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Christmas Fine Motor Crafts and Sensory Play Activities

 

If you’re looking for some hands-on learning this week with a Christmas theme, this is the place for you! I’ve gathered together over 20 Christmas Fine Motor Crafts and Sensory Play Activities that will keep you busy all week long. When the kids are restless and ready to make a craft or get their wiggles out, try one of these fun and educational activities with them.

20+ Christmas Fine Motor Crafts and Sensory Play Activities for kids! hsbapost.com

Christmas Fine Motor Crafts and Sensory Play Activities

  1. Craft Stick Star Ornament
  2. Christmas Ornament Bin
  3. Christmas Water Bead Sensory Play
  4. Christmas Light Slime
  5. Bubble Wrap Christmas Craft
  6. Cookie Cutter Play dough
  7. Sponge Painting Craft
  8. Present Wrapping Craft
  9. Torn Paper Christmas Tree
  10. Cotton Ball Snow man
  11. Styrofoam Tree Decorating
  12. Yarn Wrapped Snow Flake
  13. Bead and Pipe Cleaner Ornaments
  14. Card Puzzle tray
  15. Christmas Plate Craft
  16. Reindeer Fine Motor
  17. Baking Soda Science Experiment
  18. Santa Fine Motor Craft
  19. Skills Activity
  20. Candy Cane Play Dough Ornaments
  21. Cupcake Liner Craft

Hope you enjoy these ideas and have a Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Sara (122 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Homemade Wintergreen Play Dough

 

If you’re looking for a fun indoor project to do this winter, especially in this week leading up to Christmas, try out this simple homemade play dough recipe! We used wintergreen scent and green food coloring, but you could use red and cinnamon, or any other combination of color/scent that you like best. Get creative and make several batches! It’s a great sensory activity for little ones or kids with special needs — and just plain fun for everyone.

Make your own homemade wintergreen play dough with this simple recipe today! hsbapost.com

Homemade Wintergreen Play Dough

1 cup of water
4 cups flour
3 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups of salt
5-7 drops of wintergreen essential oil (you can add more or less depending on preferences)
Green food coloring

Directions:
1. Begin by mixing your water and the 3-5 drops of green food coloring in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Next, add the flour and salt. Mix well a paste forms.
3. Now, add the oil. Start by adding a tablespoon at a time. Remember to start small and add as needed to get the correct consistency.
4. Start kneading the mixture until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky you can add a pinch of flour at a time until it is right. If it is too dry, you can add a teaspoon of oil or water at a time until is right.

DIY wintergreen play dough

Your wintergreen play dough is now ready to be played with. It can be placed in a plastic container with lid when not in use, and should stay good for several weeks.

Make your own DIY wintergreen play dough! Perfect winter indoor project. hsbapost.com

 

Merry Christmas,

 

Sara (122 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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A Comparison of Homeschooling Styles for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

 

Guest post by Kerry Jones.

It’s one of a homeschooling parent’s favorite questions for each other: “What is your homeschooling style?” If the question is new to you, then you are likely new to homeschooling! Don’t worry, it won’t be long before you are approached with it. And it won’t be long, either, before you have an answer!

When you are homeschooling a child on the spectrum, though, the question takes on a particular importance. While parents of neurotypical kiddos may be able to simply “choose” to be unschoolers, or literature-based homeschoolers, or virtual schoolers, we parents of ASD kiddos have specific considerations to take in. So, let’s look at some of the most popular homeschooling styles out there, and talk about them spectrum parent to spectrum parent, shall we?

A comparison of homeschool methods or styles for kids on the autism spectrum

Homeschooling Styles for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Classical Homeschooling

The classical approach has the worthy overall goal of teaching children to think for themselves. Using the “trivium” model, children move through three main stages of learning: concrete learning, critical learning, and abstract learning. It’s a language-focused, literature-focused homeschooling style that has become increasingly popular in many private schools.

 

Pros

  • it focuses heavily on finding connections between math, science, history, and literature – – something that kids on the spectrum seem to have a natural affinity for

  • with it’s forward-focus, it reminds parents to look to what their child can accomplish instead of what they can’t

Cons

  • If you have a child who has difficulty focusing on books or printed materials, this homeschooling style can be especially challenging

  • Most all published classical homeschooling curriculum would need to be overhauled when using with a child on the spectrumChild Reading Outside

 

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

 

This whole-child approach to homeschooling is based on the teachings of 19th century writer and educator Charlotte Mason.
A Charlotte Mason homeschool day might consist of nature walks, journaling, dictation, handicrafts, and reading of living books.

 

Pros

  • While it’s difficult to think of too many pros for this copywork/dictation-heavy style of learning, I’ve definitely read narratives by parents who’ve had success with a “gentle CM” approach

  • CM advises a lesson length of no more than 15 minutes at a stretch for younger learners, which is always good advice when working with children on the spectrum

Cons

  • With books and journaling at the center of this style of learning, a child with a disinterest in reading and writing would likely be frustrated with this approach

  • Another key focus of the CM method is narration (telling back in your own words what you just heard or read). Need I say more?

Unschooling

The unschooling, or child-led homeschooling style gets a lot of press time, doesn’t it? As you are probably aware, an unschooler usually has no formal curriculum, but is allowed to learn according to his or her own interests, time-table, and motivation. Does this sound like a recipe for disaster for an ASD child? Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages to this approach:

Pros

  • Children who have finely honed interests can explore those passions unencumbered by the restrictions of a curriculum

  • Can help keep parents focused less on what a child “should be doing by a specific age”, and focused more on the joy of learning

Cons

  • Radical unschooling without any schedule or structure can be unsettling to some children on the spectrum

  • Unschooling depends heavily on a child’s inner motivation to explore the outside world, while many children with autism are content to be occupied with their inner world

 

Online schooling

Virtual Schooling

As more and more states open virtual schools, it has become a popular option – – particularly among new homeschoolers who worry about completely taking their child’s education into their own hands. A virtual school (technically considered a public charter school in most states) offers parents the ability to school a child at home on the computer while still being under the umbrella of the public school system.

 

Pros

  • For new homeschool parents, it can be a good gateway into homeschooling and can relieve some of the stress of full educational responsibility

  • Scheduled and set up like a public school classroom, which can be comforting to some ASD students who are transitioning to schooling at home

Cons

  • Curriculum cannot be easily customized to meet individual student needs

  • Much like a public school classroom, scheduled deadlines for work mean less flexibility in amount of work and time required

 

Eclectic Homeschooling

Eclectic homeschooling is a bit of a “catch all” phrase to describe a style of homeschooling where parents mix and match curriculum and teaching styles to fit each student. They may go to a weekly homeschool cooperative for science, study history with living books, study math using an online curriculum, and integrate notebooking into language arts. This style of homeschool would look different not only in each homeschool, but for each homeschool student.

Pros

  • Students receive a completely customized education for their needs and learning style

  • Because of the flexibility of this style, if one approach or curriculum isn’t working, parents simply try something else

Cons

  • Requires significant parental time to research and find resources that will work for each student

  • Can be somewhat expensive to purchase materials for each child unless parents seek out free resources

 

Wrap-Up

In my experience, I find that all homeschoolers who have a child on the autism spectrum tend to be at least somewhat in the final category of “Eclectic Homeschooler” even if we see ourselves primarily as another style. That’s because no one homeschooling style is going to fit our kids every day and in every situation. Just as we have to be in every other aspect of our life, our approach to homeschooling has to be flexible. The more we force a style that just isn’t working, the more frustrating homeschool becomes for our kids and us.  And the truth is, learning is fun. So the true homeschool style that will work best for you is simple. It’s the one that reminds you how incredibly fortunate you are to be learning together.

 

Kerry of Secular Homeschooling

 

 

 

Author Bio: Kerry Jones has been homeschooling since 1999, and has authored multiple homeschooling sites including SecularHomeschool.comLetsHomeschoolHighschool.com, and HomeschoolLiterature.com. Her newest pet project is creating a social community for parents homeschooling a child on the autism spectrum on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

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