Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rules and Autism

I found these two articles a few months back, and they were really really helpful in validating some of what I already knew about my kiddos, as well as reinforcing the path we were on with them. And they turned some new lights on for me as well. Just like it's important to know our child's best learning style, we should also get to know how they best understand rules.

This may seem straightforward, and in many ways it is. Rules are rules right? 

But when working (and especially, living) with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, rules and rule following can get a little bit more complicated. For example we have some hard and fast rules in areas where many families probably get by with fairly simple reminders. Such as? Here are a few of areas I never envisioned having to "lay down the law" in:

  • You WILL shower at minimum on Tuesdays and Saturdays, no later than 4:30 pm. (Zak still pushes this rule nearly every week! Just this past Tuesday, he ended up owing me twenty minutes cleaning time because he procrastinated past 4:30 and I had to intervene with consequences.)  
  • No library books in the bathroom. (Because of the tendency to just set them down anywhere without noticing if there is a wet spot on the counter, or too close to the bathtub, and then get in the shower without closing the curtain all the way.)
  • No, you cannot set your alarm to ring before 6:30 in the morning (like 4:30 or 5), "just because" (Zak's words, not mine). 


I believe that every child wants to please. But not every child can when they feel overwhelmed or lost and confused. Sometimes a child may seem like they are being defiant, or disobedient, when in fact they simply don't understand the rules. 

Different kids process rules differently. Most of the time they can be divided into two groups:

  • Rationale-Dependent 
  • Structure-Dependent


This article about the rationale-dependent child is a very apt description of Zak, although he is a mix of the two types, this one is dominant by far. We learned to give him explanations and reasons long before we learned about his Asperger's, and most of the time, he manages quite well when armed with explanations. 

I was a bit surprised however at how accurate this article about the structure-dependent child was in describing Grace. 

She has not, and may not ever be diagnosed, but this was so important in helping remind me that, diagnosis or not, she still faces some unique challenges, and she does at times have some pretty powerful "acting out" moments. Especially when something has become a rule in her head, even though we as her parents never actually made something a rule, and then from her perspective, we are breaking the rule, or changing it on her. And I can't even begin to count the number of times she is the 'police officer', ready to report any and all rule-breaking, by anyone! She sees rules as very black and white, and no amount of explanation will make her budge of she has predetermined what the rule is. And those who disagree, are just plain wrong!

Kit seems to be mostly a structure-dependent kiddo too. Although knowing the rules, but not yet being able to follow them is a symptom of being three as much as it is part of autism. Sometimes with her, absolutely no rule is going to restrain our tiny tyrant!

These sub-types are not restrictive to children on the Autism Spectrum. I think most kids fall generally into one or the other. Kids on the spectrum just tend to need or follow these patterns sometimes in excess or to extremes.

Do you see your own kids in either description? How about yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Evaluations and an IEP

Well, we are finally done with all the evaluations and paper work getting ready for Kit's transition out of Early Steps and into the services of the school district.

She will not be going to school, but when a child turns three, the school district takes over responsibility for further intervention. With a catch, of sorts.

Early Intervention's aim is to provide assistance in any area that the child has an assessed need, and in any part of their daily routine from sleeping, to dressing, to bathing, to daycare, to interacting with family members to strangers, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc. in which they have difficulty. Though the amount and intensity differs drastically from child to child.

When the school district takes over, their aim is to assist a child to cope in an educational setting. All of their determinations are based on how the child behaves, interacts, and attends to tasks and people in an educational environment. When a child is too young to attend school, ages three and four usually, their services are based on what will best help prepare them to cope in an educational environmental. The way they do this is to send an Itinerant Teacher or therapists to the child's home or daycare to work with the child, similar to Early Intervention, but not exactly the same.

That is what my questions and much discussion on the matter has lead me to understand. In the most basic sense: Early Intervention tries to help the whole family, understand and help the whole child, to cope in any environment. School services however, focus on teaching only the parts of a child that don't conform to classroom decorum.

I have no doubt that sentence greatly offends those working in that field. But the fact is, like it or not, that is at it's core what it's about.

During a phone conversation the woman coordinating Kit's evaluations, when I was expressing many of my concerns that the team was not truly getting a good understanding of Kit's challenges because of the very limited, and artificial setting that the evaluations were taking place under, I presented her with a potential future situation that went basically like this...

'I think that Kit could potentially learn to manage to hold herself together enough to make it through a school day. For a while. She probably could manage to learn to get through the day without biting someone or something, or throwing things, and generally going with the flow. But I also have no doubt that after working that hard all day, every day, that the fallout after she gets home, and especially at the end of a week, would be nuclear. Everything that she had to fight against, suppress, and feel, that she couldn't let out is going to explode at home. She would have huge mood swings, her sensory seeking would intensify, and she would have such a hard time finding any kind of balance. How is it helping if she can manage at school, but becomes a complete disaster at home?'

'Well, if that were to happen, we would recommend that you look into private therapy to address those issues.'

She was not being rude, dismissive, or negative in any way. Her tone was sympathetic. And later when we talked about it again in person and in greater detail, she did seem to understand better where I was coming from and my reluctance to put her in preschool. This is not a woman who doesn't care about children or is otherwise 'just doing her job' as the saying goes. I could tell, both from those conversation and others, that she and the whole team really do care. But even if they disagree with the way things work, there is little to nothing they can do about it.

Here are the results of Kit's evaluations.

Her combined cognitive, reasoning and memory scores were sky high. She scored a 116 combined, which I was told is pretty incredible for a child her age. When they do testing for giftedness, the minimum score to meet the criteria for gifted is 115, and the coordinator said Kit got 116 without any of the questions used for giftedness even being applied. Of course even that is limited. Many incredibly gifted people may never meet the test criteria, but nevertheless are genius in their talents.

On one of the tests they couldn't score it because she never hit the ceiling of three or five wrong answers, can't remember which. They finally just stopped because she was clearly exhausted. The age level she stopped at was 5 1/2 years.

During the ADOS-2 evaluation, which is used to look for signs of Autism, she didn't fit the stereotype. She makes eye contact, points, and responds to her name. She responded appropriately to certain prompts. She didn't completely zone out and line up the toys or go spin in a corner. Her hand was planted firmly in her mouth for about the first half, but she's not one that flaps her hands much, just chews on them. She wouldn't speak, other than a couple of whispered phrases to me. Nor would she stray more than six inches from my knees. According to their guidelines, she did not meet the educational criteria for an Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Of course, they are observing the results of over a year and a half of us and others working very hard with her to help her body and brain feel organized enough to even stand in a room full of strangers and not insist on nursing or hiding, both of which she still wants to do, but has learned to be okay without for the time being, even though her anxiety comes out through behavior and crying later.

Many of my concerns and observations were noted and included in the report, though not an exhaustive list because I forgot my list of concerns at home, and my memory always seems to turn off right when I need it to be sharpest, which was why I had made the list in the first place. Errrghg! 

She did receive an educational classification of Developmental Delay, in the areas of social and emotional development. This is because of her lack of social comfort, even after becoming comfortable in the environment, reluctance to engage with safe adults, as well as her anxiety and difficulty with emotional regulation. They observed her to be extremely shy, and her unwillingness to cooperate with some of the tests poses an educational challenge. When I met with her new teacher this week to set up the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), she said, 'they can know it all, but they need to be able to answer when called on, or (eventually) take a standardized test, because that's the way the system works'.

I understand that view. Of course my view is, 'then change the system!' Obviously, not her personally, but in general. But that's not happening anytime soon, and obviously, I'm not looking to public education to guide my kids into adulthood. But I kept all that to myself. 

I may not entirely agree with the process, but I appreciated the people that were involved. We were treated with dignity and respect throughout. Everyone just loved Kit! It's impossible not to! And I did feel like our experience, hard work, and concerns were taken seriously, which I deeply appreciate.

Kit starts work with her new teacher September 4. Her teacher will come to the house, once a week, and work with Kit for 30 min. She will work with Kit at sharing, taking turns, overcoming obstacles and frustrations, and verbalizing her thoughts, needs and feelings consistently. Doing all of this with a person who is not related to her being the key.

So that's that. And we move into a new stage of life with Kitty Bitty.

We are still exploring some other options to help in the area of Occupational Therapy, which we still feel she strongly benefits from. So more on all of that later.

Happy Wednesday everyone!




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Busy Bags: Shape Play 2

Here is a more challenging variation of yesterday's Busy Bag.

More, larger, and greater variety of shapes give more options and challenge. 

Again I took pictures of some arrangements I made to act as ideas or a template, but with this combo of shapes there are nearly endless possibilities of combinations.

Two circles, four small squares, four small long rectangles, one large rectangle, and one medium rectangle make up this Busy Bag.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Busy Bags: Shape Play 1

This Busy Bag can be a matching game and free play.

Two circles, a triangle, a rectangle, and four small squares.

Arrange in different combinations to make animals and bugs!

I took pictures in order to put them in the bag to act as a guide or matching game, but for the kiddos whose imagination wanders, they are free to arrange their very own masterpieces!

This one is good for younger kids or those who need a lighter challenge.


Friday, August 22, 2014

This Week in Homeschool

I would love to say with great conviction that a weekly round-up of our homeschool week is going to be a regular feature here, but all I can say with any real firmness is "I'll try".

I am very pleased that the start of this school year has been anticipated with much more energy and joy on my part than last year. While we are still juggling a great many demands on our time, and especially, our energy, we have a much firmer grip on what we are doing. This is especially so in regard to Kit.

Last August, I was a complete mess. I was operating on basically no sleep. I had so much stress and anxiety over Kit. I was deep in the void of depression. We had just, yet what felt like, finally, recieved Kit's official Autism diagnosis. And I was completely burnt out. 

But stopping wasn't possible because no matter how exhausted I might have been, and no matter how supportive and helpful Victor was (which he was, enormously, and still is), the demands are still there. Everyone still needs food, clean clothes, baths, hugs, boo boos kissed, theoretical questions about time and space debated, and shoes found. So we muddled through, some days doing purely the bare minimums. 

And for a couple of months school was pretty bare bones as well. I let the kids indulge in  science experiments as long as they cleaned up after themselves, which they usually still couldn't do completely, so they didn't get to do as many as they asked for. So school last fall was mostly book work of math, science, and a couple of writing projects each week.

This August, I'm still a mess. But a much happier, much more organized, better rested, and fairly mentally stable mess. :)

And school this fall is back to more the way we like it. Busy, hands-on, and often, messy.

We are still in the midst of a reorganization of the house. Many changes to furniture, and storage happening around here. It has Zak somewhat irritated, Grace in tears with every adjustment, and Kit just loves the extra space to spin and run! Hopefully, when we are done, everyone will appreciate the newly organized spaces and better access to all our stuff! 

In the meantime, we have also been busy with the change of grades, and had a great first week!

In math we haven't had any major changes. Zak is not quite finished with his book from last year, so he is still plugging away with that. I had intended for Grace to continue in her book from last year as well, but she begged to start 3rd grade with her 3rd grade math book, so I told her we would try it out. She's three lessons in and just needs help with a few things here and there, same as with last year's, so, hooray!

Both are still working through their science books, which we tend to migrate through slowly because we do so much hands on science. The books we use are designed for a span of ages rather than just a specific age or grade so our science work flows from year to year and wherever our ideas and interests take us. 

The kids had some friends over yesterday and they joined us in school work. This was what they did for science.




Girls




Boys

I divided them into teams and challenged them to build a free standing bridge, platform, or table, at least three inches tall, out of paper and tape, that could support the weight of a thick textbook. The boys hurriedly attempted several designs trying to race to finish first, where the girls brainstormed, discussed and examined the elements of the paper before implementing their plan. Both teams were successful! And they had fun while they did it! 

While they were doing that, Kit and I were able to do some counting work out of her math book, which she loves. She loves holding her pencil, even though the book doesn't even require pencil work. That doesn't stop her from circling, underlining, and coloring in the pictures!

The last couple of weeks Kit has really been into Play-Doh! So much so that we ran out about a week ago because of being left out and drying out. I finally bought some more this week, much to Kit's and Grace's delight. But during my brief visit to the bathroom Wednesday, Kit decided this was the way she wanted to display the hot pink Play-Doh:




Yup. That's my hairbrush. Thankfully, the dough came out relatively easy with the help of a comb to work it up through the bristles, and the brush came out of the ordeal unscathed and still usable. Unfortunately, the dough came out looking like a comet dragging a tail of wispy blond and chocolate brown hair. Bye bye brand new hot pink Play-Doh.

The majority of Kit's activities during the week were not quite as dramatic.

She enjoyed blowing bubbles as Ivan batted at them with his paws (for a blind cat, he is astonishingly accurate with his aim!).




She loves building towers with her Wedgits.




And swinging on the rope outside is a huge favorite right now.








And Mama is very grateful for the days that she actually naps! They are getting to be few and far between even though we both still need her to!



This little guy came with Kit's school stuff and he has been quite popular with both Kit and Grace. The cards show an arrangement, and the point is to arrange the blocks and bunny to look like the picture. It helps develop spacial thinking, processing, pattern recognition, and many other thinking skills. Not to mention it's fun and adorable!



Another very popular, and new addition to our school stuff is the Laser Maze. The object is to reflect and bend the laser beam to hit the target. I haven't sat down and tried it myself, but I think the cards tell you where to place the beam and the target, and which pieces are needed to make it work, but the puzzle is finding how to place them in order to hit the target. I'll have to actually play it though to get more specifics. The kids really love it, though even the beginning levels are very challenging for Grace. Kit loves to snatch the laser and shine the little red dot all around the kitchen!



And lastly, in history this week, we read about the rise of the Medes and Persians, and about Cyrus. We discussed in detail the Bible's account of the fall of Babylon, and the events of that much prophesied about night. It's an account that always thrills and amazes me, and I was amazed that when we talked about the handwriting on the wall, Zak remembered the words almost perfectly! That is just from his own reading about it over the years, because we haven't talked about it in quite a while!



It was definitely a fun and busy first week! And only a four day one at that. The kids are off to Auntie and Nana's for the day, and night for a couple of them. And Victor took his dad to work with him since I have Kit's IEP meeting this afternoon with the Special Education team. I'm ignoring my nerves and distracting myself.  I'm supposed to be cleaning and organizing, but I'm drinking coffee and blogging in my quiet and empty house. But time flies when you're having fun and I need to shower so as not to show up with leftover Play-Doh in my hair. ;)


Also linked up with:

The Chicken Chick    Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop    Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers  Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day of Homeschool Party

Monday was our first day of school!

Even though we do school all year, I like to make the start of a new school year "official". The last couple years did not lend themselves to anything big, but this year things have been much smoother all around, and I am really excited about how many of our friends have started homeschooling either last year or this year! So I wanted to do something a little more special this year.

Monday afternoon we had a First Day of Homeschool Science Party!

Not all of our homeschooling buddies could make it, but we ended up with 10 "students" ranging in age from 2-15.

The science nerd in me was completely geeked out! And I loved it!

I set up science stations around the house for the kids to check out, build, play with, and eat! I made fact sheets about each one and supplies for them to play with. There were six stations: 
  • what makes popcorn pop 
  • mad science fizzy drinks (pop rocks in Hawaiian Punch and Sprite)
  • a build-your- own- race-car station with celery and carrot rounds
  • a cup full of a larger version of the absorbent beads in a diaper
  • a basket full of party poppers and how they work
  • a station with a bunch of Zak and Grace's crystals, both raw and polished, that they have collected over the years and a brochure I made about how they grow.















The kids meandered from station to station, trying out different things. The Fizzy drinks were a big hit, as were the party poppers, obviously. And I was impressed by how creative the kids were with their cars, adding steering wheels and tail fins. And one did't make a car at all, she chose to travel by llama!

They made fruit kabobs to snack on, and played outside while they munched on pizza rolls and pigs in a blanket. 


Meanwhile, I boiled the water and dissolved sugar to make the syrup for our candy crystal experiment. After each kid chose his or her own color, we hung the sugar coated sticks in each jar with high hopes that they would grow into rock candy over the next week or so.

But I think I might have missed something, or maybe still didn't have enough sugar, because the ones on our window sill are still not growing any crystals after two days. So I think we might have to boil the mix again and add more sugar and see if that gets them growing. It was the first time trying it, so who knows? It was a fun learning experience either way.



So that was our first day! And it sure was a fun one. 

I was thinking that we will have another one soon. Such a great way for the kids to learn through play, and for us Mama's to get to visit a bit too! Plus, I thought of way more ideas than I had time or room to set up. So we will definitely try to do it again soon!

Linked up with:
Hip Homeschool Moms     Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chicken Coop

Yay! We finally finished the chicken coop!


We built the framework, and the hen house over a month ago. But due to schedules and weather, hadn't finished fencing in the run.

But we finally were able to get a load of sand, much of which went down on the floor of the run. Then put up the hardware cloth around the walls and installed the door to the run.

Now our chickies can freely go between their house and the run. They can exercise and visit and claw without worry of one slipping out of the yard.

We still let them out in the yard, nearly every day. But this way they have much more room for the days and times when they need to be more confined.

It came out so nice!

Can't wait till they start laying! Looking forward to going to visit my girlies and collecting our daily eggs!




The Chicken Chick

Monday, August 18, 2014

Busy Bags: Deep Pressure Trucks

Bubble wrap and toy trucks. That's all this one is.

Except it's tons more as well!

For little kids like Kit, they might need help learning to push the trucks hard enough to pop the bubbles. But this is a great activity to promote large muscle building, to satisfy deep pressure input, to satisfy sound seekers, and to vent some frustrations as well.

I discovered that the matchbox cars don't seem to have enough clearance needed to get the wheels to pop the bubbles. But the trucks did much better. We are going to try monster trucks and our play dough rolling pins as well! 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Growing (Grace)fully

Scene: Grace is explaining to Kit what a hobo is...

"Hobos are people who put themselves in boxes and mail themselves to places like Hollywood. Then they become famous for their ideas. And that's what a hobo is!"

I like that definition. :)

Visual Schedule and Preschool!

Our school supplies arrived yesterday!




That is always one of the best days of the year!

We are not talking about four dozen pencils and six boxes of tissue.

No, our school supplies are way more exciting! We are talking about full color Graphic Novels about Historic Disasters, chemistry sets, Flubber, puzzles, games, a Laser Maze, and more. And of course workbooks, textbooks, and all the bubble wrap that came with it!

And this year holds even more excitement as we officially have a 7th grader, 3rd grader, and Preschooler!!

Yup, we are doing an organized schedule with specific activities, even with Kitty Bitty. 

Her need for a more regimented schedule has been increasing for a while. And quite frankly I think plain old boredom has been a big contributor to her less pleasant outbursts, biting episodes, and control issues.

She is constantly hungry for new academic and cognitive challenges and she has mastered pretty much all the casual learning there is to be had around here. It's definitely time for some supplemental stimulation. Though I'm not looking to reach any specific academic goals, there is no such thing as too exposure to critical thinking skills, problem solving, music, art, exploration and literature! No matter their age.

When Kit is idle lately, she finds trouble, so organizing her time with fewer gaps might keep her mind and body busy but her bottom off the Naughty Spot a bit more.

I've never been a strict schedule person, but when Kit came along, she changed a lot of things I used to be. Like a person who slept at night.

Nevertheless, all of us are at a point right now that a bit stricter routine has a calming influence rather than a restrictive one. And calm is good. And to help facilitate calm, structure and routine, I have finally found a website that lets you make visual aids, from real photos, for free!

I absolutely love it. The pictures are great, and though there is over 300, I still hope they add even more!

Kit responds to photographs. She has always preferred real life pictures to illustrations, even as an infant.

They have several different templates to choose from depending on the size you desire. And the steps are clear and easy.

I made three sheets of twelve 2x2 images, and one sheet of four 4x4. I was able to label the pictures myself, and the photos are full color which was exactly what Kit likes best.

I used self laminating sheets to make ours sturdy and durable!

Some of the cards are Activities of Daily Living images, like breakfast, washing hands, and sleep. 

Others are more activity based according to how our "school" day looks, such as puzzles, book work, music, or outside.




A couple are travel cards. Designed to be taken with us and pulled out on a key chain as needed. "Hold hands" is going to be very useful in letting her know the rules of the parking lot before her feet even touch the pavement, but also as a visual reminder halfway in when she wants to let go and run. "Seat belt on" will also serve as the visual rule for going anywhere. She doesn't give Daddy nearly as hard a time as me, but getting her buckled in is often a time consuming struggle!




And then we have the bigger cards. I anticipate these being referred to many times a day for quite a while still.

They show an emotion, happy or angry, and are paired with an acceptable way to show that feeling. When happy she may pet the cat with gentle hands. When angry, she may squeeze, lay on, or bite any of her stuffed animals.




She has made some improvement in this area, but we still have a long way to go before she restores a non-biting relationship with the real cat. I really hope these help. They will be displayed in a highly visible area at her eye level so that she can refer to them as needed and as much as she wants.

I also have sensory diet cards and body movement cards that will be placed strategically throughout the daily routine. But I purchased these from Amazon.




So starting Tuesday, our schedule will be a little stricter, a little busier, and a whole lot more visual!





She really likes her farm animal counters. She arranged them all on her new farm play mat. All of the pigs went in the pond since it didn't have a mud hole. :)


If you'll excuse me now, I have to go shovel a path through the kids room to make room for our new supplies!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Love Handed Down

Time has a way of moving forward whether we are ready or not.

The other day I was folding clothes and realized that at least six of the t-shirts that my soon-to-be three year old wears are shirts that I bought when I was pregnant with, or shortly thereafter, for my nearly twelve year old. When I bought them, they seemed huge compared to the tiny baby he was at the time and they seemed like they would never fit him. Not only did he grow into, play, sleep, and live in them, but so did my second, and now my third toddler!

But that was exactly why I bought them! On purpose to be worn and loved and then outgrown and passed on to successive siblings (and a few cousins in between as well!). And that is part of what makes them so special. The stories they could tell. The adventures they have lived through. Their battle scars. They are just regular cotton t-shirts, and yet they are much more as well.

I have a much deeper appreciation for old fashioned home made quilts. Pieced together, not with scraps, but with memories.

Those mothers fingered those garments possibly hundreds of times, from baby gowns, overalls, to Sunday bests, to calico dresses with hem let out until there was none left only to be passed on to a younger one and the hem brought up eight inches again. Stroking them as they soothed fevers, kissed scraped knees through patched holes, or tucked in a shirt for the hundredth time. They sewed them fresh, scrubbed out stains, patched holes, found missing buttons, and starched and ironed with sweat on their brows but love in their hearts. And the love is what they put those quilts together with, every piece a part of those mothers hearts.

Yes, time has a way of marching onward.

Sometimes this can be scary and sad. Sometimes it can be exciting and fun! And sometimes it is a mixed up pot of all of that and more.

And that is why we mothers hang on to these treasures which our children outgrow move beyond. Because a picture speaks a thousand words, but cotton is what captures the sense, the feeling, even sometimes the smell of those long gone moments that pass, too fast, too soon.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Busy Bags: Glue Rubs

So this is a very easy, basically no cost, reusable activity for kids of varying ages. It requires only 3-4 basic supplies.

1. Any kind of liquid/school glue. I used white Elmer's, but gel glue probably works just as well, and I've read many posts about using hot glue as well. But this was really simple and I didn't have to dig out my hot glue gun.

2. Card-stock, index cards, or cardboard. (This is optional, but much more durable than putting the glue on plain paper.)

3. Crayons

4. Paper

Draw a design on the card-stock, keeping in mind that glue spreads, so keep it simple and roomy. 

Then go over outline with glue. I did this myself to save time and because my kids were all sleeping. But this can easily be done by big kids with decent motor skills, especially if the patterns are simple. 



I let them dry overnight, and even then a few places has run together and weren't quite dry by morning, but after a few more hours they were ready to go!



Grace was really excited about them and was asking all day to use them. She loved them! 


Kit had not napped and was not in the best of moods when she decided to join in the activity. That meant her patience level was not very high, nor was her frustration tolerance. That combined with toddler level coloring skills meant that she was not ready to manage on her own. She liked the idea, but couldn't manage keeping the paper in place over the rubbing and manipulating the crayon at the same time. But with my help holding the paper and helping guide the crayon, she was fascinated by the appearance of the images. Ultimately however, she was happiest when I gave her a sheet of stickers to add to her artwork.






Overall, I think it turned out to be a great activity. Kit will grow into it and will probably be more receptive to cooperating at a time when she is better rested. But this is easy and really mobile. And great for a very large age span. Zak was otherwise occupied, but even he would enjoy making a couple and experimenting with color effects.