Wednesday 19 December 2018

Best Board Games for People with Disabilities

My six year old son C was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder ten months ago. It's still a massive learning curve for us, we are still learning how to cope day to day as we go along and have been attending workshops to teach us how to best deal with his behaviours.

As much as I still don't even like to admit it, it is a disability, and we do have to make some adjustments for him as he processes things differently. We know what to do and what not to do as we know what will cause a sensory overload and subsequent meltdown. Although we do need to make these adjustments, we also try to treat him as normally as we possibly can because I don't want to use his autism as an excuse for "naughty" behaviour that has nothing to do with the condition. 

C struggles mostly with social situations and empathy and imagining how others are feeling. Taking turns and waiting are hard for him too. He likes to be in control of situations so he knows exactly what is going to happen. He cannot cope with the unknown. Waiting is a struggle because he prefers to physically see how long something is going to take as he can't imagine what five or ten minutes looks like. 

For as long as I can remember, we have had a family game night. It's something that the four of us can do to spend time together and have fun. There are a few that I don't think he could cope with such a Monopoly simply because of the duration of the game - there's no way he'd sit that long! - so we tend to choose games that are short and hold his attention.

C is a typical six year old boy and loves a bit of toilet humour. I know that these types of games will make him laugh and he actually wants to play them because he finds them so funny. Gooey Louie - who knew that a game where you have to pull bogies out of a giant nose would be so fun? Although there is the unknown aspect of when the brain will squeak and pop out, he got used to it quite quickly and anticipates it. We do make a minor adjustment and remove the black coloured one as it frightens him.

Poopyhead is another one that C really enjoys. He is really good at remembering sequences and the aim here is to place cards in order; toilet, poo, wipe, wash hands. The loser has to attach a rubber poo on their head. This game helps his memory, having to remember what card comes next, but adds the funny aspect with the poos.

Pull My Finger is probably C's ultimate favourite. Each player spins and pulls the monkeys finger. It's bottom will expand then fart unexpectedly. Again, he anticipates this and it is a little better as he can physically see the bottom getting bigger and so knows when it is going to happen. This one is great as it is fast paced but also encourages him to take turns and wait for others to have their turn.

Disney Guess The Film is one that is not only great for C but for the whole family. We are massive Disney fans and this game shows a little part of a scene and you need to guess what film it is to win a point. C can recall things very quickly with precision (I feel like he may have an eidetic memory) so he always excels at this one.

5 Second Rule is a fun one that even trips me up! Each player has five seconds to name three things from a category that is chosen such as "3 things you see at the beach". It encourages C to think logically and quickly. Sometimes he does give a bit of a silly answer under pressure but rather than getting annoyed, we've found that he finds it quite funny instead.

Finally, Jenga is a game that I originally thought might be hit or miss. It's a classic so I'm sure it needs no introduction but C takes his time to properly think about the consequence of his move and it proves to work well for him!

As he gets older, I would love to introduce more grown up games to him such as Cluedo or even Chess to see if he enjoys those and how we can adapt them to his capabilities. Board games can be great for people with disabilities and can help with the brain. I have focused here on our experiences with C and ASD but board games can help many people with different types of disability, some of which can be seen on the Bathing Solutions blog.

(This is a sponsored post.)
Monday 17 December 2018

Chad Valley Tiny Treasures Doll - Review

My four year old daughter E is a right 'wee granny mush' as we say here in Northern Ireland. She loves to put on a dress and pretend she's the mummy (because that's what mummies wear, apparently) and I'm the kid. Over the years, we have had a number of baby dolls that she has also played mummy to but none of them as fantastic as the Tiny Treasures doll from Chad Valley.  

We received the boy version of the doll and as soon as we saw him, I was awestuck by his realistic facial features. He has a good mop of brown hair underneath his little blue hat, hair is something that none of our previous dolls have had and I like that it has been included. 

Upon opening, the weight of the doll adds to its realism. Weighing in at 2lbs 10oz, it is definitely like holding a real newborn baby and even has a scent of talcum powder. He is dressed very sweetly too in a beautiful blue pair of dungarees with a bear pocket and even has a little bodysuit underneath it. 

E has named her new baby boy Jesus. I'm going to take a guess and say this is partly because of the time of year and also because she's been practicing for her nativity at school but hey, she can call him whatever she wants. The doll comes with a little hospital band attached to his wrist and a birth certificate so you can joy down its name, weight and other stats. As well as just looking realistic, it's these little extras that really set the Tiny Treasures doll apart from the others. 

The cardboard box that the doll arrives in has a buckle attached so it can be used as a car seat. E has decided that it's a crib and put baby Jesus to sleep there. His eyes shut when he is laid down and open again when he is picked up. 

E has fallen in love with her new doll. She puts him to bed at the bottom of her bed every night, gets him first thing in the morning and brings him downstairs with her. She has even taken to bringing him in the car to nursery in the morning for me to bring back home to "babysit" then bring him back at pick up. She is definitely treating him like a real baby! 

The Tiny Treasures doll retails at £39.99 and can be purchased from Argos. Argos also do a whole host of accessories to go with the doll such as a Moses basket, baby carrier and wardrobe. E is so enthralled that I have decided to put a call in to Santa to bring some of these extras for Christmas!

You can also keep up to date with Tiny Treasures on Facebook and Instagram.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Saturday 8 December 2018

Dressing for Autumn/Winter with Fashion World - Review

Autumn/Winter is my favourite time of the year to shop for, from a fashion point of view. I'm a big fan of chunky knit, jumpers, boots, layering and the A/W colours like maroon, burgundy and mustard are gorgeous.

Being a busy mum of two, I rarely find the time to physically go out to browse in high street stores so I spend a lot of time online shopping but then have a minor panic because I can't try the clothing on and don't want to buy something that doesn't fit and go through the faff of returning it.

My mind has been completely changed by online clothing retailer, Fashion World. They very kindly offered me the chance to choose some items from their website for the season and see what I thought.

I live in black and grey so I knew that I wanted it to change it up a bit so firstly I opted for the Blush Pointelle Jumper. I decided to team that up with the black Chloe High Waist Snake Skinny Jean and grey Edita Stud Detail Boots. I wanted to stick with a jumper and boots for winter but also get some of my beloved black in there too. I couldn't stray too much!

I was quite anxious when the items arrived as, although I went for my normal size, I know some shops differ when it comes to sizes. I needn't have worried though and everything fit perfectly.

The jumper was surprisingly soft and cosy and will definitely keep the heat in when the temperatures get cooler. My wardrobe is devoid of colour (that probably stems from being a self confessed emo kid in the 2000s) so it was nice to inject some pink into it and I found that it was a colour that I actually suited.

The jeans are absolutely amazing with their snake print which is very subtle. My partner originally thought they were simply wet look before taking a closer look. I am a sucker for animal print in all forms and I am a big fan of the snake print trend right now.

The boots are by far my favourite of all three. I'll admit, I always opt for flat shoes as they are easier, mostly reaching for Converse or Vans, but I love the chunky heel on these as well as the stud detailing. It helps that they are very comfy to walk in too.

I was really pleasantly surprised by the range that FashionWorld held and it took me quite a long time to decide what I wanted. They have clothes for every occasion! With the entire outfit costing under £100, I definitely will be purchasing more in the future.

(I received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)