Why is it . . .

Trust me, Folks.  You don’t want the visuals that would go with this post.

My 5-year-old has Down syndrome.  I am adjusting to the cognitive delays that come with Downs that are resulting in delayed potty training.   No big deal, right?

So how is it that the boy has the ability to poop in his underware in secret,  communicate to his sister what he has done, slide into the bathroom while she finds mom to report the latest, remove his own underware (making a disgusting mess in the process), hold his underware in one hand in the toilet while he flushes with the other (to rinse them out the way he’s seen me do it) . . .

. . . but he can’t figure out how to poop in the potty?

Ask me about my day . . . I dare you.

Seriously, I can’t believe it, but in the midst of the disaster, I actually caught myself feeling kind of proud of my boy for taking care of himself.  Have I lost my mind or what?


Finger Painting Without the Mess

I saw this idea on Pinterest, and it was right up my alley. I loved the combination of sensory play, fine motor, color vocabulary opportunities, color mixing concepts, and best of all easy clean-up.

 Pinned Image


Since we’re on G this week, I used yellow and blue paint to make green.  I never even went to the actual post for directions, just sort of put together my own version.  This was what I consider a very successful activity.  The sensation and visual effect of the paint moving underneath the plastic surface was actually very calming and relaxing, kind of mesmerizing.  You know how certain things just feel good?  Well, this just felt good!  You might just catch me doing this when no one else is around.

Here’s what it looked like when we started:

Activity:  Ziplock bag no-mess painting.


1.  Quart-size plastic sealable bag.

2.  Washable tempera paint.

3.  White paper.

4.  Painter’s tape.


1.  Tape white paper to table with painter’s tape (no residue) for contrast.

2.  Put enough paint in the sealable bag to thoroughly coat the bottom once spread.

3.  Seal the bag with as little air remaining as possible.

4.  Tape the bag on top of the white paper, folding down the seal underneath the bag to protect it from being opened.  (I skipped this step in the picture.)

5.  Show your child how to move the paint around with his fingers by pressing on the plastic, mixing the colors if there is more than one.

Here’s what it looked like when we were finished:

I started out just expecting to talk with Noah about how yellow and blue make green, but I saw some extension activities pretty quickly emerging.  We talked about lines and circles.  I modeled making a circle, and Noah copied mine.  We worked on making X’s too.  I think this will be an activity we will repeat many times to practice letters, shapes, numbers, you name it!!!!  Later on in the day I got the bag out again and gave it to my 8-year-old to practice his cursive on.  I gave him a card with all the cursive letters on it and asked him to duplicate them on the bag.  He only got to G before he was tired of it, but I’m thinking some of  my other children would have been happy to go the whole way through.   Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll have him go back and try manuscript letters since those are easy for him.

Incidentally, I had my other toddlers do this with us, and they really enjoyed it.  They were getting awfully curious about how the paint got in the bag and hence how to get the paint out of the bag, so I had to really keep my eye on them.

Another fun idea I saw was to put glitter in with the paint.  That’s just too irresistible, isn’t it?

Gotta run – off to find the glitter.

G is for Gold Glitter

As if Gold Glitter Play-Doh wasn’t enough . . .








Okay, I admit it.  Though you’d never know it by the way I dress, I do love a little bling.  This activity is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll throw in a couple ideas to make it easier than usual.  First I used chalk to draw the letter g on black construction paper.  Next, I handed over the glue bottles to Noah (5 with Down syndrome) and Bella (3), and they traced the letters with the glue.  I was really surprised on this step because Noah did a beautiful job of staying mostly on the line.  Bella had lots of blobs and gaps.  I gave them both paintbrushes, and they went back and spread the paint along the G.  This was a great way to maximize the time and minimize the effort of our craft time.  We can use all the sensory play and fine motor help we can get.  Finally, I turned the glitter top to the sprinkle holes and let the kids sprinkle it on the G themselves.  They loved that.  

I think this one will “stick” (I crack myself up) with them a while – who can forget a gold glitter G?