Fake Edible Dirt and BUGS

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Ever plan something for therapy that is A HIT with your entire caseload? It happened guys. I made fake, edible, wonderful dirt. Read on because this is a great one.

First, I read like 10 different recipes for various brown, sensory materials. I went to the store and started mixing! Below is what I did:

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In case you missed that… the recipe I used is:

1 cup of baking cocoa powder
1 cup vegetable oil
5-7 cups of flour

You might want to add it more flour! It is kind of sticky this way but I love it! The more flour  you add, the less sticky it becomes but it also gets lighter in color.

Fold this sheet in half, laminate, and send home with parents OR keep in your bin for easy access!

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I also made these adorable little preposition books to practice describing where the bug is! Then we put the bug in the same spot in our box.

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I paired this activity with the book In the Tall, Tall Grass and the classic grass craft to go along with it.

Below are the awesome bugs I purchased for this:

Yes I did get all of those. I’m obsessed.

Download this little packet for free here.

{thanks for reading}

In a year…

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This past week on Facebook I was reminded that it was just a year ago I graduated with my Masters! CRAZY to think what can happen in a year.

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-Started a REAL job (yes I get paid to play with fun things)

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-Moved into a house (with wine)

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-Got a second, perfect little puppy

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-Went on some great vacations (hello Sonoma, CA and Dominican Republic)

Every single day I learn so much and grow as a therapist.  There have been a million work milestones and tons of professional growth as well.

-Developed a passion, love, and “feeling in your gut that these kiddos are so underestimated and misunderstood” for kiddos who use AAC and early communicators. I love it, I love it, I love it.

-Started, abandoned, started again (“this one is really perfect this time guys”), abandoned again (“okay way too time consuming”), and started again various ways to take data and keep track of due dates, plan of cares, parent communication, and goals. But really, I think I have it this time…

-Learned how to write MEASURABLE goals that kiddos can achieve in 3 months. (okay, I’m still working on this one but I’m WAY better). No more of “Shannon will spontaneously request activities in 70% of opportunities”. Wait… what is an “opportunity”? Cue me thinking “WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I JUST WRITE?! How will I ever be able to take data on this?!”

-Cried. And cried. And celebrated. And cried. And went to bed at 6 because I was so exhausted, but then woke up the next day and worked my ass off and celebrated again. Because the kiddos that I get to hang out with every day ROCK.

-Improved my ability to talk to parents and strike a good balance between giving suggestions, listening, being an “expert” (woah, when did that happen?!), and being a friend. Yes, yes, yes, all parents should probably do carryover activities every night, for 30 minutes, provide faded cues, model their kiddos AAC systems, withhold preferred activities so their kiddo can request, provide a language rich environment, blah blah blah blah blah. But hey, I’m supposed to shower every day, take my dogs for at least ONE WALK, remember to put makeup on my face, probably have a vegetable now and again, but you know what? Life happens and that is okay.  Sometimes I know I should probably not eat that burger and have some hummus and carrots instead but burgers taste good and I’m busy and I’m stressed. It happens to the best of us.

-Obtained more materials than any seasoned professional ever ought to have. #imanSLPhoarder

-Continued to learn about making therapy functional, useful, and MEANINGFUL; constantly thinking “What will make the biggest difference in this child’s life RIGHT NOW?”

-Learned how to plan last minute or on the go. On the same token, learned that planning really does make a difference and part of our job should be to come prepared. But let’s be honest, sometimes our plans can and should go out the window for another, more functional/motivating/awesome unthought of activity.

-Thought one million times “Seriously did I learn anything in grad school?” because every day is filled with learning, research, reading, discussing, collaborating, and more learning. Until my brain might actually explode.

-Was lucky beyond belief to be part of an amazing therapy team. I get to learn from the best of the best every day. My coworkers kind of rule.

So it is with this that I celebrate being ONE YEAR into the best field in the entire world. I can only hope I continue to learn this much every year. :)

{thanks for reading}