Our Life In Pictures, Tips

Activity and Reward System For Sensory Therapy That Kids Love!

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Psssst! Wondering why it’s been a little quiet around here lately?

Here’s the nutshell version, (though in the future I may post more in depth)…

Over the summer we took our older boys along to an occupational therapist (OT) to talk through a few concerns we were having at home. Following an evaluation it was noted that they both had mild difficulty with sensory processing along with a few other possible challenges. 

This evaluation was so helpful for us as parents in understanding some of the emotional responses we see on a daily basis and how it may be directly related to our boy’s difficulty processing sensory information from their environment. It was explained that ‘having sensory processing difficulties predisposes one to sensory overloads resulting in a decreased ability to handle changes in activities or tasks.’ Phew!

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We’re working together with the OT on short term and long term goals to facilitate and improve motor planning abilities, gross and fine motor coordination, bilateral coordination, impulse control, attention to task, sensory processing, and frustration tolerance. 

We were given an activity suggestion list, with both naturally occurring actives around the home as well as play activities. I was surprised to see that so many of these activities are ones that we naturally see kids do and never think twice. I had no idea that child-play was not only meant for the purpose of fun but plays such a role in cognitive development. So, if you’ve managed to read through to this point, (well done!) if you take anything away from this article it’s this;  LET KIDS PLAY!

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Sensory Therapy Activity Jar

I put together a little jar of sticks with a short activity from the suggestion list I was given. They pick one out when they seem to be getting a little bored, frustrated or over stimulated. Some of these activities include:

  • Sit and spin
  • Snow angels
  • Play Doh
  • Cut out shapes with scissors (or items from a magazine for the older child)
  • Spin marbles around a large bowl
  • Rock on the rocking chair
  • Bounce on mom and dad’s bed

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The Marble Jar

In combination with these activities I made a marble jar reward system. Their positive behavior earns marbles and when it is full they will be able to pick out a reward. (Equally a marble is taken away for negative behavior) As a family, you know what kind of things your children enjoy and they really don’t have to cost the earth if you are trying to be frugal. A few examples include:

  • Stay up an extra 30mins this weekend
  • A picnic in the park
  • Trip to the movies
  • Eat dessert first for dinner

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If the boys are playing together in another room and I hear them help each other out or say something kind etc, they hear the ‘ting’ of the marble drop in the jar followed promptly by a ’YESSSS!’

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Still trying to get our heads around it all. It’s a new world of vocabulary, new parent awareness skills, frequent trips to the OT and some days complete overwhelm! Not to mention, our nearly-two year old at home full time who is becoming busier himself these days :-)  But. This is not about me or my husband alone, this is about our children and giving them what we can for them to thrive in life, not only as nine and seven year olds but as adults, too! The great news is that even in this short time of intervention and occupational therapy we have seen progress.  

This perhaps gives a little insight into why it’s been a little quiet around here the past couple of months. 

Whether or not you are a parent of a child with ASD, ADHD, ADD, ODD, SPD, encouraging one another as parents to love our kids well, where they are at will be beneficial. However, if you suspect your child may be showing various systems of the above, set up a meeting with a local OT who can give personal recommendations.

 I hope your kids respond as well to these activity and reward systems. I would love to build up a good database of blogs for this issue, feel free to leaves comments below :-)

Have you joined me on Instagram or Facebook yet? You can also become a Click Mama Click subscriber to receive updates on this journey and tips to help you take better photos of your kids.

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Tips

5 Ways The Faceless Portrait Can Nurture A Deeper Connection With Your Child

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We often think of a portrait as focusing in on the face, the eyes in particular. Yet, as an artistic representation of a person, a portrait can be much more.

What I didn’t realize until recently was the surprising connection to my children that intentionally capturing a faceless portrait could stir in me, particularly in the early years.

Continue reading “5 Ways The Faceless Portrait Can Nurture A Deeper Connection With Your Child”

Tips, Uncategorized

Finding Shade In The Summer For Your Best Portraits!

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For most of us, summertime means spending more time out in the sun! Gloriously warm beach days, quintessential summer treats and backyard fun. Plenty of opportunities to capture your family on camera, right? Well, kind of….  Continue reading “Finding Shade In The Summer For Your Best Portraits!”

Tips

Multiple Shots From One Pose

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I’ve had the pleasure of photographing many newborns over the years, (including my own sons) ranging from posed in a studio to lifestyle in the home. Though it is definitely possible to have a newborn sleep through the entire session, the majority of the time you have to be creative and work with the baby in between feedings and diaper changes! And, in some cases, baby doesn’t want to miss out on anything and remains awake and alert the whole time :-) Continue reading “Multiple Shots From One Pose”

Tips, Uncategorized

Summer Photography Challenge!

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Are you ready for the SUMMER? Whether you have an action packed summer planned with the family or a quieter, relaxing break around the home, make sure you have your camera close at hand to capture moments that you will come back to over the years! Continue reading “Summer Photography Challenge!”

Tips

4 Unique Ways To Use Shadow To Photograph Your Kids

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Often times when we think about indoor portrait photography, we think about how to use light. We’re taught to find evenly lit areas and avoid patchy light, which can be unflattering. Like many photographers, I have sought out this soft, even light for the majority of my portrait work, avoiding the harsh and direct light which cause such contrast.

But, what if this ideal light isn’t readily available, especially around the house? Does it mean we call it defeat or wait till the weather cooperates and shoot only outdoors? Continue reading “4 Unique Ways To Use Shadow To Photograph Your Kids”

Shooting In Manual, Tips

How Autofocus Points Can Transform Your Photos

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Here is a fun, creative way to transform your photos and improve your photography skills!

In this article I look at the Autofocus points (AF points) on your camera and how you can change the settings to produce more professional looking photos; sharper images and controlled focal points. Continue reading “How Autofocus Points Can Transform Your Photos”

Tips

Creative Ways To Photograph Kids In The Snow

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Seeing a child’s joy and curiosity over the soft powdery white flakes and the crunch underfoot brings back our own childhood memories of catching snowflakes on the tongue, snowball fights and building snowmen! (Or in my case, it was a beautifully engineered igloo that my dad had us work on together!)

Memphis doesn’t get a lot of snow, however and even when it does snow it’s really more of a dusting! So you can imagine that even the mention of snow gets children buzzing! Snow day! Continue reading “Creative Ways To Photograph Kids In The Snow”

Tips

Pullbacks For Indoor Photography

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There are a couple of key things that I wish I had found out earlier in my photography journey (or even as a new mum with a dslr!) Today, I share one of them, whether you have a point and shoot or a dslr, it will change the way you photograph, forever! What is it, you ask? Continue reading “Pullbacks For Indoor Photography”

Tips

Five Indoor Light Photography Ideas To Try This Christmas

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Trimming the tree and decking the halls, gathering around the fireplace and cookies by candlelight. It’s a magical time. If capturing this festive season is as important to you as it is to me, you may have been left somewhat disappointed over the years by the lack of magical glow from your dslr only to be replaced by a glaring frosty flash! Fear not, I’ve put together five creative ideas just in time for the holidays to put the magic into your photos sans flash! Continue reading “Five Indoor Light Photography Ideas To Try This Christmas”