Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Red Rover, Red Rover.....

I have to say, this is by FAR the best money we - err, Santa - has ever spent on a toy!  We are talking about the Red Rover, Red Rover game by Mattel.  (I was not asked to review this and have received nothing for it.)

It was picked up as sort of an after thought.  Christopher has a "thing" for dogs. His favorite sign is dog, and one of his favorite shows is Kipper the Dog. He is on the waiting list for his assist dog too. :) 

It usually takes Christopher a while to warm up to a new toy, which is why we have so many still in the box!  However, he was taken with this one right out of the box.

We played on the lowest level - Puppy level.  You take the bones and spread them out face down.  For most children, this would mean all over the room but it worked well just on the table. I put them all out at first, but that seemed a little too much.  He wouldn't turn them over, so we also  put them face up so that he could see the colors. You push the dog's nose and Rover asks for a colored bone. I put three bones in front of Christopher and he chooses a bone and inserts it in Rover's mouth (great OT work here!).  Rover then tells you if you have the correct answer.  Rover gives nice positive reinforcement when the answer is correct.  If the answer is incorrect, he asks for another bone.

Christopher was able to get all but one correct!  We were so happy, and so was he! Especially since there were several colors that we haven't reviewed yet, like pink, purple, brown, white, and black. The only one he did not get correct was black. 

All in all, this was a great investment!  For mobile kids - it can be used to wear them out.  Hide the bones all over your house.  The next level asks for colors, letters, numbers, and shapes. This will last us a while. It is also nice because you can make the game as long as it holds their attention.

I would think that it would not be too hard to make a file folder version of this game that you could customize accordingly.  However, part of the fun is Rover's response. 



P.S.  As soon as Blogger lets me put picures on the blog again, I'll post one of Red Rover.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

December Review (Long - sorry)

First, we want to wish you all a Happy New Year!  We hope 2011 brings great things for ALL of our friends out there.

December was crazy busy!  Big Chris had a couple of 70 + hour work weeks. We have the usual holiday "stuff" and Christopher's birthday on the 19th (I STILL cannot believe he is 7 already!). We have been travelling to Chicago at least once a week for therapy(ies), and an occasional doctor appointment. Can I say again how much we LOVE our therapists?

Obligatory Birthday Picture! 
We are really starting over from the beginning. Most of Christopher's life up to now has been getting him to the next month alive. I hope I don't jinx it, but he is finally healthy enough to concentrate on much of what he has missed out on.  We have also picked up quite a few sensory issues along the way. So our therapy sessions are geared toward "waking up" those muscles that haven't been used, or were too floppy/loose to be useful, overcoming our multitude of sensory issues, and attempt to get the kid up and moving!

Here are a few pics of therapy fun:

Swinging in OT with Theratogs to "wake-up" those muscles!

PT Pool Therapy - First time in the pool!

One the home school front, we worked on lots of things this month. 

We had books:

And a big hit was the sticker sheets from Oriental Trading.  If you are looking for something fun (and a fine motor activity) these are fairly inexpensive. They are sold in packs of 12 and average about $3.00. Christopher really likes them, as long as he can do the ones with the larger stickers.  Something we will continue to work on:

We worked on 4 piece puzzles. These are from a teacher's group that I belong to. Elaine made these.  Lots of talent there!

We did worksheets. Again working on larger vs smaller concepts. He did really well with these! From Preschool Printable of the Day from Preschool Palace:

He worked on matching like items with these flashcards.  I am not sure where I got them from (If you recognize them, please let me know so I can credit properly). However, they were from the UK so some of the items were not familiar to him.  He did VERY well with these. 

He LOVED doing various Do-A-Dot worksheets (which we gave to Grandparents as gifts this year). Definitely see more of those in our future. This one is from Making Learning Fun:

We also did various parts and pieces from Nativity and Christmas Tot packs at 1+1+1=1 and the Christmas pack at Confessions of a Homeschooler.    Go on over and check them out!  Great resources.

We also had a Christmas themed sensory bin that I forgot to get a picture of. It had silver tinsel, plastic red and green ornaments, sparkly red and green pom poms, a dozen Christmas erasers in pairs, and jingle bells.  He hated it.  LOL!  We will try again in January.
I was feeling bad that we didn't get all of the things done that I wanted to do during December, but in posting it I think we did enough.

Not sure what my issue was, be we didn't get the tree up until the 23rd.  I am not sure we even HAD one last year. Here is a picture to prove we made it and Santa visited:

This Christmas marked the FIRST Christmas that Christopher was able to go to midnight mass at our church. (Father frowns on pictures in church).  We decided to try it because the "weather was frightful" and we knew there wouldn't be too many people there. We also heard rumors that the incense was going to be kept at a minimum. Plus, Aunt T was singing and Christopher and Big Chris have never heard her sing!  He did VERY well.  We sat away from the rest of the congregation (all 20 of em). He absolutely LOVED the organ music. Guess Mommy will have to get busy with some lessons soon.

Soon it was Christmas morning, and what would Christmas be without Occupational Therapy - eerrrr, I mean presents!  LOL! 

More gifts at Gama & Papa's House!
Looking out our front door Christmas Day.  We didn't get the snow that the East Coast did, but it was pretty snow.
Since this is so long, our next post will be our goals.  Thanks for sticking with us!



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