We were able to make a few and give directions for making them for the rest. If you did not receive one the directions are simple. You will need:
- 2 poster boards
- paste or white glue used very sparingly
- Post-it notes
- Calendar numbers from Dollar Tree
- Velcro circles or squares with adhesive backing (you can get strips and cut them into squares)
- Braille labeller or stickers if appropriate
- Stick post-its to the bottom of the posters seven across in five rows. Pull up every other post-it once they are straight. That will make a checkerboard-looking section for putting on dates. Now use glue or paste to secure the Post-its you didn't take up.
- Write a day of the week at the top of each column of Post-its.
- Laminate the poster
- On the calendar markers, write the numbers 1-31 in large print.
- With the second poster, cut 12 strips for the months. Make them colorful. You may want to draw of glue seasonal symbols. You can also find these pre-made at Dollar Tree.
- Laminate the months and symbols. Stick Braille on if appropriate. (Your V.I. specialist can label them for you) If braille is not appropriate for any of your students you can use dry-erase makers to write the numbers on your calendar each day--or allow student who are able to take turns writng the new number each day as in the calendar show in the photo.
- If using braille or if you prefer removeable numbers: Stick the velcro circles or squares in the center of the squares made by the Post-its on the laminated poster.
Stick your number on top. Pull them off and store them in the ziplock bag.
These kits are what we saved the medicine containers for. I thank all the "regular ed" staff who helped me save these. My husband and I have been saving all of our med containers--and boy, do we take enough meds! LOL! So if anyone who has not started one and needs containers, just contact me because we should have plenty to go around. Ask staf at your individual schools, too. Those of you who no longer have children on my caseload can still get some. Your V.I. teacher will know how to get them from me.
You Will Need:
- Address labels
- scents or objects with scents that will fit into
- empty, washed medicine containers
- Wash the containers and make sure the original labels are removed. You may need to soak them in warm soapy water for about 20 minutes.
- Collect scents from potpourri, hard candy, body sprays, cough drops, soap, shampoo, scented oils, spices, etc.
- Label each container with the scent it contains.
- For liquids, dampen cottonballs with them. This is for safety, incase one of the children can grab the container the liquid will not spill.
- Make sure that you change some liquids and food items when not using them for a while or they may spoil or grow mold in the containers. Ew!
- Make sure, if you use food items, that they don't have even the slightest essence of peanuts in them because even a whiff of peanuts can be hazzardous to our kids with severe allergies. You know your kids, though.
For most of you that needed them, I purchased the giveaway Glad storage containers and glued them together with hot glue in strips of three to six. On the bottom I glued non-skid shelf-liner so the children cannot slide them around very easily as they work with them.
You were to find things that represented the time of day according to your schedule. I had a few things for you to use but I can't supply everyone and you know what objects will be the best symbols to use for your students.
One thing to note is that if you cannot find actual appropriate objects it is okay to use an abstract shape if you use the same one for the same activity each time. For instance, you may have an actual spoon to represent lunch and breakfast and a spoon will fit into one of the squares perfectly. But, try as you may, you will not fit a swing into one tiny square to represent recess or playground time. In one class, we found a few links of chain to represent a swing. In my preschool V.I. class I used a tiny action figure--a baseball player-- and that worked for that child as a symbol for "playground." Although she functioned as a deaf-blind child, I knew she understood when I saw her replace the symbol for "library" with the baseball figure as she laughed to herself, went to the door with her cane and announced, "Playground time, class!"
These are simply the smaller key rings from the crafts department at WalMart. We use them for helping children with dexterity issues, to grasp zippers on their little pants, coats or bookbags. Put the hook part in the hole that is on the metal part of the zipper and hook the ring, if needed, to the hook.
These were not just Christmas toys and I tried to get one to each of you so that you can see how they are made and make them as needed. The purpose for our multi-disabled children is to teach cause and effect. if they have a jinglebell attached to a piece if elastic around their arm and they're capable of moving their arm they may soon associate that when they move, the bell rings. I used rather quite bells on the ones I brought around but you can use velcro straps and larger bells or even clusters of bells--depending on the strength and mobility the child has in an arm or leg and how much jingling your ears can stand. LOL!
I pray these ideas were a help for our multi-disabled visually impaired children this semester and I will have more items that we can work on together for the second semester.