazine pictures.

If you tackle this project, I’d love how to hear how you’re using it.  If you blog about it, send me a link!

Blessings,

Alyson

A Trick to Get Those Shoes on the Right Feet

I saw this little beauty of an idea on Pinterest, and all I can say is it just makes sense.  For all you pinners, you can find the pin here:  http://pinterest.com/pin/234961305530256854/.  The blog post it was pinned from is here:  http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2008/04/putting-shoes-on-right-feet.html Basically, the idea is to take a sticker, cut it in two, and place the pieces on your child’s shoes so that when the left and right are in the appropriate positions, the sticker lines up to make a picture.  Then your child can just slide their feet into the correctly placed shoes. 

Talk about visual cueing!!!

You know, the ability to get shoes on the right feet is a skill we kind of take for granted.  Sure, some kids struggle with it a little longer than others and need more help to learn it, but we all assume they’ll figure it out eventually, and they do. 

For parents and caregivers of people with special needs, this can actually be a momentous milestone because it is one more addition to the list of things our child can do for himself, an activity of daily living he can do independently.  Woo hoo!!!!!   I mean, let’s face it; being able tp put shoes on the right feet is an important life skill.    And if your child can do it himself, it means that’s one less thing on your already overwhelming to-do list just to get out the door in the morning. 

Bella (just turned 4) got this after a few rounds of setting her shoes on the table and asking her to put them so that the dog’s head and tail lined up correctly (sorry, it’s a prism sticker – not the best to photograph.).  Since then it’s been easy peasy to get her to get her shoes on the right feet – all by herself. 

Now, if we could just get her to put her shoes in the right place every night so she could find them when she needed to put them on . . . but that’s another post.  :)  Now that I think about it, I think someone else will have to write that post.  Most days I can’t even find my own shoes.

I’m game to try this with Noah (5 – Down syndrome), but for now the fact that the stickers are on shoes is throwing him off.  No worries.  It’s given me a good idea for another activity for him.  Coming soon . . .

By the way, don’t forget to leave a comment for me on yesterday’s post, http://wordsofhisheart.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/chore-cards-by-appdads-a-review-and-giveaway/, to register for our free Chore-Card app giveaway – drawing to be held on Monday, September 17, 2012.  Three lucky winners will receive a redemption code for this oh-so-helpful chore system that features scannable cards for your kids.

Blessings,

Alyson

Pinned It, Did it – Melted Crayon Dot Art

One thing I’ve always wanted to be and never even came close was an artist.  I would love to be able to sketch and use watercolors in a way that produced results beyond what a 4-year-old could do.  The chances of that happening in this lifetime are pretty slim. 

Enter in Pinterest. 

Different melted crayon idea - WE did this for my hubby for Father's Day - Even my 7-year-old participated.  It turned out BEAUTIFUL!!!!  And it was wayyyyy fun!

I saw some beautiful melted crayon dot art, and it reminded me of a pointillism project I did when I was probably in junior high.  Dots I can do.

Father’s Day was coming up, and Andrew really dislikes us spending money on him but loves DIY creative-y things.  What an opportunity!  I, along with the 17-year-old, the 10-year-old, the 8-year-old and the 7-year-old spent four afternoons working, and at the end of the week, we had finished our entire last name as well as a heart from me.   The finished product now hangs above our threshold.  definitely one of the better DIY projects we’ve done.  (This picture shows just two of the letters and the heart before we hung them.)

 Project:  Melted Crayon Dot Art

Supplies: 

  1. Enough 8″ x 10″ canvases (in the art supplies aisle at Wal-Mart or a craft store) for each letter of your first or last name.
  2. Large quantity of old crayons in various shades of each color.  Peel them and sort them according to color and place in separate bags for storage.
  3. Candles, lots of candles.
  4. Printed bubble-type letters cut out to place in the center of your canvas.
  5. Tape
  6. Newspaper or plastic to cover your working space to protect it from melted crayon and wax.

Directions:

  1. Take your cut-out letter; and using double-sided tape, tape a letter in the middle of each canvas.
  2. Plan what colors you want to use for each letter, and write the color on the back of the canvas to remind you which colors will be used where.  I used the rainbow progression for our letters.
  3. Take the first letter and match it to the corresponding color you assigned it.  Hold the tip of your crayon just over the flame until it is wet and shiny and almost dripping, then quickly touch it to the canvas to form a dot.  If you actually touch the flame with your crayon, some blackening will occur.  Don’t worry.  By the time  you are finished, the black is not noticeable.  If you are a perfectionist, okay, you can worry.  Using the same crayon, continue to make dots randomly in this fashion.  Using this technique, you will need to remelt after each dot.
  4. Continue with the other shades of your color until the canvas is covered.
  5. Carefully peel off the bubble letter to reveal the canvas. 
  6. Continue with the remaining letters.

Honestly, my younger children did start to tire of this after the first day, especially the 7-year-old.  The 10-year-old and the 17-year-old hung in right up to the end.  We all agreed this was a lot of fun and we were very happy with the results. 

By the way, Andrew LOVED it!!!